Friday, October 19, 2018

The wizarding world

Downey City Library Harry Potter

Back at the Downey City Library, there is an exhibit celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which arrived in American bookstores on September 1, 1998.

Do you remember your first exposure to Harry Potter? I do. I kept reading encouraging reviews, and finally decided to read it myself. I fell in love with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hedwig, Hogwarts...I could go on and on. I immediately read the book out loud to my daughter. And I joined the millions of kids (young and old) who eagerly awaited each new volume. Each one got longer and longer, but that was OK, because it was just more to enjoy.

And then, there were the audio versions, with the absolutely delightful Jim Dale reading the books. Did you know that he once held a Guinness World Record for the number of voices he created for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (147)? He and Harry made my daily commute so much more fun. Sometimes, I was sorry to get home!

Books! I love them, and I love that they are freely available for all at the library, for a new generation to fall in love with books new and old.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gloria's Cocina Mexicana

Gloria's 1

A great part of living in Downey is being able to go to Gloria's Cocina Mexicana restaurant. Tonight, we enjoyed their three-choice combination plate. It included a chili relleno, cheese enchilada, and a taquito, rice and beans. Check out their website here.

Gloria's 4

They are family friendly and serve generous portions. Denise and Ernesto allowed me to show off their freshly prepared fajitas.

Gloria's 2Gloria's 3

They make their own corn tortillas on premises and serenade you to mariachi music. Go and enjoy a great dinner and tell them Downey Daily Photos sent you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Submission is the goal


I visited a new business, named Academy, in downtown Downey tonight. I have often passed by here during our walks in downtown and have been curious about what was going on. Academy is a place to learn and perfect your technique in jiu-jitsu fighting. Jiu-jitsu originated in Brazil. The goal in this type of fighting is to bring your opponent to submission, either by cutting off their air supply, cutting off their brain's blood supply, or dislocating or breaking an arm.

During this visit, I watched several 6-minute sessions. I was impressed at the stamina and concentration it took to bring your opponent to submission. To learn more about Academy, go to their website here. They also have classes for children.


This is one position of putting your opponent in submission. You see the fist on the neck and the upper body applying additional pressure onto the fist.

“There is no losing in jiu-jitsu. You either win or you learn.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Be afraid, be very afraid!


Another example of some really creative yard art for Halloween. A little creepy for small kids, but pretty fun!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Politely quiet

Downey City Library

It's Monday night, and the library is quiet. On the adult side, most of the rows are empty. The kid's area is busier, but still quiet, with groups of kids and their parents, working on projects.

"A library is like the best person you know - politely quiet but endlessly informative, amazingly knowledgeable but charmingly discreet, open to everyone yet subject to your every whim, and, sadly, flammable if one isn't careful. Be careful with yours."
~ Lemony Snicket

Downey City Library kids area

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Are you scared yet?


20181014_110050 (1)-1More and more houses are adding Halloween decorations as Halloween draws near. The skulls on this entryway make a foreboding mixed you really want to approach? I'm not so sure...

Friday, October 12, 2018

To tip or not to tip

Service fee

Hiding a service fee notice in the spooky decor doesn't make me feel any better about it.

As the minimum wage rises, restaurants and fast food places are struggling to find ways to cut expenses or increase income to stay profitable. Some are raising their prices. Others are adding a service fee to your bill. (And some are doing both.)

Unlike a tip, which goes only to the people who wait on you, a service fee can be used to compensate all employees, including the cooks and dishwashers who don't typically get to share in the tips. The reports I read seem to agree that restaurant staff people are supportive of this practice. Service fees are common in Europe and replace the tip.

This particular notice isn't clear on whether it will be given to the employees are not. Leaving me with the question—to tip or not to tip.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Humans of Downey - Diego


"I come from a lower income Mexican family and I can remember times when we struggled to make ends meet. One Thanksgiving was tough for us because we didn't know if we were going to have dinner. The most important part of that day that I remember though is that the family was together and we were happy together. I was old enough to learn that the most important thing was to be around people you care about and who support you.

"Thinking about that part of my past and comparing it with today, I realize that my job here at The Mambo Grill is like that. I used to be a manager at a structural steel company. Then I took a part time job here on the weekends to supplement my income. But I found that I had made some good friends here. People that I could relate to, people who are going to be there to support me. That's why I left the other job to go full time here. Family is very important to me."

~ Diego