Wednesday; A Busy Day!

Fact: Our friends truly bring out the best in us.  In 2013, research at the University of California, San Diego, found that people look more attractive in a group than individually.  It’s a phenomenon called hierarchical encoding, but it might be more commonly known as ‘the cheerleader effect.’

Why does this happen?  The study proposes that “the visual system automatically computes ensemble representations of faces presented in a group.” Essentially, the more attractive people in a group serve to ‘raise the average,’ making the ‘average’ faces appear more attractive overall.


We were up at the crack of dawn and on the road to Long Beach for a 9:00 AM appointment with an oncologist.  The meeting went well, and we had many options.  Mary got a call from a long-time friend who is Chief of Urology at the Michigan University Hospital, and we talked to him for quite a while.

Dr. Sheri Marquez was excellent; first-rate!

We did not leave the office until 10:45 AM, making us about 20 minutes late for the celebration of life in Santa Ana.

The next stop, a sad stop, was Sam Deiner’s Celebration of life.  Sam, and Brenda, were long-time friends and Sam passed at the age of 52 of cancer.  He will be missed.

Sam and Brenda

Almost eighty folks came to pay their respects at the Santa Ana Elks.  After the ceremony, Brenda arranged for Ronnie to stay and play dance music for their dancing friends.  We stayed until about 3:00 PM before heading home.

The people were a mix of his Experian friends and his dancing friends.  The CEO of Experian made a tape so he could say something; he was out of town today.

Samuel J Diener from Lakewood, California, passed away on June 25, 2022, at the age of 52.  He attended Saint Pancratius elementary and middle school and Saint Anthony’s high school, where he played football.  Sam was proud to have graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Business Administration.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda, and four sisters: Mary, Denise, Diana, and Ann, and their families.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Lillian H Diener and Samuel L Diener.

Sam worked in the information technology field, supporting a global team of executive leadership and board members for Experian.  Whether supporting his peers or leadership, he was loved and appreciated.  Sam saved many days with his expertise, calm demeanor, follow-through, and excellent customer support.  This is also where he met the love of his life, Brenda, and together they enjoyed swing and ballroom dancing, ice skating, traveling, visiting botanical gardens, and going to a wide variety of concerts and plays.  Sam also enjoyed, photography, cooking, sports, computers, gaming and movies – new and old.

Sam was a kind, gentle soul who also had a good sense of humor.  With his strong ethic of servitude, Sam was generous with his time and patience and enjoyed helping people.  He was a genuine person through and through.  His smile was made of pure joy and infectious to all around.  His eyes sparkled with his love for life and his friends and family.  Sam loved all animals, but particularly cats and was proud to have five rescue cats and considered them family.  On cold winter afternoons, he could be found on the couch with a blanket of his five kitties, who laid on him not only to warm themselves and nap as well, but also to warm him and ensure that he had the sweetest of dreams during his afternoon slumbers.

He has touched many in life and lived fully, leaving an abundance of memories for which we can be grateful and can recall, keeping his spirit alive in us all.

From there, we went home and met up with Chuck and Lisa, who flew in from North Carolina to assist with Saturday’s party.  We discussed the layout of the tables and everything and then went to dinner.

The excavation is underway, and so far, we have uncovered a spoon and a baby horseshoe.

They are still forming the foundation for the walls.

After dinner, we talked for a while and then crashed.  It was an emotional day, to say the least.  Colleen is driving back from Arizona, and we spoke to her at about 11:00 PM.  We told her to stop and not drive all night long.  She texted us at 1:30 AM and said she did stop for the night.

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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