Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dinner with the Sanborns, not!

Carpooling, Sharon and I headed to Paul Martin's after work. The plan was to meet the Sanborns for dinner. Unfortunately, it turned out that Sharon got the dates mixed up! We were supposed to meet them for dinner on the 18th rather than the 14th.

We ended up having a leisurely dinner. After a crab cake starter, Sharon had fish tacos and I had blacken pacific redfish.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

We rode the Mount Washington Cog Train on day four of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

Mount Washington Cog Train
New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

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This marker is located on Base Station Road, Jackson, New Hampshire. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 16' 04.6" N 71° 21' 14.4" W.

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

Completed in 1869 for $139,500. This unique railroad was built through the genius and enterprise of Herrick and Walter Aiken of Frankin and Sylvester Marsh of Campton. Over three miles long, the average grade to the 6,293 foot summit is one foot in four. Made safe by the toothed wheel and ratchet. It is the second steepest cog railroad in the world and the first of its type.

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Rooster Bar

My book for December is The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 32st book by John Grisham that I have read in the last twenty-five years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of... It is the third of his books that I read this year!?!

I usually tear through a Grisham book as a light read. I labored through The Rooster Bar. It may be my least favorite Grisham book ever.

Grisham says in the Author's Note that the idea for the book came from an article in the September 2014 edition of The Atlantic titled "The Great School Scam." While the story looks at student loans and diploma mill law schools, the plot contains a mishmash of other subjects, including: mental illness; illegal aliens, ICE and deportation; practicing law without a license; a class action lawsuit; a medical malpractice lawsuit; off shore banking, and the African country of Senegal.

The book is a mess. I didn't enjoy it. I don't recommend it...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jack to Boston

Charlotte and Jack
Jack and Charlotte
Friday Afternoon [December 8], Jack caught an Uber from Georgetown to BWI airport. He took a 716 pm flight to Boston. Jack spent Friday and Saturday night in Boston.

On Saturday night, he took Charlotte to her sorority formal.

Sunday morning, Jack caught a 11 am flight back to Reagan and then an Uber back to campus. He has finals starting this week and then will be flying back to Sacramento for Christmas break on December 19.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Celebrating Jack Frame's 100th Birthday

Sharon and I went to her brother's Tim's house for a celebration of their father's 100th birthday. Jack Frame passed away in 2006. The group included Tom, Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Sharon and I.

Describing their father, Tim said that "Jack Frame was intelligent, honest, humorous, well liked and a good family man."

I have a photo album of pictures of her dad here.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Dinner with the Renterias

For the second Sunday of Advent, Sharon and I went to Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Clarksburg. I have always wanted to visit this church. I loved the building, but was disappointed in the older priest.

After Mass, we met the Renterias for dinner at the Press Bistro. We had dinner there once before with the Foys when Jack and Bridget went to the Jesuit Jr Prom. Sharon had salmon, while I had the seafood risotto. We ended up sitting and visiting for more than 3 1/2 hours...

Friday, December 08, 2017

Liz for Dinner

Liz came for dinner. Sharon served corn flake chicken. Liz is taking off for three weeks of traveling around California with a New Zealand woman that she met on the Camino.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Vermont State House

We walked to the Vermont State Capitol Building after breakfast on day three of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

State House
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

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This marker is located at 125 Street Street, Montpelier, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 15' 41.3" N 72° 34' 51.3" W.

Vermont State House

Montpelier became the Capital in 1808, when the first State House was built. Ammi B. Youngs 2nd State House, built in 1838 and destroyed by fire in 1857, was similar to this 3rd structure on the site, completed in 1859.

Vermont State House

Vermont State House

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Hunter and Snipes

Hunter, Snipes and II met Snipes and Hunter for a couple of beers and a burger at Broderick Midtown. I had a salad and a Bison Burger. It was great to catch up.

Intellectually, I have always enjoyed Snipes' company a great deal. He definitely raises the average IQ of the group whenever he is around!

Yule made brief cameo appearances just after Hunter got there and again right before I left.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2017 Christmas Tree

2017 Christmas Tree
In 2015 and 2016, we got Christmas trees at Able's on Sunrise. We were extremely happy with the trees that we got there. When that lot disappeared this year, we weren't sure what to do. Last Friday night on the way to the Gainsley's Christmas Party, we stopped at a lot at Cal Expo and then at Lamb's in Elk Grove. We bought trees at Lamb's from 2009 to 2014. We ended up buying a flocked tree at Lamb's.

I picked up the tree on Saturday morning (December 2). Sharon's nephew Eric came over and helped us get it into the house and up on the stand. We decorated the tree after dinner [December 5].

Sharon is not completely satisfied. Although it is a great looking tree, she thinks it is too small. [Note to self], let her pick out the tree next year!

Monday, December 04, 2017

2017 Jesuit High School Lessons & Carols

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.
For the second straight year [2016], Sharon and I went to Lessons & Carols, an evening of prayer and song presented by the Jesuit High School Chamber Singers, the Concert Choir of St. Francis High School and Jesuit Drama at the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. Sharon went by herself in 2015 while I was working in the Napa Valley.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

An Adventure plus Frame Family Dinner

With Fair Oaks Boulevard closed due to the California International Marathon, Sharon and I decided to walk to Mass at Our Lady of Assumption for the first Sunday of Advent. It was 5.25 miles round trip. On the way there, we walked up Palm to Fair Oaks to El Camino to Walnut. There were a lot of sections without sidewalks. On the way home, we headed east through a neighborhood. We walked up Fair Oaks against the marathon runners. While their were a lot of runners when we first got on Fair Oaks on the way home, the course was deserted by the time we got to Palm. Just as we got to Palm about 11:10 am, they opened the intersection. We talked about making it an annual tradition.

While Tom and Eric were hiking the Camino, Tom sent a group text saying that he wanted to start a monthly Sunday afternoon family dinner. He has been trying to do it the first Sunday of every month.

Sharon and I headed over to Tom's house about 4:00 pm. With Tim in New Orleans with Brun and Jim Ellis celebrating their birthdays, it was a smaller group [Tom, Eric, Ashley, Leah, Lydia, Sharon and I]. Tom served a lemon themed dinner, including lemon rice, broccoli and salmon.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

2017 F@rm Credit West Christmas Party

For the sixth time in the last seven years [2011, 2102, 2013, 2014, 2015], Sharon and I went to the F@rm Credit West Christmas Party. Last year, Sharon was feeling under the weather and we missed the party.

This year, it was held at the Cattlemens in Roseville. Due to the consolidation into their new office, it was a big group. There are fewer people every year that I knew when I worked for F@arm Credit. Intellectually, it was interesting just to cruise in Sharon's wake before dinner. We sat with Holly and Van and Chris Petersen and his wife at dinner.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Gainsley's Christmas Party

Over the years, we have had very little luck in making it to the Gainsley's Christmas Party. In the last few years, it seems like it always fell on the same date as Sharon's work Christmas Party. We finally made it this year.

After stops at Christmas tree lots at Cal Expo and in Elk Grove, we rolled up to their house about 7:30 pm. It is the first time that we have been to their new place. We had a nice evening, including visiting with a couple of people that I worked with at Sutter Health: June and Kendall and their husbands.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Senator William Upham

We walked by this historical marker on our way to the Vermont State Capitol Building during day three of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

Senator William Upham
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This marker is located at 145 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 15' 44.8" N 72° 34' 20.8" W.

Senator William Upham

Senator William Upham

Slavery is a crime against humanity and a sore evil in the body politic.

William Upham resided here during the first half of the nineteenth century. He was an ardent abolitionist, voting against the Fugitive Slave Act and slavery in new states and territories. A member of the Whig Party, Upham represented Vermont as a U.S. Senator from 1843 to 1853. He supported the Canadian rebellions of 1837 and 1838 and vehemently opposed the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848. Senator William Seward eulogized him, saying, His national policy was the increase of industry, the cultivation of peace, and the patronage of improvement. Upham was interred at Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier.

Senator William Upham

Senator William Upham

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lady Bird

Starting our quest to see all of the 2017 Oscar nominated films, Sunday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I went to see Lady Bird at the UA Greenback. Over the last couple of years, we have tried to guess which films will be nominated. Lady Bird is on a number of lists as a possible Best Picture nominee.

Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig. It stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe. Ronan was in last year's Oscar nominated Brooklyn.

Set in Sacramento, California, it is a coming-of-age story about a high-school senior and her turbulent relationship with her mother. The senior goes to a fictional all-girls Catholic high school whose uniforms mirror St. Francis.

The movie was largely filmed in Sacramento. Gerwig went to St. Francis high school and participated in Jesuit's Black Box. There are a lot of recognizable landmarks in the film.

Sharon has now seen the move three times: once with Mary Maloney; a second time with Liz and Laura, and; a third time with Jack and I. She described it as her this year's La La Land.

Obviously, Sharon likes the film a lot. I enjoyed it. I think that it does have a chance to be nominated for Best Picture. I think that Metcalfe could also be nominated for Supporting Actress.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jack back to school

Jack and SharonAfter spending the morning putting up some Christmas decorations in the house that required a ladder, Sharon, Jack and I went to see Lady Bird at the UA Greenback. This was the third time that Sharon has seen the movie! After getting some takeout Chinese food for dinner, we took Jack to the airport to wind his way back to school.

Jack convinced us to fly him home on a red-eye rather than on an early flight on Sunday. He caught a 9:10 pm American flight from Sacramento to Phoenix. After a 50 minutes layover, Jack boarded a 12:55 am flight from Phoenix to Reagan. He was on the ground in DC at 7:00 am. Jack caught an Uber at 7:20 am and was back on campus by 7:37 am.

It was great to have him home for a few days. In just a little over three weeks, Jack will be home for Christmas.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Decorating the house for Christmas

We have talked off and on about decorating the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but we never have... Friday afternoon, Sharon took down the fall decorations. Given our Fall New England Trip, we didn't make it to Davis Ranch this year and, as result, had very few pumpkins. I took the fall boxes back to the storage shed and started dragging the Christmas boxes back. We literally have at least five carloads of Christmas boxes.

We spent all day Saturday decorating the house. It took me all day to take down the fall lights and put up the Christmas lights. Although Sharon says otherwise, I don't remember it taking me so long to get everything put up outside!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Django Unchained

Friday night, Sharon took off to have dinner with Liz and Laura at Taro's at Arden Fair. Jack dropped her off. After dinner, they went to the UA Arden to see Lady Bird. This was Sharon's second viewing of Lady Bird; she saw it with Mary Maloney at the Tower. Laura brought Sharon home.

With Sharon out for the evening, I decided to watch Django Unchained. I have seen trailers for the movie for years, but had never taken the time to sit down and watch it.

Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It has a great cast, including Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Set in the Old West and Antebellum South, it is a highly stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns.

The American Film Institute named the film as one of their Top Ten Movies of the Year in December 2012. The film won two Oscars including Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay and Waltz for Best Supporting Actor.

I enjoyed the movie. Christoph Waltz is tremendous. At two hours and 45 minutes, it is very long!