Wednesday, February 22, 2017

California FFA Foundation Blue & Gold Gala

At the California FFA Foundation Blue & Gold GalaAs part of Sharon's F@rm Credit connection, we went to the California FFA Foundation Blue & Gold Gala in Galt. We sat with Jeana and Larry. Jeana is on the board of the California FFA Foundation. We were hoping to see Jim and Suzy, but they were no shows... I was surprised to find out afterwards that Pat and Kelly were there.

The keynote speaker for the event was Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs fame. He was an excellent storyteller. Rowe told an extend story about filming a show on artificial insemination.

I was in FFA in high school. I raised and showed pigs. At one point, I probably had as many as thirty pigs.

Additionally, there are several types of FFA judging contests in which kids compete based on their knowledge of a particular subject. Each school has several different types of teams that compete against other schools. I competed in the accounting contests!


Mike Rowe at the California FFA Foundation Blue & Gold Gala

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hell or High Water

Saturday night at Sea Ranch, Sharon, Marlene and I watched Hell or High Water. This is part of our continuing effort to see all of the Oscar nominated films.

The American Film Institute selected Hell or High Water as one of its ten Movies of the Year. It received four Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

The film follows two brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family ranch. Although the plot takes place in West Texas, filming took place in Eastern New Mexico. The movie stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster as the two brothers and Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger.

I don't know if it was the system at the house we were renting, but I had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue. It seemed like the main characters were mumbling, particularly Jeff Bridges.

We have now seen eight of the nine best picture nominees. While I enjoyed the film, it is not winning best picture. Jeff Bridges is not beating Mahershala Ali [Moonlight] or Dev Patel [Lion] for Best Supporting Actor.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 Sea Ranch Day 4

2017 Sea Ranch Day 4

When we got up on Monday morning, there was no power. Phil said that he thought that the power had been off since about 4 am. With it raining even harder than Sunday, we made a decision to pack up and head out early.

As an aside, I was amazed how wet the whole area was. It is the first time I have seen waterfalls flowing off the bluffs.

We rolled from the house about 9:45 am. Although we talked about heading home through the Anderson Valley, after we dropped the key in Gualala, we headed south down Highway 1. We tried to stop in Jenner for lunch, but the restaurant wasn't open until noon. We ended up having lunch at the Tides Bay View Restaurant in Bodega Bay.

From Bodega Bay, we headed towards Sonona. We had to detour around a section of Valley Ford Road that was closed due to flooding. We planned to stop at Schug, but it was closed. We ended up stopping at Anaba Wines.

Heading east, Highway 121 was closed due to flooding. We had to detour north towards Sonoma before heading home. Although it was raining cats and dogs, the traffic was pretty light on the way back to Sacramento. We rolled up to the house in Carmichael about 5:40 pm.

Texting with my sister, she said that power was restored to the Sea Ranch where we were staying until 3:30 pm!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Sea Ranch Day 3

2017 Sea Ranch Day 3

Over the years, we have been very lucky with the weather at Sea Ranch. Last fall, Sharon spent weeks fretting about the weather ahead of the fall dinner party. Unfortunately, our luck ran out on Sunday. It rained steadily all day.

Phil and I drove into town early to get a couple of things for breakfast. I ended up making pecan waffles.

We spent most of the morning working on the Cinque Terre puzzle. I had bought the puzzle because I was worried that the weather might turn nasty.

In the middle of the day, Phil went out for a bike ride in the rain, while Sharon and I ran along the bluffs north from the house. I ended up running a little more than 6 miles in the steady rain. I ran north to the houses that we stayed in last fall. On my way back, I stopped very briefly and talked to my sister who was staying at a house down the street. Although we invited them over later in the day, we never connected during the weekend.

We had a late dinner at the Black Point Grill at the Sea Ranch Lodge. Sharon and I both a great special of sea bass caught locally in Point Arena.

Phil, Sharon and I stayed up pretty late working on the puzzle.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017 Sea Ranch Day 2

Untitled

Our original plan for the weekend was to plan on golf on Sunday. With the weather looking iffy for Sunday, we decided to play on Saturday. After breakfast, Marlene, Sharon and I drove down to the Sea Ranch Links Golf Course to make sure that they were open. We couldn't raise them on the phone; it turned out that their phones were out.

We headed back to the course about 10:15 am. After hitting a few range balls, we headed out on the course about 11 am. Recovering from knee surgery, Phil rode, but didn't play. It was not a good day. Although I started out solidly, my game quickly went to hell. It is probably the worst that I feel like I have played in ten years.

Although it wasn't raining, the course was a wet sloppy mess. We were frankly surprised that they let us on the course at all. The conditions didn't help my game...

Sharon stopped playing after about 13 holes. It was just too wet and muddy. Marlene and I soldiered on and finished out the day. It took us about five hours.

After golf, we headed into town to the store. We got some steaks and potatoes to barbecue for dinner.

After dinner, we worked on the Cinque Terre puzzle for a while and then watched Hell or High Water. This is one of the nine movies nominated for the 2017 Best Picture Oscar. Sharon and I have now seen eight of the nine best picture nominees.

Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 Sea Ranch Day 1

For the third time in four years [2016 and 2014], we are spending a weekend in February at Sea Ranch with the Sanborns. This also marks the fifth time in seven years [2013 and 2011] that we have spent a weekend at Sea Ranch in January or February.

The Sanborns met us at our house about 8:15 am. We loaded their truck and were on the road before 8:45 am. I had made reservations for a wine tasting at Donum Estate at 10:30 am. Sharon's friend Noel had brought a bottle of Donum to dinner. I remembered him talking about the winery and thought it would be nice to explore a new place.

We had a very intimate tasting. Afterwards, with it raining hard, they let us use the room to have lunch. Sharon had made New Orleans style Muffulettas sandwiches for lunch.

From there, we rolled towards Gualala. We picked up the key in town about 3:00 pm. We are spending three nights at Galleons Reach.

After getting settled in, Sharon and I went for a walk. The rain actually stopped for a while. We walked to the point in front of Sea Ranch Lodge and back. In total, we covered about 2.9 miles. I had never walked out on the point in front of the lodge. I discovered two Sea Ranch historical markers (Kenkoku Maru grounding on Black Point Beach and Black Point Settlement/Bihler Landing) that I had never seen before.

2017 Sea Ranch - Day 1

The four of us spent some time in the hot tub before dinner. Unfortunately, the hot tub stopped working and never worked again over the course of the weekend.

For dinner, we had lasagna that Marlene made. We finished the night playing Texas Holdup poker. We also brought a Cinque Terre puzzle that we started...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

More Jimmer [Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas gets the last laugh]


Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas gets the last laugh

He warned us. He said this would happen. Isaiah Thomas tried to tell everyone – coaches, general managers, reporters, teammates – that he was better than a sixth man, more than a prolific scorer and, in fact, was an absolute steal for the Kings with the No. 60 (and last) pick in the 2011 NBA draft.

Thomas, who celebrated his 28th birthday Tuesday, commanded attention the day he dipped his toe into the NBA. During the Kings’ first preseason practice in 2011-12, he scrimmaged against high-profile first-round draft pick Jimmer Fredette. The outcome, it is fair to say, was a rout.

Thomas dominated the former BYU standout with his physicality, quickness and competitiveness. A flustered Fredette could barely get off a shot and couldn’t get past Thomas off the dribble. At the other end, the player who would prove to be Geoff Petrie’s last impressive personnel heist – Thomas – repeatedly and easily drove into the lane and scored on a variety of scoops, reverses and floaters with either hand.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Back from Portland

Up early for a breakfast meeting, I spent the day working in rainy Portland. The meeting was rescheduled from January 9. We caught a 2:50 pm flight back to Sacramento and I was home a little after 5 pm.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2017 Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day FlowersSharon and I exchanged gifts in the morning before work. She got me some pickleball racquets and balls, while I got some Victoria Secret pajamas. I also had some flowers sent to her work.

We had early Valentine's Day lunch at La Provence in Roseville. The lunch special included Carrot Ginger Soup [Cinnamon toast croutons, crème fraîche], Polet Provençal [Chicken breast, pappardelle pasta, sweet pea purée, pork belly, parmesan cream] and Petite Château Oscar [Grilled steak, lump crab, potato purée, asparagus, hollandaise]. Sharon had the steak, while I had the chicken. The service was not great; we sat and waited for our entrees for about 25 minutes...

I took off in the afternoon for a short work trip to Portland. This is rescheduled from the trip that was interrupted in January.

Monday, February 13, 2017

American River at Ancil Hoffman Park

This video of the American River at Ancil Hoffman Park was taken on Saturday, February 11. I plan to come back this summer and take another video from the same spot.


American River at Ancil Hoffman Park from heringermr on Vimeo

Ever since we lived in Deterding Ranch, I have always wondered how high the water has gotten in the park. Several people have said that this is the highest it has gotten in 20 years.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hidden Figures

Sharon and I went to the Palladio Luxe theaters in Folsom to see Hidden Figures. This is part of our effort to see all of the Oscar nominated films. The film has been nominated for numerous awards, including three Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

Hidden Figures is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Sheerly about female African-American mathematicians at NASA. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and other missions. It also features Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson, with Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, and Mahershala Ali in supporting roles.

I was surprised to see Parsons and Ali in the film. Ali is also in Moonlight. He is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in that film. It seems odd that Spencer, rather than Henson, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in this film.

Hidden Figures is a solid movie. The film is not as creatively ambitious as Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea. It is not going to win Best Picture. With two weeks until the Oscars, we have now seen seven of the nine films nominated for Best Picture.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dinner at Matteos

Sharon and I went to dinner at Matteos with three couples from the neighborhood. The group included Greg and Michele, Jim and Debbie, and Rod and Kathy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dinner at the Renterias

Sharon and I headed out to Elk Grove for dinner at the Renterias. The group included Rod, Julie, Ben and Lynn Borja, Alan Wackman, Sharon and I. We got to know each other when our boys played tournament baseball together... It is was nice evening.

It was a little surreal to drive through our old neighborhood on the way home. We lived in Elk Grove for almost twelve years. It was after midnight by the time Sharon and I wandered back to Carmichael.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

ESPN Films - SEC Storied - Before They were Cowboys

Running on the treadmill, I watched ESPN Films SEC Storied Before They Were Cowboys. This is the twenty-ninth film in the ESPN Films SEC Storied series. A work in progress episode guide for SEC Storied is here.

The film looks at how Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson teamed up to help lead the 1964 Arkansas Razorbacks football squad to its only undefeated season in history almost thirty years before they joined forces to win two Super Bowls with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. They were vital senior members of a team that won a national championship. The two men are linked by alphabet, alliteration, uniform numbers (60 and 61) and fate.

I was shocked that Jerry Jones was an offense guard in college. Today, he would have to be 80 to 100 pounds heavier to play to offense line. Looking at the UC Davis 2016 football roster, fourteen of the fifteen offense linemen listed weighed more than 275 pounds. Nine of the fifteen weighed more than 290 pounds. It is just one example of how football has changed over the last fifty years.

I was a quality offensive tackle in high school in Northern California in the early 1970's at 195 pounds. I probably could have played offense line at UC Davis. More on that in the next video postcard...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The second act of Jimmer Mania

Larkin sent me a link to this Yahoo! Sports article about Jimmer Fredette. My thoughts about Jimmer are here and here.
The second act of Jimmer Mania

Jimmer Fredette is a sensation again. He hadn’t expected this to happen, certainly not in Shanghai, where he signed to play for one of the Chinese Basketball Association’s worst teams. But then came the 40-point nights, Shanghai’s unexpected rise from the bottom to the top and another group of fans halfway around the world was chanting his name.

“Jimo. Jimo. Jimo.”

There is no Chinese way to say “Jimmer,” his translator told him. They are using the word that sounds closest.

It means “lonely,” the translator added.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Whistler by John Grisham

Trying to get back on the track of finishing at least one book a month, my book for February is The Whistler by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 30rd book by John Grisham that I have read in the last twenty-four years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of...

The plot is a little different. It involves an Indian tribe, a casino, a judge and the Florida State Board on Judicial Conduct (the “BJC”). Although the BJC investigators are attorneys, it is not really a legal story...

As I have said about a number of the recent Grishman books, It is not a bad book. Having worked my way through the Hamilton biography over the last couple of months, it was a nice light change of pace. I will continue to read Grisham novels as filler between more ambitious books. They serve as a nice mindless break.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Celebrating 22 years since our first date!

Sharon and I went to happy hour at Ruth's Chris Steak House to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of our first date.

Twenty two years ago today [Monday, February 6, 1995], we had our first date at Mace's.

Mace's closed in 2005 and Ruth's Chris opened in the same location.

An email that I wrote Nooter a few days after our first date is here.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Super Bowl LI Party

Sharon and I went to her brother Tom's house to watch the Super Bowl. It ended up being a pretty large group, including Tom, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Tim, Kathy, Erin, Leah's dad Steve, Jim, Sharon and I. Tom made a great dinner of cioppino.

It was a wild game. Trailing 28 to 3 in the third quarter, the New England Patriots rallied to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime by the score of 34 to 28. No team had ever made up more than a 10-point deficit to win a Super Bowl. It was the first Super Bowl overtime game.

The Patriots ran 93 offense plays, compared to 46 for the Falcons. The Patriots time of possession was 40:31, compared to 23:27 for the Falcons. I think that the Falcon's defense just ran out of gas at the end of the game; it was physically and emotionally spent!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

2017 Kings versus Warriors

I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Golden State Warriors NBA basketball game with a large group. The herd total twelve, including: Tomasin, David, Mikey, Dino (a friend of Tomasin's) and his son Dino, Bachman and his wife, Snipes, Keith and two of his friends and me.

With a number of people staying at the Holiday Inn Downtown, I took an Uber and met them about 5 pm. We wandered into Old Sacramento and had dinner at the La Terrazzo Mexican restaurant. Afterwards, we headed to Golden 1 Arena.

2017 Kings versus Warriors

Not surprisedly, it seemed like everyone was wearing Warriors gear. Surprisedly, the Kings kept the game close. With Cousins scoring 6 of 32 points in overtime, the Kings beat the Warriors by the score of 109 to 106.

I spent about 2/3s of the game focusing on Stephen Curry. Curry was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 35 points. He was 11 for 20 from the field, 8 for 14 from three and 5 for 6 from the free throw line.

DeMarcus Cousins was the Kings' leading scorer with 32 points. He was 13 for 30 from the field, 0 for 5 from three and 6 for 6 from the free throw line. Adding 12 rebounds and 9 assists, Cousins just barely missed a triple double.

The Warriors had an off shooting night, while the Kings got 45 points from their bench. Kevin Durant was never a factor in the game; he never seemed involved in the offense.

As Tomasin noted later, the Warriors just didn't have a player to match up against Cousins. He thinks that this is going to be a problem in the playoffs.

The Kings now have 3 wins and 3 losses in games that I have seen in the 2016/2017 season.

After the game, we wandered to Sauced, a new restaurant about a block from the arena. It was packed. Tomasin and I ended up giving up trying to get served and wandered back to the Holiday Inn. Most of the group eventually joined us. I called an Uber about 12:50 am and got home about 1:15 am...

Friday, February 03, 2017

Arrival

Friday night, Sharon, her brother Tom and I went to the Palladio Luxe theaters in Folsom to see Arrival. At this point, this is my favorite theater!

This is part of our effort to see all of the Oscar nominated films. Arrival has been nominated for eight Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It received Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress for Adams and Best Original Score.

The film is based on the 1998 short story Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. It stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

Arrival is a very traditional science fiction film. When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks [Amy Adams] is tasked with interpreting the language of the aliens.

As soon as the film finished Tom said "that was awful." Once we got home, I then had explain parts of the plot to Sharon; she was very confused. Additionally, I am not a big fan of stories that deal with time in a nonlinear ways. Combining all of these things, I am having a really hard time deciding how I would rate the movie...

I do know that Arrival is not winning Best Picture. Sharon doesn't think that it will win any Oscars!?!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

1,340 Miles

I struggled the last couple months of 2016. Between the new job, a couple of minor medical procedures, getting sick, settling Jack in Georgetown and a change in my routine from the last two and a half years, I lost a couple notches in my level of fitness. This was highlighted by embarrassing times during the Run to Feed the Hungry. In 2016, I ran 1,340 miles and cycled 474 miles. This is the fewest miles that I have run in a year in at least the last eleven years. I am still trying to figure out a physical challenge for 2017...

For 2016, I am looking forward into 2017. Like the American River 50 in 2007, I looking for a physical challenge in 2017. I am toying with the idea of a 100 to 120 mile hike along a section of the Pacific Coast Trail in Northern California [Boreal Ridge on Highway 80 to Chester on Highway 36].

In 2015, I ran 1,604 miles and cycled 401 miles. My goal was to work out with weighs 52 times this year; I have failed over the last three years at my strength training goal.

In 2014, I ran 1,583 miles and cycled 886 miles. I averaged 30.4 miles running and 17.0 miles cycling every week! My goal was to restart a sit-up, push-up and light routine that I have done in the past. I failed in this goal.

In 2013, I ran 1,521 miles and cycled 1,092 miles. My goal for 2013 was to best both the running and the cycling totals. I accomplished the running goal. Additionally, I was going to try and lift at least 48 times (4 times a month) at Arden Hills. I failed in this goal.

In 2012, my goal was to start cross-training. I ran and hiked 1,441 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Italy in the summer. Additionally, I cycled 1,133 miles. Most of this cycling was done on a stationary bike. I covered 1,016 miles virtually biking across America.

In 2011, I ran 1,763 miles. This seems impossible in a year that I took almost nine weeks of vacation!

In 2010, I ran 1,700 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Spain in the summer.

In 2009, I ran 1,832 miles.

In 2008, I ran more than 1,925 miles!

In 2007, I ran 1,721 miles. This included successfully completing the American River 50.

In 2006, I ran slightly less than 1,680 miles.

In 2005, I ran slightly less than 1,630 miles.

On our trip to Florida in Summer of 2004, I started to play with the idea of running the American River 50 in April of 2007. I committed myself and started to train.