Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Snatched

Saturday morning of Mother's Day, Sharon and I went to see Snatched at the Palladio Luxe Theater in Folsom. Although it is a little out of the way, I really like this theater.

The film stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn (in her first film since 2002's The Banger Sisters), with Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes in supporting roles. It follows a mother and daughter who are abducted while on vacation in South America.

Although the critic's reviews were mixed, Sharon really liked the movie. Walking away from the theater, she said "that was a 9!" I enjoyed the film, but not quite as much as Sharon did.

I thought that the pairing of Schumer and Hawn was genius. Apparently, Schemer approached Hawn about appearing in the film. Coincidentally, I recently listened to a Bill Simmons podcast recently with Hawn's long time partner Kurt Russell. Russell talked a lot about Hawn. Hearing about Hawn in the podcast before seeing the film was a nice supplement.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada Historical Marker #131

Wandering home from the Petersen Shootout, I made a circuit around the Carson Valley stopping at a number of Nevada Historical Markers, including: Luther Canyon (Fay Canyon) [#118]; Walley's Hot Springs [#120]; Pottsville [#121]; Sheridan [#122]; Gardnerville [#129]; Minden [#130]; Dresslerville [#131] and Boyd Toll Road [#142].

Dresslerville
Nevada Historical Marker #131

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located at 892 US Hwy 395 N, Gardnerville, Douglas County, Nevada. There are 17 other historical markers in Douglas County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 54' 14.9" N 119° 42' 21.4" W.

Nevada Historical Marker #131

In 1917 State Senator William F. Dressler gave this 40-acre tract to Washo Indians, then living on ranches in Carson Valley. After a school was opened in 1924, it became a nucleus of settlement.

Before the intrusion of Caucasians in 1848, Washo lived in winter in the Pinenut Hills where they stored autumn harvested pinenuts. In summer, they lived in the Lake Tahoe Basin fishing the tributary streams and gathering roots and berries. In fall, they hunted jackrabbits and gathered seeds in Carson Valley.

Their only form of organization was that of kinship.

These stone age people lived in daily communion with giants, monsters, animals whose characteristics were interchangeable with those of people, and with water babies, "having the bodies of old men and the long hair of girls," who lived in the lakes of the High Sierra.


Nevada Historical Marker #131

Sunday, May 21, 2017

SmartThings

When we lived in the Elk Grove house, I used X10 technology to automate the Christmas lights and a number of lamps. I never moved that system to the Carmichael house.

Last fall, I bought a SmartThings hub and a number of GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Outdoor Modules, Samsung SmartThings Outlets, GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Appliance Modules, Sylvania Smart+ Lightly RGBW Tunable White and Color LED Bulbs and Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensors.

I used the system primarily to control the Christmas lights and was extremely pleased how well everything worked. I even hooked the SmartThings hub to Alexa. This allows voice control of the system. We primarily used the voice control for a couple of lamps in the bedroom.

Given how well the system was working, I decided expand the types of devices connected to the SmartThings hub. When Sharon was in DC, I added a Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. The old controller was mounted in a very odd spot and was giving me problems.

This weekend, I added several other major devices, including two Ecobee4 Thermostats, a Kwikset 912 Z-Wave SmartCode Electronic Touchpad Lock and a GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control In-Wall Smart Switch. The holy grail was the In-Wall switch. I bought it last fall and made three aborted attempts to get it installed. Googling in the last two weeks. I finally stumbled across some notes that pointed me in the right direction.

I am extremely pleased with how well everything is working!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Back from SoCal and the neighbors

I spent the morning working at our hospital in Los Angeles. Afterwards, I wound my way to LAX. I know that I am repeating myself, but the traffic in Southern California is amazing. Luckily, I planned the day with enough time on both ends of my morning stop.

Over the course of the short two day trip, I used Waze extensively. I have always been fascinated by the ability to plug in a place and navigate right to it. More and more, I have realized that I have lost any spacial overview of where I am. I really started feeling that way during the spring training trip this year and the feeling was reenforced on this trip.

I was booked on a 1:50 pm Southwest flight from the Los Angeles airport back to Sacramento. Most of the day, the flight said that it was delayed to 2:05 pm. When I got through security and looked at the departure board, every Southwest flight was delayed. The flight eventually took off about 2:40 pm and I was back in Sacramento just before 4:00 pm. Although I had an A40 boarding pass on Thursday and A42 on Friday, I got the exit row aisle seat both days!

Sharon and I finished the night having some wine and hors d'oeuvres with our neighbors Mike and Jill. Sharon had recommended a couple of wineries (Donum Estate and Lynmar Estates) to them for a recent trip to the coast with their friends. They were so pleased with the recommendations that they invited over to share a bottle from Lynmar. We took Tiber with us. It was after 11:00 pm by the time we wandered back across the street...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

To SoCal and Dinner with Drew

I caught a Southwest flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Although it was scheduled to leave at 7:50 am, the flight didn't take off until 8:40 am. Apparently, the flight was on a hold due to traffic restrictions at LAX; one of the runways was closed. I haven't flown into LAX since 2005.

Landing a little before 10:00 am, I picked a rental car and wound my way to Glendale Medical Center. Although I have spent lots of time in Southern California, I am always amazed at the traffic. I spent the afternoon in a SoCal Region IT Planning meeting.

At the end of the day, I headed to Burbank. I spent one night at the Residence Inn Los Angeles Burbank Downtown.

I met Drew for dinner at All'Acqua. I have to laugh because for some reason I though it was a Mexican restaurant. I didn't realize that it was an Italian restaurant until we had been sitting at the table for 10 minutes.

We had a very nice dinner of Polpettine Alla Norcina [the butcher’s meatballs braised in tomato sauce, whipped ricotta], Bucatini Cacio e Pepe [pecorino, parmigiano, black pepper] and a Margherita pizza [mozzarella, basil, parmigiano, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil]. I really enjoyed have a chance to spend some time with him!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: One and Not Done

While Sharon was in DC, I watched One and Not Done. This is the sixteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

The documentary follows the career of John Calipari. From 1988 to 1996 at the University of Massachusetts, Calipari led the Minutemen program to five consecutive Atlantic 10 titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, including periods where the program was ranked first nationally. He was 29 years old when he started coaching UMass.

From 1996 to 1999, Calipari coached the NBA New Jersey Nets. The Nets made the playoffs in the 1997-1998 session as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Calipari became head coach at the University of Memphis beginning in 2000–01. Calipari's Memphis teams posted nine consecutive 20-win seasons and an NCAA record four consecutive 30-win seasons.

On March 30, 2009, Calipari become coach at Kentucky. In the 2010-11 season, Calipsri won his first NCAA Championship and Kentucky had a NCAA record 38-win season.

During the course of his career, Calipari has recruited a fairly amazing array of players. This includes Marcus Camby at Mass, Derrick Rose at Memphis and John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns at Kentucky.

Calipari has become synonymous with the approach of recruiting the best players for one year and sending them off to the NBA. One of his Kentucky teams had all five of the starters drafted in the first round. As you might expect, Calipari's tenures at Mass and Memphis were marked with NCAA sanctions.

I am not a college basketball fan, but I enjoyed this documentary. Jonathan Hock does a very solid job story telling. I have to agree with Jalen Rose's comments that the idea of amateur sports taking place within the confines of a multibillion-dollar business is ludicrous.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

A busy day... Sharon, Tiber and I started our day with a three mile loop around Ancil Hoffman Park. Afterwards, I made fried eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast.

Getting cleaned up, we headed to the Palladio Luxe theater in Folsom. We saw an early showing of Snatched. When I started looking for tickets on Thursday, most of the shows of Snatched were almost sold out at this theater. After some discussion on Friday night, we ended up buying tickets in the front row [A3, A4]. Sharon really enjoyed the movie! It was a good Mother's Day movie.

From there, we headed to the Arden Fair Mall. Last year, Sharon bought me an Apple Watch for Father's Day. Sharon finally decided she wanted one. I returned the favor and bought her an Apple Watch for Mother's Day this year.

Sharon's brother Tom came over for dinner. We finished the day with a great dinner of rack of lamb, squash and tomatoes.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2nd Saturday Art Walk

Sharon and I took an Uber downtown and met Donna and Kevin at Lucca's. The plan for the night was to explore a number of art galleries as part of the 2nd Saturday Art Walk and then finish with dinner at Lucca's.

Walking east, our stops included: Viewpoint Gallery; Little Relics; Art Asylum; B Sakato Garo and Tim Collom Gallery. These were all in block bounded by I and J Streets and 20th and 21st Streets. After walking through a street fair on 20th between J and K Streets, we made one more stop at the Kennedy Art Center.

We finished the night back at Lucca's for dinner. Sharon had salmon, while I had spicy penne pasta. After a nightcap at the bar with Kevin and Donna, we grabbed an Uber and headed home.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wild

With Sharon in DC, I watched Wild as an iTunes rental last Friday night. This is still part of my continuing effort to see all of the Oscar nominated films.

The screenplay is based on Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. I bought the book in April of 2013 after listening to the author on a podcast. Sharon read the book and then saw the movie in the theater with Liz. I never got around to reading the book or seeing the movie.

The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Strayed with Laura Dern as Strayed's mother and Thomas Sadoski as her ex-husband. Both actresses received Academy Award nominations for their performances, in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

I was pleasantly surprised by the film. The film does a nice job of telling Strayed's story. Sharon said the book is even better than the film. I need to go back and read the book at some point.

I continue to toy with the idea of hiking all or parts of the PCT someday. I have the trail guides on my nightstand...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nevada Historical Marker #129

Wandering home from the Petersen Shootout, I made a circuit around the Carson Valley stopping at a number of Nevada Historical Markers, including: Luther Canyon (Fay Canyon) [#118]; Walley's Hot Springs [#120]; Pottsville [#121]; Sheridan [#122]; Gardnerville [#129]; Minden [#130]; Dresslerville [#131] and Boyd Toll Road [#142].

Gardnerville
Nevada Historical Marker #129

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located at 1430 US Hwy 395 N, Gardnerville, Douglas County, Nevada. There are 17 other historical markers in Douglas County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 56' 26.7" N 119° 44' 55.8" W.

Nevada Historical Marker #129

Early Gardnerville served the farming community and teamsters hauling local produce to booming Bodie. The first buildings were a blacksmith shop, a saloon and the Gardnerville Hotel. The latter was moved by Lawrence Gilman in 1879 from the emigrant trail between Genoa and Walley's Hot Springs, where it was known as Kent House, to this site, the homestead of John M. Gardner.

Just as Genoa was the center for British settlers (largely Mormon) after 1851, so Gardnerville, after 1879, became the center for 1870 Danish immigrants. They founded the Valhalla Society in 1885 and met in Valhalla Hall--now gone.

Starting in 1898, Spanish and French Basque shepherds tended some 13,000 sheep in Carson Valley, increasing to 25,000 by 1925, when the Basques began acquiring their own sheep and land. After 1918, several Basques in Gardnerville opened inns which flourished during the Prohibition years.


Nevada Historical Marker #129

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Jack is Back! [2017 Sharon in DC Day 5]

Sharon and Jack caught a 9:45 am United Flight from Reagan to Chicago O'Hare and then a 12:00 pm United flight to Sacramento. They landed on the ground a little after 2:30 pm; they were almost 30 minutes ahead of schedule. I scooped them up at the curb and Jack drove home.

Jack has finished his first year at Georgetown University! It is hard to believe. It is going to be nice to have him home for the summer.

Monday, May 08, 2017

2017 Sharon in DC Day 4

Done with Freshman yearAlthough he still has a ten page paper to finish by Friday, Jack had his last final of the semester on Monday morning. Sharon met him on campus after the exam. The plan for the day was to pack and clean his dorm room. Sharon and I had reserved three large boxes from the Corp. Sharon had fretted about where to get the empty boxes and where to drop off the full boxes, but everything went smoothly.

After some burgers at the Leavy Center, Jack sold some books and returned a few rented books. They finished cleaning up the room and packing three large bags. They dragged everything back to the Georgetown Marriott.

Sharon and Jack finished the day with dinner at Nora's Restaurant. With the chef retiring, this restaurant is closing this year after 40 years in business. Sharon was unenthusiastic about meal...

140,943 Steps

--  #HealthySelfie within.gs/hm

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Frame Family Dinner plus 2017 Sharon in DC Day 3

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.

With Sharon in DC, I headed over to Tom's a little after 2 pm. The group included Tom, Eric, Kevin, Tim, Kathy, Teri, Steve, and I. Tom served beef stifado (Greek beef stew) for dinner.

Sharon packed up and moved from Mary's apartment to the Georgetown Marriott. She was pleasantly surprised to get into her room at a little after 11:00 am.

Sharon had lunch with Jack in Georgetown at Chipotle. Afterwards, she shopped and wandered around Georgetown.

Sharon and Mary finished the day with dinner at the Capitol Grill. We had dinner there with Mary in 2011.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

2017 Sharon in DC Day 2

Sharon and Mary spent a busy day in Washington, DC, including:
  • toured the Phillips Collection;
  • visited the Albania Embassy;
  • walked by Ivanka Trump's house;
  • tried to walk by the Obama's house, but the street was blocked off;
  • stopped at the Sovereign (we stopped there during the fall family weekend);
  • visited with Jack (Sharon said that she was shocked at how much he looked like Drew!);
  • watched the Kentucky Derby at Martin's Tavern;
  • met Liz and her friend for burgers at Martin's Tavern;
  • walked through Georgetown back and through the campus; and,
  • took an Uber back to Mary's apartment.

Friday, May 05, 2017

2017 Sharon in DC Day 1

Up at 4:15 am, I took Sharon to the airport to catch a 7:00 am nonstop United flight from Sacramento to Dulles. In spite of my recent experiences, her plane was 2/3s full and she got an exit row all to herself.

Landing a little after 3:00 pm eastern time, Sharon picked up her luggage, grabbed a cab and made it to Mary Maloney's apartment in less than an hour. She is spending two nights with Mary. They finished the night with dinner at Jaleo. We had lunch at this restaurant when we were in DC in 2011.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence

My book for May was The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence by Robert Klara. This is part of my long term project to read books about all of the presidents. I stumbled upon this book when I was reading one of Klara's other books. It was a nice follow-up to the No Ordinary Time book that I read.

We got a chance to tour the White House in 2011. I was very surprised to learn that they essentially gutted the house during Truman's second term. They left the facade and built a concrete and steel interior.

In addition to a good summary of the White House reconstruction, the book is a nice look at the Truman presidency. It is an interesting view of the windup of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Although I read the McCullough Truman biography years ago, I had forgotten that there was an assassination attempt while they were living in the Blair House and that Truman enjoyed going to Key West to relax.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I give it an "A" and recommend it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Nevada Historical Marker #130

Wandering home from the Petersen Shootout, I made a circuit around the Carson Valley stopping at a number of Nevada Historical Markers, including: Luther Canyon (Fay Canyon) [#118]; Walley's Hot Springs [#120]; Pottsville [#121]; Sheridan [#122]; Gardnerville [#129]; Minden [#130]; Dresslerville [#131] and Boyd Toll Road [#142].

Minden
Nevada Historical Marker #130

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located at 1599 Highway 395 N, Minden, Douglas County, Nevada. There are 17 other historical markers in Douglas County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 57'09.9" N 119° 45' 42.8"W.

Nevada Historical Marker #130

Minden, the seat of Douglas County since 1916, was named for a town in Westphalia, Germany, where the founder of the H.F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Company was born in 1829. The company established Minden in 1905 to provide terminal facilities for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, which was then extending a branch line southward from Carson City. The passenger and freight depot was situated at this point.

Principal promoter of the town and its related development was H.F. Dangberg, Jr., secretary of the company and son of the founder.


Nevada Historical Marker #130