Monday, August 19, 2019

145,505 steps

For the second week in a row, I had more than 140,000 steps. The week included three treadmill runs, three Peloton One spin classes and two days trekking back and forth across Disneyland and California Adventure.

145,505 steps

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019 Disneyland - Day 3

Up before 7 am, we packed up the room. We caught an Uber to Orange County Airport and had breakfast at Ducks Breakaway [breakfast burritos].

We caught a 10:40 am Southwest flight from Orange County to Sacramento. I ended up upgrading Sharon's ticket to A4. As a result, we were able to get the nice exit row on the right side of the plane.

We were back in Sacramento just after noon. The luggage came fairly quickly and we were home before 1:15 pm.

My original plan was to head to Marysville for a go-live event at one of our hospitals. After talking to my boss and the teams, they felt that things were quiet enough that it didn't make sense for me to drive there. I attended the 3 pm and 4:30 pm conference calls instead.

Four observations about Disneyland. First, Jack was somewhat unenthusiastic about the new Smugglers Run ride. His point is that his generation is used to a much more interactive experience. If you are a gunner or engineer on the ride, your role is reduced to just pushing buttons. As a gunner, you don't aim; you just push a button. Sharon and I ended up as the pilots both times we rode the ride (a 11% probability...). I found riding in the front as a pilot fairly immersive.

Second, our consensus best ride was Cars. Disney has done a very nice job with this ride. Although there is only one ride and we didn't get into the cantina, I was very impressed with the new Star Wars Galaxy End section of the park. They have done an amazing job creating an overall experience.

Third, I probably pushed us too hard to ride as many rides as possible. We did a great job using the Disney app and the Max Pass to get Fast Passes. We could have wandered the corners of the parks and downtown Disney more. Sharon and I need to go back for two days and take it at a slower pace.

Fourth, I am still very confused about the Magic Morning opportunity. As a hotel guest, you are able to get into the park an hour early. When we went to Disneyland on Saturday morning early, we found a huge group massed at the end of Main Street waiting for majority of the park to open. When the park finally officially opened, there was a stampede for the new Star Wars ride.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

2019 Disneyland - Day 2

2019 Disneyland - Day 2I set the alarm for 6:40 am. We had hoped to be able to make a reservation for the Star Wars Cantina at 7 am, but this went awry. Apparently, you need to make reservations two weeks ahead of time...

We were up moving towards Disneyland by 7:40 am and into the park by 7:50 am. Although we could get into the park early because we were staying in one of the Disney hotels, it seems like most of the park was closed.

At 8 am, there was a stampede towards the new Star Wars ride.  The day ended up including:
  • Thunder Mountain;
  • walked to Galaxy Edge part of the park, only decided the line for Smugglers Run was way too long;
  • breakfast at the Mint Julep Bar {coffee, hot chocolate and beignets);
  • Hyperspace Mountain;
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster;
  • Peter Pan;
  • Cars;
  • an adult beverage from Bayside Brews;
  • Soarin’ Over California;
  • lunch at the Wine Country Trattoria [Sharon and I: Tuscan salad with shrimp; Jack: Fettuccine Shrimp Alfredo];
  • Star Tours;
  • Davy Crockett Canoes;
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run;
  • Jungle cruise;
  • Mr Todd's Wild Ride;
  • an adult beverage from Sonoma Terrace to take in the line for Guardians of the Galaxy (the app said that the line was 55 minutes, but by the time we got there it was 90 minutes so we bailed);
  • Grizzly Peak (Jack and I);
  • Jack and I walked around the Midway at California Adventure;
  • dinner at Catal in Downtown Disney [Sharon: Suckling Pig with Braised Tuscan Kale, Jicama and Grilled Pineapple Salad, Cilantro, Mole Poblano; Jack: Suckling Pig Paella with Chorizo de Bilbao, Shishito, Poblano Chile, Tomatillo, Cilantro, Bomba Rice; me: Traditional Paella with Mussels, Shrimp, Clams, Roasted Chicken, Chorizo de Bilbao, Saffron Bomba Rice, and Peas]
  • Hyperspace Mountain;
  • Small World; and,
  • Splash Mountain (Sharon and Jack).

By the time, we got back to the room it was almost midnight. We all crashed.

Friday, August 16, 2019

2019 Disneyland - Day 1

2019 Disneyland - Day 1

Leaving the house at 7 am, Sharon, Jack and I caught a 9:10 am Southwest flight from Sacramento to Orange County. Collecting our luggage, we caught an Uber to the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland. We are spending the next two night there. Getting to the hotel before 11:30 am, we got a nice surprise: the room was ready.

After getting settled into the room, we headed to Disneyland. We were in the park before noon. The rest of the day included:
  • Lunch at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in the park [Sharon: tostada salad; Jack: nachos; me: enchiladas];
  • Thunder Mountain;
  • Pirates of the Caribbean;
  • Indiana Jones;
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run;
  • Star Tours;
  • Cars;
  • Grizzly Peak (Jack and I made an aborted attempt: the ride broke down, we got off and ended up with a Fast Pass that we didn't use.);
  • an adult beverage in the Hearthstone Lounge in the Grand Californian;
  • Dinner at John Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney [Sharon: shrimp and grits; Jack: bourbon burger; me: jambalaya];
  • Hyperspace Mountain (Jack and I);
  • Indiana Jones (Jack and I);
  • Matterhorn (Sharon rode once as a single before we got there); and,
  • Splash Mountain.

By the time that we got back to the room, it was about 11:45 pm. It was a long day. I have a number of observations about the parks and the rides that I will in the post for Sunday when we are winding our way back home...

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Throwback Thursday - Drew and Morgan - September 1990

Wallen took this picture of Drew and Morgan at East View in September of 1990. Tomasin, Julie, David, Wallen, Drew and I were on our way to a wedding in Mammoth Lakes.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Once upon a Time in Hollywood

Tuesday night, Sharon and Jack went to see Once upon a Time in Hollywood at the Country Club Cinema. Sharon and I saw it about two weeks ago. She noted that having listened to a couple of podcasts about the movie the first hour didn't seem to drag as much as it did the first time; she noticed a number of little things that she missed the first time.

Monday, August 12, 2019

140,393 Steps

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Saga Continues...

After a long running battle with the banks and the courts, our neighbor was finally evicted in July. Last weekend, he came back to collect some of his stuff.

This weekend, a crew came to clean out the house. Walking Tiber, I stopped to talk to one of the guys. He said that the house got them by surprise; there was more stuff to clean out then he expected. They ended up hauling away more than three large trailer loads!

The Saga Continues...

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jack is back!

Jack is back!

Jack caught a 5:20 pm United Flight nonstop from Dulles to Sacramento. He was on the ground in Sacramento just before 8 pm. Sharon and I picked him up. On the way home, Jack ordered a Dominos Pizza from the new store on the corner of Palm and Fair Oaks.

He will be home for just over two weeks before he heads back to start his senior year at Georgetown. The next two months are going to be wild...

Friday, August 09, 2019

Canon East Again...

Janie, Sharon and I finished the week having dinner at Canon East. This is the fourth time this year that Sharon has eaten dinner here [May, February and January].

After drinks on the patio, we split Kusshi Oysters, Prawn Stuffed Squash Blossoms, summer peaches, an heirloom tomato salad and seared ahi tuna. We had a poached peach for dessert.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

At Ancil Hoffman

After work, Sharon and I headed to Ancil Hoffman Golf Course. We had a 6:20 pm tee time.

We had the course pretty much to ourselves. There was a husband and wife twosome in front of us, but nobody behind us. It took us about an hour and 45 minutes to play nine holes.

Playing the front nine, we both carded a 57. Sharon continues to strike the ball very well.

Although I moved the ball a bit at times to improve the lay, my score was less liberal then usual. I have been trying to be more honest lately about counting all of the strokes.

It was a very nice evening. I enjoyed playing a lot...

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Big Littles Lies - Season Two

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched the last two episodes of season two of Big Little Lies. The series is based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty. We finished watching season one in late June. Season two premiered on HBO on June 9, 2019.

Big Little Lies stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz. Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, James Tupper, and Jeffrey Nordling feature in supporting roles. Meryl Streep joined the main cast for the second season.

Season two picks up where season one left off. It explores the repercussions of the death at the end of season one to the Monterey Five. The plot includes a couple of twists that I didn't see coming.

I enjoyed season two; I recommend it. Meryl Streep's performance is particularly amazing. I am sure that she will probably win an Emmy...

Tuesday, August 06, 2019 Fredette’s NBA dreams started and ended in Sac

I never thought that Jimmer would be an NBA player... Fredette was drafted 11th in 2011. It is particularly discouraging to look at who was drafted after him in the same draft: Klay Thompson was drafted 12th; Kawhi Leonard was selected15th, and; Jimmy Butler was taken 30th. Fredette’s NBA dreams started and ended in Sac: ‘No one is more frustrated than Jimmer’ - July 10, 2019

Jimmer Fredette’s NBA hopes and dreams started here eight years ago amid much promise and hype.

And they ended in Sacramento last week, in the Warriors’ locker room in Golden 1 Center, in a city that once embraced him and then wondered whatever happened to Jimmermania.

Fredette was a sure thing who suddenly wasn’t for this fact alone: His prodigious skill set that played out at BYU – a dizzying amount of big shots and 30-point games – did not translate to the NBA.

He was effortless at work in college, but in the NBA, Fredette had to work for everything. This included getting his shot off against defenders longer and quicker. And this nagging question: Was he a point guard or shooting guard?

At 30, Fredette’s work ethic never changed, though his team colors and employers often did. He remained a good teammate, hard working, eager to improve. But you cannot teach quickness and defense, and the NBA affords little opportunity and time for development for journeyman veterans.

When Fredette signed with Golden State’s summer league program in June, he beamed when meeting with the media. His last hurrah in the NBA was a chance to show he belonged.

Fredette said days before the Kings hosted the California Classic, “I believe I’m an NBA player. I believe I can do really great things and be able to help a team in some way. I wanted to give that one more opportunity and be with my family and be able to live here (in the United States). We’ll see what happens.”

What happened was a sobering dose of hoops reality with a reroute back overseas to continue his career. Fredette this week signed with Greek team Panathinaikos of the EuroLeague on a two-year deal.

Fredettte was just a face in the crowd, another roster number in the mix of the four teams at the California Classic, each player eager to catch the right eye. Fredette understood that he had to excel against players much younger and a great deal less heralded.

Fredette averaged 9.5 points on 44 percent shooting in just over 20 minutes of action in two games. He also earned the first technical foul of his American playing career.

I caught up to Fredette in the labyrinth of hallways by the Golden 1 locker rooms, moments after he informed his coaches he was leaving the team, signaling the end of his NBA career. He has since returned to his family home in Denver, with wife Whitney and two young children.

“I’m good,” he said. He was good in appearance, the sure smile and firm hand shake, but inside, Fredette was unsettled. He was informed by coaches that he likely would not have made the Warriors final roster, so he elected to alter course.

Fielding offers from pro teams across the globe, Fredette elected to step aside and not risk injury. This wasn’t quitting as much as it was an effort to find a better fit while allowing someone else his game minutes while the Warriors competed in the Las Vegas Summer League.

It was his final NBA assist.

“I wish him well,” Warriors summer league coach Aaron Miles said. “I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on with him. But I definitely know he has a lot of basketball left in him.”

The coach added, “He still can play. I think he should still play. I should say this – I think he should do whatever he feels is best for him and his family. I know a lot of times as you get older, sometimes it’s more mental than physical. But I don’t know his situation. I don’t know what the reasoning behind it. But he definitely has a lot of basketball left.”

Fredette had Kings fans in 2011 as excited as any rookie in franchise history. He was the No. 10 pick in the draft, by Milwaukee, and quickly acquired by the Kings. His jersey No. 7 was a hot seller.

Kings merchandise sales spiked some 500 percent over a one-year span with three-quarters of the increase tied to Fredette, according to national consumer reports in 2011. Sacramento merchandise outlets regularly sold out of No. 7 garb during his first months with the club.

The Maloofs, who owned the Kings then, were certain they had their next star. But Fredette never again found his basketball groove on American soil.

He bounced from the Kings to the Bulls, Pelicans and Knicks, then had a stint with the NBA’s G-League in New York. He found his game in China over three seasons with the Shanghai Sharks, averaging more than 37 points a game, including 75 in one. He averaged 6.0 points a game in 241 career NBA tilts, including a brief stint late last season when he was signed by Phoenix.

Fredette has long maintained that his family, including parents in New York, his immediate family and his Mormon faith have kept things in proper perspective. Basketball is a game, not real life. But he also uses basketball to make a living.

“He’s still the same guy, hasn’t changed and still wants to compete,” said Greg St. Jean, the former Kings assistant player development coach who got to know Fredette well. They remain in contact and spoke often throughout the California Classic.

“No one is more frustrated than Jimmer,” St. Jean added. “He’ll find his place somewhere. I think if he was coming out of BYU now, he’d still be a high draft pick.”

Fredette was known as “The Lonely Master” during his China stay, which he said was a “double meaning.”

“Lonely in Chinese is ‘Jimmo,’ but it sounds like Jimmer,” Fredette said after first signing with the Warriors. “So to say my name means lonely. It means you’re on the top of the mountain and no one can reach your level.”

Family, faith and hoops still define Fredette, said someone who knows the man as well as anyone.

“I’m so proud of Jimmer on and off the court,” Fredette’s mother, Kay, said from upstate New York. “He was a joy to raise because he seemed to just want to mind his own business, play sports, support his family and friends and live life as a good person who was kind to everyone.

“He is still the same even after all the accolades and attention. He works so hard, every day, trying to get better (in basketball). It’s not easy to do what he does. That’s the life he has chosen for himself and his family.”

She added, “He’s the same. I watched him at some basketball camps we had in Utah (recently) and he took the time to acknowledge every single last fan in the gym. That’s why they love him. He knows he’s not any better than anyone else.

“He’s just a kid, now a young man, who happened to hit in big in basketball. That’s it. He knows what life is really all about.”

Fredette’s career has no global boundaries, and good money can be made in the EuroLeague, where Fredette will reportedly be among the highest paid players. There’s always a market somewhere on the globe for players who can score and entertain.

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs throughout my whole career,” Fredette said. “Through the whole thing, you have to stay even keel and push forward. I had a lot of great opportunities in my life to go to a lot of cool places in basketball, be successful and make great money and be able to play the game that I love. It’s been a true blessing for me.”

Monday, August 05, 2019


Starting the Monday, July 8 after we got back from the east coast, I spent 18 of 24 days in Marysville working to get a project back on track that had been driven into a corn field. I have used this analogy before...

Starting last October, it has been an interesting stretch professionally. This ten month period has included: the Camp Fire; a major production problem with the isilon; the data center move; settling 1,300 employees into a new building, and; now the Rideout project.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Sunday Morning Bike Ride

Sunday Bike RideSunday morning, Sharon and I took a leisurely bike ride around Carmichael. We covered just over nine miles in an hour and thirteen minutes.

We rode to Jensen Botanical Garden. We have driven by this park on Fair Oaks for years, but never stopped. We rode into the back part of the park off of Sutter Street. The back of the park includes the Carmichael Community Garden and an old olive orchard. We need to come back and explore the property without bikes.

From there we headed back towards the house and into Ancil Hoffman Park. We rode along the east side of the golf course to about the seventeen tee. Heading out of the park, we headed home via California to Palm.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Good Riddance

Good Riddance
We had continuous struggles over the last three years with the neighbor at the end our cul-de-sac. He got evicted from the house in the mid of July.

We had heard some noise over the last couple of weeks that he was trying to buy the house back from the bank. Thankfully, it appears that this isn't going to happen.

The bank allowed him to come back today and collect his belongings. Talking to the bank's realtor, this was more than a little bit of a circus. In spite of the fact that he had lost title to the property more than six months ago and the bank has been working to evict him, he never packed up anything!?! He and his family were trying to pack up and load out a 4,300 sq ft house full of possessions in a couple of hours.

The house needs a lot work. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Liz and Laura

Liz and Laura dropped by the house on Friday afternoon. After I did an hour class on the Peloton One bike, I joined them on the deck.

The three of them finished the night at Taiko Sushi. This is a new restaurant at Milagro Centre. We need to take Jack there for dinner when he is home this month.