Sunday, April 14, 2024

2024 Kings versus Trail Blazers

Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Portland Trail Blazers NBA Basketball game. Over the years, he and I have tried to go to the first and last games of the season. With seating for the play-in games at stake, this was the last game of the season. The Kings were in good position to finish in the top six and return to the postseason this year before losing five of six games headed into the season finale.

The Kings led 65 to 37 at halftime and 99 to 58 at the end of the third quarter. They won the game by the score of 121 to 82. With the win and the Lakers win over the Pelicans, the Kings ended the season ninth in the Western Conference. They will host the Warriors on Tuesday night for the 9/10 play-in game. The winner will play the loser of the 7/8 play-in game for a spot in the playoffs.

De'Aaron Fox was the high scorer for the Kings. Fox had 24 points in 26 minutes. He was 10 for 14 from the field, 2 for 3 from three point range and 2 for 2 from the free throw line. The Kings pulled their starters in the fourth quarter and played fifteen different players.

Dalano Banton (?!?) was the high scorer for the Trail Blazers. Banton had 17 points on 6 for 26 from the field, 0 for 15 from three point range and 5 for 6 from the free throw line.

The Trail Blazers dressed only eight players. Due to injuries, the Blazers were missing 10 players who accounted for more than three-quarters of the team's points this season. Portland missed 21 of its first 22 attempts from 3-point range.

The Kings now have 5 wins and 2 losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2023-2024 season.

Saturday, April 13, 2024


Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Sideways. Like last year's The Holdovers, the movie was directed by Alexander Payne and stars Paul Giamatti. Payne also directed The Descendants and Nebraska.

Sideways is a 2004 film directed by Payne and written by Jim Taylor and Payne. It is a a film adaptation of Rex Pickett's 2004 novel of the same name.

The movie follows two men in their forties, Miles Raymond (Giamatti), a depressed teacher and unsuccessful writer, and Jack Cole (Thomas Haden Church), a past-his-prime actor. They take a week-long road trip to Santa Barbara County wine country to celebrate Jack's upcoming wedding. Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen also star as women they encounter during their trip.

Sideways was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Haden Church), Best Supporting Actress (Madsen) and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 77th Academy Awards. It won Best Adapted Screenplay.

Big parts of the movie were filmed along Foxen Canyon Road. Sharon and I wine tasted in this area in October of 2011 and earlier this year in February. While Sharon liked the movie more than I did, my fondest for the movie has increased since we watched it. I am surprised that it was nominated for a best picture Oscar.

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Ridge plus Restaurant Josephine

Sharon and I met Holly and Van at The Ridge in Auburn. I had never played this course before.

I felt great on the driving range. We teed off at 10:50 am. Unfortunately, my success from Thursday didn't carry over. I was very inconsistent and got a little frustrated. I had a couple of nice holes and some great shots, but made a mess of all of the par fives. I ended up with a very, very liberally scored 109. I lost quite a few balls and used a number of mulligans.
After golf, the four of us met Margaret and her husband Dave at Restaurant Josephine in Auburn. Sharon, Holly and Margaret all worked together at the Farm Credit Banks. We haven't seen them since the Wongs hosted a dinner in October of 2018. Sharon and I both had an aspargus salad and halibut. The food was good.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Ancil Hoffman

Sharon and I played nine holes on Thursday afternoon at Ancil Hoffman with Jim and Debbie. We are trying to make this into a regular Thursday afternoon outing.

I felt pretty good on the driving range. For once, it carried over to my play on the course. Working to adopt some of the guiding principles from Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect, I was striking the ball and putting confidently. Using one mulligan on the eighth tee, I ended up with an honest 54.

Afterwards, sitting on the patio and having a cocktail, I was thinking how much I am enjoying retirement.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Parks and Recreation - Season Seven

Sharon and I finished watching season seven of Parks and Recreation in February. We finished watching season one in August of 2023, season two and season three in September of 2023, season four in October of 2023, season five in December 2023 and season six in January 2024.

The seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation aired on the NBC from January 13, 2015, until February 24, 2015. The season consisted of 13 episodes. It stars Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Jim O'Heir, and Retta, with a supporting performance from Billy Eichner.

This season differs from any other season of Parks and Recreation. The season utilizes flash-forwards to show the characters' futures. Set in 2017, three years after the events of Season 6, the season includes Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) new career as Regional Director of the National Park Service, the rise of fictional tech company Gryzzl taking over Pawnee, Leslie's plea to Sweetums for a Pawnee National Park and the eventual career departures of the gang from the Parks department.

Sharon and I watched 125 episodes of Parks and Recreation! When we finished the last episode, we were sad to be done. The show is nice, light entertainment in small bit size pieces. Once you struggle through season one, it is very good. I recommend it.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

San Luis County Landmarks

California State Historical Landmarks
in San Luis Obispo County

NO. 640 Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument - [map] - {35.650972,-121.186139}
NO. 939 Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic) - NITT WITT RIDGE
NO. 1033 RANCHO NIPOMO (Cpt. William G. Dana Rancho)

List of California Counties

Monday, April 08, 2024

Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect

My book for February was Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect. Holly had recommended the book when we were in Truckee last summer. Sharon got the book for Jack for his birthday.

The book was written by sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella. It is a self-help book aimed at golfers of all skill levels. Rotella argues that golfers should focus on developing the right mindset and emotional state, rather than solely on mechanics and technique.

Rotella's key strategies to improve your golf experience include:
  • Shift Focus From Mechanics to Mindset: While practice is important, overthinking swing mechanics during your shot can be detrimental. The book emphasizes trusting your practice and developing a clear, confident mental approach.
  • Embrace the Short Game: Rotella argues that mastering shots within 120 yards of the green has a bigger impact on your score than long drives. Focus practice time on chipping, pitching, and putting for more consistent scoring.
  • Develop a Pre-Shot Routine: Creating a consistent routine helps eliminate distractions and prepares you mentally for each shot. This might involve visualizing your swing, feeling the lie, and picking a clear target.
  • Trust Your First Instinct: Don't overthink club selection or putt reads. The book suggests trusting your initial gut feeling for more decisive play.
  • Let Go of Perfection: Golf is a game of managing misses. Learn to accept mistakes, learn from them, and focus on recovering for the next shot. Target Awareness: Instead of aiming for a wide swath of fairway, pick a specific target on the green for each shot. This narrows your focus and promotes a more precise approach.
  • Manage Your Emotions: Golf can be frustrating. Rotella provides techniques to manage emotions like anger and disappointment, so you can stay focused on the present situation.
  • Develop a Positive Self-Image: Belief in your abilities is crucial. The book offers methods to build confidence and trust in your swing for a more positive outlook.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it. I am working to incorporate his strategies. Only time will tell if it will improve my golf game!

As I have said before, I have always considered myself more of a brute force athlete. As an offensive linemen in football and a prop in rugby, I have always relied more on determination than finesse. My hand eye coordination is not good. It will be interesting to see if some lessons and the right mental attitude can improve my golf score...

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Bouchaine Vineyards

After a stop at the Cabi store at the Napa Outlets, Sharon and I spent the afternoon wine tasting at a member event at Bouchaine Vineyards. We have been wine club members there since 2010.

Sharon won the raffle for the gift basket!

Although we thought that Bouchaine shipped the wine club shipments, apparently, they do not. We had five shipments to pick up!?! Adding on some purchases for Sea Ranch at the end of April, we ended up dragging home a lot of wine.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Tom's Andes and South America Princess Cruise

Friday afternoon, I picked up Tom and the Ryans at the airport. They flew home from Los Angeles after they finished a Princess Cruise. The cruise departed from Santiago and included: La Serena, Chile; Pisco, Peru; Lima, Peru (overnight); Manta, Ecuador (skipped due to political unrest); Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta; Cabo San Lucas, and; Los Angeles.

As part of the trip, they did an extensive pre-cruise tour in Peru that included UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

In Pisco, Peru, Tom did an excursion to see the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are a group of giant geoglyphs etched into the earth in the Nazca Desert of southern Peru. These amazing creations consist of hundreds of prehistoric lines, geometric shapes, and large zoomorphic (animal) and anthropomorphic (human) figures. The Nazca Lines stretch for over 190 square miles . They were created by the Nazca culture, who flourished between 200 BC and 500 AD, by removing the reddish pebbles from the desert surface to expose the lighter colored earth underneath. The lines vary in width from a few centimeters to several meters and some stretch for kilometers. The massive scale of the Nazca Lines means they can only be fully appreciated from the air.

I didn't realize until after Tom left that the cruise included Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. At Cabo, Tom did an excursion to Todos Santos! The Wallens built a house there. Sharon and I visited in Todos Santos in 2022.

Friday, April 05, 2024


I facetimed with Nooter for about forty-five minutes on Friday morning. We caught up on old man aliments, kids, mutual acquintences and life in general. He and Barb were at their house in Charlottesville.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

California Historical Landmark #640

We toured Hearst Castle on Day Seven of our California Road Trip.

Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
California State Historical Landmark #640

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located in the Hearst Castle Visitor Center at 700 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon. There are 12 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Luis Obispo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 35° 39' 03.5" N 121° 11' 10.1" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #640

HEARST SAN SIMEON STATE HISTORICAL MONUMENT - Here on the historic Rancho Piedra Blanca, between 1919 and 1947, William Randolph Hearst created La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), including La Casa Grande and adjacent buildings with their rare art treasures and beautiful gardens.

The Hearst Corporation presented it to the State of California in 1958 as a memorial to William Randolph Hearst, donated in the name of his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst.

California Historical Landmark #640

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Beginning of Ordinary Time

Sharon and I spent Wednesday afternoon taking down and packing up the Easter decorations.

Over the last twenty-eight years, Sharon and I have lived into a rhythm of decorating the house. Beginning Labor Day, Sharon starts to decorate the house with fall decorations. Before Thanksgiving, we switch the house to Christmas decorations. About five years ago, we started decorating the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving rather the weekend after. It is nice not to have to spend the weekend after Thanksgiving decorating.

Sharon has started to accumulate more Valentines Day decorations that she puts up after we take down the Christmas decorations. After Valentines Day, the house transitions to Easter.

After we take the Easter decorations down, we have started calling it "Ordinary Time." This lasts about four months from Easter to Labor Day.

As a footnote, Sharon has started to collect a few summer decorations. It will be interesting to see if this takes on a life of its own...

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Dune: Part Two [Date Night]

Tuesday afternoon, I took Sharon to see Dune: Part Two as a date night. Jack, Sharon and I saw Part One in October of 2021.

The movie is a science fiction film directed and produced by Denis Villeneuve [Arrival]. He co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts. It is a sequel to Dune. The two films are an adaptation of the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

Timothée Chalamet [Call Me by Your Name], Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem reprise their roles from the first film. Austin Butler [Elvis], Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, and Souheila Yacoub join the ensemble cast.

The film follows Paul Atreides as he unites with the Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis to wage war against House Harkonnen. Paul struggles to fulfill his destiny, navigate the web of political intrigue, and control his burgeoning power.

It has been more than twenty years since I read the book. I probably should have watched the first part again before we watched Part Two. Sharon was asking me a number of specific questions about the plot details in the car after the movie and I could have used a little more background from the book and part one. Sharon is not a huge science fiction fan, but she said that she enjoyed the movie. I recommend it.

Monday, April 01, 2024

What's Up, Doc?

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched What's Up, Doc? Sharon read Barbara Streisand's biography My Name is Barbara and we have been working our way through a number of Streisand's films. We watched A Star is Born in December, The Way We Were in January and Funny Girl in March.

What's Up, Doc? is a 1972 American screwball comedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It was intended to pay homage to comedy films of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, especially Bringing Up Baby and Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny cartoons. The film was loosely based on the 1971 novel A Glimpse of Tiger by Herman Raucher.

The film stars Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal [Love Story]. The supporting cast includes Madeline Kahn; she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her role.

What's Up, Doc? became the third highest-grossing film of 1972. It won the Writers Guild of America (WGA) 1973 "Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen" award for Buck Henry, David Newman, and Robert Benton.

Although I was impressed with Streisand's acting, the movie hasn't aged well. It relies heavily on slapstick and physical comedy. Some of the gags feel dated by today's standards. I did enjoy that it was filmed in San Francisco. Overall, I don't recommend it.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter 2024

With Tom on a South American Cruise, Jack working and Drew and Carmen in Chico, we decided to do something different for Easter. We had Morgan, Daniel, Lee and Clem over for an early Easter Dinner on Saturday.

After a hike around Ancil Hoffman Park on Sunday morning, Sharon and I got cleaned up and headed to the Ryde Hotel in the Delta for their Easter Brunch. We had a nice table on the back lawn. The food was good. The facility is more than a little rundown...

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Early Easter Dinner with Morgan, Daniel, Lee and Clem

We hosted Morgan, Daniel, Lee and Clem for an early Easter dinner on Saturday afternoon.

Lee had a great time doing an Easter Egg hunt in the house and on the back deck.

All of us took Tiber for a walk in the neighborhood.

We had a nice dinner of honey-baked ham, au gratin potatoes, green beans and rolls with carrot cake for dessert.

I love having them so close!

Sharon and I finished the day watching What's Up, Doc? with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.

Friday, March 29, 2024

California Historical Landmark #721

I explored this waymark on Day Ten of our California Road Trip.

Hill-Carrillo Adobe
California State Historical Landmark #721

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at 11 East Carrillo Street, San Barbara, California. There are 16 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Barbara County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 34°25'18.9"N 119°42'06.2"W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #721

Built in 1826 by Daniel Hill of Massachusetts for his bride Rafaela Luisa Ortega Y Olivera, granddaughter of Jose Francisco Ortega, Founder and First Comandante of the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara. Later Occupied by the family of Guillermo Carrillo. Here in 1850, the first city council met. Preserved and Presented to the Santa Barbara Foundation by Major and MRs. Max C. Fleischmann.

California Historical Landmark #721

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Ancil Hoffman

After a late night with Tomasin, I was up at 6 am. I wound my way back to Carmichael.

The plan for the day was golf with the Sanborns. The Sanborns moved to South Carolina in April of 2021. They recently sold the house in South Carolina, are living in a condo in Natomas and having a house built at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson Nevada. While Sharon and I ran into Marlene randomly in 2022, I haven't seen Phil since my birthday in 2020.

The four of us teed off at 11:16 pm. Using a couple of mulligans, I ended up with a liberally scored 115. I feel like I am striking the ball better, but I remain wildly inconsistent. While I have faith in my putting, I continue to struggle with my short game inside about 25 yards. Like the last couple of rounds, I am really struggling from the tee starting about the thirteenth. I need to get back and take some more Golftec lessons!
We finished the night with dinner at our house. I barbecued a couple of filet migons. Sharon made a pasta and rice dish that Hood served us when we visited them in February.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


Wednesday afternoon, I headed to Santa Rosa to connect with Tomasin. One of my goals for retirement is to spend more quality time with friends. I feel like I have failed in this regard. While I am really enjoying retirement, it is part of a larger discussion about how I don't feel like we have established a rhythm. Every day and week is very different.

After visiting for a while at his house, we barhopped to the Dry Creek General Store and then to Jake and Zeke's. Tomasin, Julie and I finished the night with dinner at Tomi Thai in Windsor.

I crashed at their house for the night.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Morgan, Daniel, Lee & Clem

On the way back from skiing at Sierra at Tahoe, Drew and I stopped and visited with Morgan, Daniel, Lee and Clem.

Sierra At Tahoe

After we went to the basketball game, Drew spent Monday night with us. Up early, he and I headed to Sierra at Tahoe. I skiied there last year with Drew, Tomasin and Glenn. This is the second time that I have skiied this year; I skiied with Larkin at Northstar at the end of January. I am hoping to ski at Northstar one more time this year.

I took it pretty easy; I was not very aggressive. Drew skiied a couple of runs by himself after lunch. I was surprised that the snow was starting to get heavy after lunch.

We quit about 2 pm and headed to Morgan and Daniel's apartment in Placerville.

Monday, March 25, 2024

2024 Kings versus 76ers

Drew and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Philadelphia 76ers NBA Basketball game. Drew got his seats upgraded by his ticket representative to section 121, row FF, seats 1 and 2. The seats had Club Access. I have had a chance to go there twice before with Phil Sanborn [2017 Kings versus Pacers and 2017 Kings versus Grizzlies]. While nice, it was very crowded and doesn't compare to the club level at Chase Center.

Leading 60 to 48 at halftime, the Kings cruised to a 108 to 96 victory. As Drew noted, it was nice to see a win that was a nail-biter.

Keegan Murray and De'Aaron Fox were the high scorers for the Kings. They both had 23 points. Murray was 9 for 20 from the field, 3 for 11 from three and 2 for 3 from the free throw line, while Fox was 8 for 18 from the field, 2 for 6 from three and 5 for 6 from the free throw line.

Sabonis posted his 54th consecutive double-double, breaking a tie with Kevin Love for the longest streak since the 1976-77 merger between the NBA and ABA. Sabonis is nowhere close to the all-time record of 227 straight double-doubles held by Chamberlain, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tyrese Maxey was the high scorer for the 76ers. Maxey had 29 points on 10 for 16 from the field, 5 for 7 from three and 4 for 6 from the free throw line. Maxey scored Philadelphia's first 16 points and was a one-man show offensively in the first quarter with 21 of the 25 points (84%) for the 76ers.

The Kings now have 4 wins and 2 losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2023-2024 season.