Saturday, June 15, 2024

a hike and a wedding


After another mediocre breakfast at the hotel, Sharon and I headed to Griffith Park. We hiked the Fern Dell Nature Trail to the West Observatory Trail up to the Griffth Observatory. We spent a little time wandering the exhibits in the observatory. We hiked down the East Observatory Trail back to the car. In total, we covered 3.11 miles in an hour and forty-three minutes of moving time. It was a 610 foot elevation gain.


We had lunch at the Cara Hotel. We both had a avocado, beet and grapefruit salad. I had mine with grilled chicken breast on top, while Sharon added roasted Scottish salmon.

Crashing back at the hotel, we watched the US Open golf tournament. Holly and Van spent the morning playing the Hansen Dam Golf Course with some friends.

Eventually, we got cleaned up and dressed for the wedding. Holly, Van, Sharon and I caught a 4:45 pm shuttle from the Residence Inn to the Chevy Chase Country Club.

It was an interesting wedding ceremony. It is the first Jewish wedding that I have attended.

With an early start planned for Sunday, the four of us caught the 10 pm shuttle back to the hotel.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Angeles National Golf Club

While Sharon was getting ready in the morning, I went the fitness center and did a Peloton light weights and arms workout. Afterwards, Sharon and I had breakfast at the hotel; the food was mediocre at best.

After breakfast, Sharon decided to do some yoga so I went back to the fitness center and did a twenty minute low impact Peloton bike ride with Emma.

The plan for the day was golf at the Angeles National Golf Club with Holly and Van. Over the last two weeks, I have had two Golftec lessons and been to the range three times. Unforunately, warming up on the driving range, I felt very out of sync. I have surprised; I have been pleased with my work on the range over the last two weeks.

I had a very rough start. I had too many things bouncing around in my head. I had seven penalty strokes for lost balls in the first eight holes. Starting about the ninth hole, I started to strike the ball a little better. Grabbing a cocktail at the turn, I relaxed and played better on the back nine.

Both Van and I had read some harsh reviews of the golf course. I enjoyed it. It is definitely a desert course, but the fairways and the greens were in pretty good shape. A lot of the men's tee required you to hit over a lot of shit to get to the fairways...

I ended up with an extremely liberally scored 111.
Venetian tavern: In Venice, "bacari" refers to traditional small, casual taverns where people gather for drinks and cicchetti (small savory snacks).
After getting cleaned up at the hotel, the four of us walked to dinner at Bacari GDL. We split a number of small plates, including: Lamb Hummus; Sea Bass; Mediterranean Street Corn; Shrimp Ceviche; Grilled Asparagus, and; Brussel Sprouts.

From there, we walked to Damon's Steak House for the welcome party for the wedding. We eventually wandered back to the hotel and crashed about 10:30 pm.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

To Glendale

We are spending a long weekend in Southern California to attend a wedding for a women [Alexander] that worked with Sharon and Holly.

Sharon and I rolled from Carmichael about 8:15 am. We stopped in Lathrop for gas and then at the Wesley Rest Area to switch drivers. I drove from the Rest Area to Harris Ranch.

We had lunch at Harris Ranch. We both had a Westside Cobb Salad [Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce, diced Tomatoes, Corn, Sliced Almonds, Dry Bleu Cheese, Avocado & Chilled Tri-Tip, tossed in Ranch Dressing].

While we were at lunch, Holly and Van passed us. Sharon drove to Wheeler Ridge where we switched drivers again.
We pulled up to the Residence Inn Los Angeles Glendale just before 4:00 pm. The travel time was about six hours and forty-five minutes. I stayed at this hotel a number of times when I was working for Adventist Health.

After getting settled in the room, I wandered down to Fitness Center and ran three miles on the treadmill.

We met Holly and Van in the lobby about 6:45 pm. The four of us walked to dinner at Din Tai Fung. Although the location has changed, Sharon, Jack, Drew and I ate there in December of 2013. Holly did the ordering. We had:
Walking back to the hotel, Sharon and I crashed about 10 pm.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The New Look

Sharon and I finished watching The New Look on AppleTV+.

The New Look is an biographical drama television series created by Todd A. Kessler that premiered on Apple TV+ on February 14, 2024. There were ten episodes. A second season is in development.

The series stars Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior and Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel. The supporting cast includes Maisie Williams, John Malkovich, Emily Mortimer, and Claes Bang.

Dior and Chanel are depicted living in Paris during the Nazi occupation. After the liberation, the show follows Christian Dior as he created his fashion line that unofficially got named the "New Look." Chanel struggles to regain control of her business and avoid being prosecuted as a Nazi collaborator.

I am fascinated by the idea that people were living and working in Paris under Nazi occupation. I read a volume of Picasso' biography that took place while he was living and working in Paris during the 1940s. The New Look also provides a look at the chaotic period after Paris was liberated. Overall, I give the show a lukewarm recommendation; it is interesting, but not compelling.

[Note to self], I am interested in looking for a biography about Coco Chanel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Golftec

I took another Golftec lesson on Tuesday morning. I am really enjoying the lessons.

The lesson focused on getting more shoulder and hip rotation by pushing my right hip out and back and straighting my right leg in the back swing.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Zero Dark Thirty

Saturday night, I watched Zero Dark Thirty. It has been on my list of films to watch for some time; I downloaded it to my iPad to watch on the trip to England and Scotland, but never got around to it. I read Countdown bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the Mastermind of 9/11 to Justice by Chris Wallace several years ago.

Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 historical drama thriller film directed and co-produced by Kathryn Bigelow. It was written and co-produced by Mark Boal. Jessica Chastain stars as Maya, a fictional CIA intelligence analyst, with a large supporting cast that includes James Gandolfini and Chris Pratt.

The film dramatizes the nearly decade-long international manhunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist network Al-Qaeda. This search leads to the discovery of his compound in Pakistan and the U.S. military raid where bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011.

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated in five categories at the 85th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress for Chastain, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. It won Best Sound Editing in a tie with Skyfall. It earned four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Chastain, who won.

I was surprised by the portrayal of the interrogation of prisoners as a intelligence-gathering tool; there is quite a bit of torture depicted. I has also surprised by how long the Seal Team was on the ground in Pakistan. It seemed like the raid took forever. Reading about the actual raid afterwards, the team was on the ground for 40 minutes. It is remarkable that there wasn't a Pakistani military response.

I recommend the film.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Graduation Party

Sunday evening, we went to a graduation party in Davis. We went to Sandy's daughter Kathryn's high school graduation party. Sandy was a childhood friend of Sharon's. Sharon and Sandy grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the grammar school and high school together. More than seventeen years ago, we went to Kathryn's first birthday party!

Sharon ran into her first boss at the party. Straight out of law school in 1987, Sharon worked for Calfee and Young in Woodland. Dave Calfee was at the graduation party.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Back from Lake County

Up fairly early, Tomasin and I took their dog for a walk through the neighborhood. Afterwards, Tomasin, Snipes and I went to breakfast at Lyndall's Sports Stop Grill in Kelseyville.

Back at the doublewide, we visited on the deck. Snipes and I eventually rolled about 11:45 pm. We were back in Davis about 1:30 pm. I really enjoyed the time in the car with Snipes; we had an extended opportunity to catch up and explore a number of topics.

I fought my way back across the causeway. I was home about 2:30 pm. I picked up Tiber at 3:00 pm.

I finished the day watching Zero Dark Thirty.

A footnote. Sharon spent the day in San Francisco. She had breakfast with Jack. Laura arrived in the morning. Sharon and Laura went to the de Young Museum; they toured the two special exhibitions: Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style, and; Bouquets to Art 2024. They had a cocktail at the PeaceKeeper and dinner at Del Popolo. Sharon and Laura finished day seeing the comedian Wanda Sykes. They spent the night at the Mark Hopkins.

Friday, June 07, 2024

To Lake County

Slogging my way across the causeway to Davis, I picked Snipes up about 1:15 pm. We headed to the Tomasins' doublewide in Lake County. With the Friday afternoon traffic, it took about two hours.

This is the first time I have been to their doublewide in Lake County. I was surprised and embarrassed to realize that they have owned the place for twenty-two years. They bought it when David was a sophomore in high school.

After visiting for a while, Tomasin, Julie, Snipes and I headed to the Richmond Park and Grill. From there, we went to Kelseyville. We stopped at The Brick Tavern.

The four of us had dinner at the Saw Shop Public House. I had SHRIMP AND BRUSSEL SPROUT LINGUINE [SAUTEED SHRIMP, CHARRED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND ROASTED GARLIC SERVED WITH A CHORIZO CREAM SAUCE AND TOPPED WITH FRESH HERBS AND PARMESAN CHEESE]. After dinner, we listened to The Fargo Brothers Band.

On the way back to the doublewide, we stopped briefly at the Konocti Harbor Resort. The restaurant and bar had already closed.

I crashed hard about 10:30 pm.

A footnote. Taking off early Friday, Sharon spent the day in San Francisco. She and Jack played golf at TPC Harding Park. They had dinner at AltoVino. Sharon spent the night at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Global Entry Interviews

When we came back from England and Scotland last June, we walked into a giant passport control mess in Chicago. There were thousands of people in line. Afterwards, we signed up for Global Entry, but could never find an interview time. We encountered the same mess when we landed in San Francisco on the way back from Egypt. Both times, I used the mobile passport control app to get us into a shorter line. With Tom breezing through with Global Entry both times, I was frustrated.

I finally found and made some interview appointments for a location near LAX on our California Road Trip in February. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring our passports.

Sharon finally got some interviews for us at SFO. We spent the day traveling to the airport and back. The interview itself lasted less than five minutes! We are now approved for Global Entry! We will be able to use it twice this year.

Afterwards, we had lunch at Mykonos in Burlingame. We had two Greek Spreads, including Tirokafteri [roasted bell pepper, imported spicy herbs & feta cheese]. We split Beet Salad [roasted beets, spinach, pumpkin seeds fresh orange, feta cheese and orange dressing], Keftedes [grilled lamb & beef meatballs bed of tomato sauce] and Octopus [grilled sparish octopus with lemon, oregano & olive oil].

It was about 4:45 pm by the time that we got back to Carmichael. It was almost a three hour slog home in the traffic.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Golftec

I am back taking a series of Golftec lessons to improve my golf swing. I signed up for five more lessons and took the first one this morning. I have a lot of work to do on my swing.

Things to remember on the range over the next week include:
  • stand straight, less knee bend;
  • drive left shoulder down;
  • left arm straight, no elbow bend;
  • drive hands towards right hip pocket on down swing; and,
  • finish towards the right.

Monday, June 03, 2024

Dinner with Morgan, Daniel, Lee and Clem

Sunday evening, Sharon and I took Lee back to Morgan and Daniel's apartment. They made a great dinner of bread, salad, pasta and tiramisu for us.

Morgan had this bulletin board of pictures next to their dining table!

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Friday, May 31, 2024

Neighborhood Book Club Afternoon Movie

Friday afternoon, Sharon went to Michelle's house for the Neighborhood Book Club afternoon movie. The group included Jill, Michele, Debi and Sharon. They watched Zodiac. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Eagles Vines

Holly, Van, Sharon and I played Eagles Vines Golf Club. Holly and Van picked us up at 9 am; Van drove. We teed off at 11:24 am. Sharon rode with Holly, while I was with Van.

I made a mess of the first couple of holes, but then started to settle down. I was striking the ball pretty well on the back nine. With three penalty strokes for lost balls and a couple of mulligans, I ended up shooting a liberally scored 111. I have been going to the range at least once a week for the last three weeks; it is definitely helping. I am restarting Golftec lessons on Tuesday.

I really enjoyed the course. It winds through vineyards.
After golf, the four of us went to dinner at the Napa Valley Bistro. Sharon and I split Healthy Garden Fries [Tempura Zucchini Sticks, Asparagus, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Chipotle Aioli, Sambal Sweet Chili Sauce]. I had Spring Vegetable Risotto [Peas, Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Spring Onions, Sky Hill Goat Cheese], while Sharon had Blue Corn Tortilla Encrusted Alaskan Halibut [Corn, Potato, Sweet 100s, Leeks, Wild Mushroom Succotash, Lemongrass-Basil Nage].

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Flight

Monday night, Sharon and I watched Flight. Michelle had mentioned the movie during lunch after pickleball. The movie appeared on multiple critics' 2012 year-end top ten lists and received two nominations at the 85th Academy Awards for Best Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Original Screenplay.

Flight is a drama directed by Robert Zemeckis. It was written by John Gatins and produced by Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Steve Starkey, Zemeckis, and Jack Rapke. The cast includes Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly [Yellowstone], Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman.

The film stars Denzel Washington as William "Whip" Whitaker Sr., an alcoholic airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mechanical failure. He saves nearly everyone on board.

Denzel Washington is very good. He delivers a powerhouse performance as Whip, a deeply flawed character wrestling with his demons. The film doesn't shy away from the ugliness of addiction.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Davis Mafia Zoom Call

Chabrier organized a Rugby Buddies zoom call on Tuesday evening. In addition to Chabrier, the group included Greene, Clayton, Geselbracht, Nooter, Moore, Rehlich, Gribi, Hunter and I. We did some catching up. The discussion focused on trying to schedule an inperson get together in Davis, possibly early September.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Memorial Day


Monday morning, Sharon and I wandered down to Greg and Michelle's house. We played pickleball for about an hour and a half. The group included Greg, Michelle, Jim, Debbie, Sharon and I.

Afterwards, we had lunch in Greg and Michelle's backyard. Greg barbecued burgers and brats. Sharon made a potato salad and Debbie made a fruit salad. After lunch, we hung out by the pool.

During lunch, Michelle mentioned the movie Flight. Sharon and I finished the day watching the movie.

Luka Doncic…

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Survivor 46

Wednesday night, Sharon and I watched the final episode of season 46 of Survivor.

The show was filmed from June 3 to June 28, 2023. It premiered on February 28, 2024 and concluded on May 22, 2024. It was the fourteenth consecutive season to be filmed in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji.

Like seasons 41 to 45, the season observed strict safety protocols. Since season 41, Survivor has featured a reduced 26 days of gameplay with 18 contestants starting in three tribes. Survivor 46 and The Amazing Race 36 retained the 90-minute runtime.

Kenzie Petty was crowned the winner, defeating Charlie Davis and Ben Katzman in a 5-3-0 vote..

I wasn't surprised Kenzie and Charlie made it to the end. It was nice to see someone win that we were actually rooting for. It is interesting that five people went home with idols in their pocket; I wonder if this will have any impact on game play in future seasons. As I have said repeatedly, I would really love to see the show filmed in other locations. Additionally, I think that the use of the sanctuary has gotten very repetitive.