Thursday, December 02, 2021

The Power of the Dog

Thursday night, Jack and Sharon pushed to watch The Power of the Dog on the AppleTV on Netflix. We are starting our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Golddebery.com currently has the film with the best odds to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The Power of the Dog is a western drama written and directed by Jane Campion. It is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch [The Imitation Game and 1917], Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons [Judas and the Black Messiah and The Irishman], and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The film tells the story of two brothers — one magnetic but cruel [Cumberbatch], the other gentle and quiet [Plemons] — and of a mother and son. Their arrival on the brothers’ ranch shatters an already tenuous peace.

When it was over, Sharon said "that was awful." I liked the film more than she did. Cumberbatch's performance and the cinematography are very, very good. I would be shocked in Cumberbatch isn't nominated for Best Actor, but frankly, I would be surprised if it wins the Best Picture Oscar.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

My book for November was Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. This is Weir's third book. I read the Martian in October of 2015 and Artemis in February of 2018. The Martian was made into an Oscar nominated movie starring Matt Damon in 2015.

Set in the near future, the novel centers on school-teacher-turned-astronaut Ryland Grace. He wakes up from a coma on an interstellar starship and has amnesia. He gradually remembers that he was sent to the Tau Ceti solar system, 12 light-years from Earth, to find a means of reversing an event that could cause the extinction of humanity.

This is a much more complicated plot than the Martian. Like the Martian, the main character navigates from one crisis to another. It has two interesting plot twists that I didn't see coming.

I enjoyed the book. I rated Weir's previous books the Martian a strong "B" and Artemis a "B-". I would give Project Hail Mary a higher rating than the Martian, but not quite a "B+".

It will be interesting to see if they try to make this book into a movie.

Monday, November 29, 2021

King Richard

Saturday night, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I watched King Richard on the AppleTV on HBOMax. We are starting our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Golddebery.com currently has King Richard with the third best odds to win the Best Picture Oscar.

King Richard is a biographical drama film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin. It follows the life of Richard Williams. Williams is the father and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. I was surprised to see that Venus and Serena are executive producers for the film.

Will Smith stars as Richards Williams in the title role. Saniyya Sidney [Fences] appears as Venus Williams, while Demi Singleton protrays Serena Williams.

This is a very good film; I recommend it. From my perspective, it is particularly powerful because the events are accurate. I would bet that the movie gets a Best Picture nomination. I am also pretty sure that Will Smith's performance will get a Best Actor nomination.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Celebrating Drew's Birthday

After a walk down to the River on Sunday morninig, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I had brunch at Rey Azteca to celebrate Drew's birthday. This was the first time since 2009 that we actually got a chance to be with Drew on his birthday!?!

Drew stayed with us from Monday through Sunday, while Carmen was here Wednesday to Saturday. It was great to have a chance to spend some time with them!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Deterding Ranch Music Jam

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and Jill organized a music jam around the pool with Drew, Mike, Victor and Audrey. Afterwards, Drew spent some time visiting with Victor and Audrey. They had lived near Silverlake in Southern Californa and knew a number of the same people.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Madi Snipes & The Painted Blue

After I spent a long day putting up Christmas decorations, Jack, Jason, Sharon and I went to Harlow's to see Drew play in Madi Snipes' band. Madi just released Teach Me How To Cry under Drew's Dawson Records label.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021

Although I miss the large Frame Family togethers, we had a very nice holiday. After the Run to Feed the Hungry, I worked with Sharon to pull together the Thanksgiving dinner. Although like last year we got a Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods, we spatchcocked the turkey that came in the Butcher Box.

We had a nice early dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing and a carrot salad [from Carmen]. The group for dinner include Jack, Drew, Carmen, Sharon and I. Morgan, Lee and Daniel spent the day in Paso Robles with Daniel's family.

After dinner, Sharon, Drew, Carmen and I took Tiber for a long walk through Ancil Hoffman Park.

Over the course of the day, Jack, Drew, Carmen and I played two games of Game of Thrones Catan. Drew won a short game before dinner, while Jack won an epic two hour game in the evening. Sharon, Jack, Drew and I also played one game of Unstable Unicorns; Jack won.

We finished the day watching the Saturday Night Live hosted by Kim Kardashian.

2021 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the seventeenth time in the last eightteen years [2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Sharon also missed five years ago when she was feeling under the weather.

With Sharon, Jack, Drew and Carmen planning to walk the 5k, I took off by myself at 7:10 am. For the ninth year in a row, I parked off University Avenue.

I ended up with a chip time of 1:03:30 for a pace of 10:14 minutes per mile. My 5k spilt was 31:13 with a pace of 10:02 minutes per mile. Using RunKeeper, my splits were: Mile 1 - 10:20; Mile 2 - 9:50; Mile 3 - 10:15; Mile 4 - 10:17; Mile 5 - 10:20; and, Mile 6 - 10:26. This is almost exactly the same time as two years ago.

I have come to view this run as a referendum on my fitness. I felt good physically during the run. I am satisfied with the results. I think that this is just about as much speed as I can carry at this point.

Sharon, Jack, Drew and Carmen drove separately. Jack walked the 5k with Emma and Jason. Sharon walked with Drew and Carmen. Sharon said that the 5k was a zoo. They announced the participants in the 10k and 5k at 26,000.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

2021 Kings versus Trailblazers

After going to dinner at Il Fornaio (sea bass piccata), Jack, Drew, Carmen, Sharon and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Portland Trailblazers NBA basketball game. Marvin Bagley made a clutch 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining and the Kings held off the Trailblazers to win by the score of 125 to 121.

Coming off the bench, Buddy Hield was high scorer for the Kings. He had 22 points on 6 for 15 from the field, 5 for 11 from 11 and 5 for 6 from the free throw line. De'Aaron Fox added 21 points.

Damian Lillard [PG] was the high scorer for the Blazers. He had 32 points on 7 for 18 from the field, 3 for 12 from three and 15 for 16 from the free throw line. Jusuf Nurkic [C] added 28 points.

Fox was ejected with 6:06 left after picking up back-to-back technical fouls on a night that included six technicals and two player ejections. Portland's Robert Covington was ejected in the first half for a hostile act after tossing his goggles near the feet of a referee.

Sharon and I connected with Snipes at halftime. He was there with Keith.

The Kings now have one win and one loss in games that I have seen in person during the 2021-2022 season.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Pre-Thanksgiving Family Dinner


With Morgan, Daniel and Lee headed out of town on Wednesday and Drew staying for the week, we pulled everyone together for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Drew and I picked up Chinese food from the Mandarin Restaurant.

The group included Morgan, Daniel, Lee, Drew, Jack, Sharon and I. We had a wonderful time after dinner visiting and watching Lee run back and forth.

Sharon gave Lee some holiday socks that were a big hit. He insisted that he put them on.

Monday, November 22, 2021

2021 Kings versus 76ers

Drew and Jack went to the Sacramento Kings versus Philadelphia 76ers NBA Basketball game. Sharon got two tickets to a suite from her company. The Kings led by nine early in the fourth quarter, but were outscored 25-8 over the final 9:45 and lost by the score of 109 to 94.

De'Aaron Fox was the Kings high scorer. He had 23 points on 7 for 15 from the field, 1 for 4 from three and 8 for 10 from the free throw line.

Tyrese Maxey [PG] was the 76ers high scorer. He has 24 points on 8 for 22 from the field, 0 for 4 from three and 8 for 8 from the free throw line.

After Luke Walton was fired on Sunday, Alvin Gentry made his debut as interim Kings coach. Gentry most recently served as head coach for the New Orleans Pelicans (2015-20). He's also had head coaching stops with Miami, Detroit, the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix.

This is a very disappointing Kings team. Philadelphia played without Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris (left hip) and Seth Curry (back tightness). It is hard for me to see how the Kings can win 37 games; they would have to go 31 and 34 over the rest of the season. It seems likely that they are going to set the record for the longest playoff drought in NBA history.

A game log for the 2021-2022 season is here.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Decorating the House for Christmas

For the third year in a row [2019, 2020], we started decorating the house for Christmas on the weekend before Thanksgiving rather the weekend after. Although I staged some boxes last weekend, there is still a lot to do. I haven't started on the outside.

12th Night

Sunday afternoon, Jack, Sharon, Sharon's brother Tom and I went to see 12th Night at the Actors Workshop of Sacramento. Sharon's nephew Kevin played the fool Feste {Olivia's servant, a jester}.

The play was a modern interpretation of the romantic comedy Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare using Cole Porter music and a 1920's setting. Talking with Jack and Sharon afterwards, my major criticism was the huge age gap between characters linked romantically.

Kevin did a very nice job. We have previously seen him in productions of Kitchen Witches and Our Town.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

2021 Kings versus Jazz {virtual}

My original intention for Saturday night was to watch King Richard, but Jack pulled us into watching the Sacramento Kings versus Utah Jazz NBA basketball game. While in the early 2000s I would often watch Kings games, I rarely sit and watch a game in recent years. Trailing by four points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Kings were blown out in the fourth quarter and lost the game by the score of 123 to 105.

Richaun Holmes was the high scorer for the Kings. He had 22 points on 9 for 10 from the field and 4 for 5 from the free throw line. De'Aaron Fox was 5 for 17 from the field...

Donovan Mitchell was the high scorer for the Jazz. He had 26 points on 11 for 22 from the field, 3 for 7 from three and 1 for 1 from the free throw line.

The game was paused for more than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter to allow workers to clean up after after an overserved fan vomited on the court. The mess was cleared and the fan was escorted away from his courtside seat.

The Kings have lost seven of eight. Fans rained down boos and chanted "Fire Coach Walton!" in the final minutes. On Friday night at dinner, Jack bet me that Walton would be fired before Thanksgiving.

A game log for the 2021-2022 season is here.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Canon

Sharon, Jack and I finished the week with dinner at Canon. We split a number of quick bites, small plates and a platter, including:
  • SHIGOKU OYSTERS [estate vinegars];
  • OLIVE & ROSEMARY FOCCACIA [arrabbiata dipping oil];
  • CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS [urfa chile sauce, orange, garlic, yogurt];
  • HEIRLOOM BEETS [horseradish, everything spice, apple, celery];
  • TREVISO SALAD [bacon-duck crackling, green goddess, radish, persimmon, seaweed];
  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS [roasted pear, sesame, sage, granola];
  • SWEET POTATOES BRAVAS [lemon aioli, paprika, garlic, fried egg];
  • NEW YORK STRIP [blue cheese, honey mustard, summer squash], and;
  • CARROT CAKE [poached quince, cream cheese frosting, gingersnap tuile].
While we have gotten curbside a number of times in the last twenty months, I think that this is the first time that we have eaten in the restaurant since August 2019.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Back from Glendale

Up early, I lifted weights, ran on the treadmill and then did a short Peloton bike workout. I had completely missed the fact that there was a Peloton bike in the exercise room on Wednesday night!?!.

I took the first two meetings from the hotel room and then headed to the Glendale hospital. I spent the day in the Cerner Stability Command Center.

Heading back to the airport in the afternoon and dropping the rental car, I caught a 5:40 pm flight back from Burbank to Sacramento. Boarding with A36 and entering up the back stairs, I was again able to get the best aisle exit row seat on an older 737.

Landing about 7:05 pm, I was back home in Carmichael at 7:45 pm. Jack, Jason and Sharon were playing Uncommon Unicorns in the Garden Room...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

To Glendale

For the first time in almost exactly two years, I am traveling for work. Matt, Tyler and I spent the day going to Glendale and Simi Valley two years ago tomorrow.

My rule of thumb is that if I am not checking a bag, I leave the house an hour and forty-five minutes ahead of the departure time. This time I left an hour and forty minutes ahead of the flight.

The Sacramento Airport now has CLEAR. I signed us up for CLEAR in a moment of frustration in Seattle a couple of years ago. Using CLEAR and TSA Pre, I breezed through security.

I caught a 7:40 am Southwest flight to Burbank. Boarding with A37, I was able to get the best aisle exit row on an older 727. I am fascinated by the fact that people don't go straight for that seat; the flight attendant and I ended up talking about how people want to be close to the front so they can get off the plane quickly.

The plane took off about 20 minutes late. On the ground in Burbank, I picked up a rental car and headed to the Glendale hospital. I spent the day in the Cerner Experience Center.

At the end of day, I checked into the Residence Inn Glendale Loss Angeles. After a run on the treadmill, I walked a couple of blocks to Chiplote for dinner.

Sharon and Jack spent the day in Napa: wine tasting at Donum; having lunch in Yountville, and; shopping at the outlet stores. Drew and Carmen spent the day at Disneyland.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Monday, November 15, 2021

No Time to Die

Sunday morning, Jack, Sharon and I went to see No Time to Die at the Arden 14 and XD. This is the first time that Sharon and I have been in a movie theater since February 1, 2020.

No Time to Die is the twenty-fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It stars Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as the fictional British MI6 agent James Bond.

It is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga [True Detective] from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge [Fleabag]. Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw [Q], Naomie Harris [Moneypenny], Jeffrey Wright [Felix Leiter], Christoph Waltz [Ernst Boifeld], Rory Kinnear [M's Chief of Staff] and Ralph Fiennes [M] reprise their roles from previous films. Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, David Dencik and Dali Benssalah also star in the film.

Bond has left active service with MI6. He is recruited by the CIA to find a kidnapped scientist.

I enjoyed the movie and recommend it. Overall, I give it a B+. Sharon was not happy with the ending.

The opening sequence was filmed in Matera. When we were at dinner with Holly and Van on Saturday night, they mentioned the movie and the city. They are taking a Southern Italy tour that includes Matera in October of 2022.

I have seen all of the James Bond movies. It has been long enough that I probably need to go back and rewatch a few of them.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Jack is Back!

Taking an Uber to National airport on Saturday afternoon, Jack caught an United flight to Chicago. He then took another United flight from Chicago to Sacramento. Jack was on the ground at 10:30 pm. Sharon and I picked him up. It was after 11:30 pm by the time we waited for his luggage and wandered home. Jack is spending a couple of weeks on the west coast.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Lincoln Hills Orchard Course

Sharon and I played the Lincoln Hills Orchard Course with Holly and Van. We played this course with them last December. Mixing things up, I rode with Van, while Sharon rode with Holly.

Warming up on the driving range, I focused on keeping my head and shoulders still. I felt like I was hitting the ball extremely well. I thought that maybe I had unlocked something...

Unfortunately, this didn't translate to a good start. I really struggled for the first five holes. I settled down a little and parred the par 5 eighth hole; I parred the same hole last time we played the course. On the par 3 eleventh hole, I hit a seven iron about four feet from the flag, but two putted for a par. I continue to be widely inconsistent...

After golf, we had a happy hour dinner at Paul Martin's American Grill. Sharon and Holly had a CLASSIC BURGER [Certified Angus Beef, Tillamook cheddar or Danish blue cheese, black pepper aioli, fries]. Van had a SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH [hand-breaded, smothered in signature spicy sauce, arugula, pickles, pickled onions, chili aioli, fries]. I had COLUMBIA RIVER STEELHEAD SANDWICH [grilled salmon, arugula, avocado, pickled onions, spicy remoulade] with a salad.