Friday, October 31, 2003

Halloween 2003

Every year since 1996, we have gone to Sharon's parents on Halloween night. In the past years, the group of kids going out to trick and treat in the neighborhood where Sharon grew up has included Drew, Morgan, Eric, Erin, Kevin, Eileen and Jack. Every year, the group has gotten smaller as the older kids got involved in their own activities. This year, it was down to just Jack! We did run into Brun, Kim, Sara and Velta and went to a couple of houses with them.

This Jack was Rollie Pollie Ollie. Last year in 2002, Jack was Billy, a character from the same cartoon. In 2001, Jack was a lion.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Jack and Sharon worked on carving a pumpkin for Halloween.

After winning five weeks in a row, my fantasy football team, Sacto Rare White Tigers, lost week eight by a score of 101 to 80. My record now stands at 6 wins and 2 losses.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

2003 Kings versus Cavaliers

Larkin and I went to the King's home and season opener on Wednesday night. The Kings beat the Cleveland Cavaliers by a score of 106 to 92. The game was LeBron James' pro debut and it was a media circus. James ended up with 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. Frankly, it was hard to believe that he was an 18 year old kid playing in his first pro game.

Wednesday morning, I was up a little after 4:00 a.m. for a 120 mile three hour drive to Mills-Peninsula Hospital in Millbrae. We had a post implementation meeting for their Lawson HR/Payroll implementation followed by a data center consolidation meeting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

With a healthy Chris Webber, Sports Illustrated predicts Sacramento will beat New Jersey for its first NBA championship!?!

In a survey of twelve ESPN analysts, six picked the Lakers to win it all. while the other six picked the Spurs. Only one of the EPSN analysts [Chad Ford, ESPN Insider] even picked the Kings to make it to the Western Conference Finals. The survey does not predict any individual awards [Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man, Defensive Player, Most Improved or Exec of the Year] for the Kings.

ESPN the Magazine rates the Kings as the fifth best team in the Western Conference, behind the Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks and Timberwolves. Their overview of the team says "the Kings, top to bottom, are no longer the NBA's most talented team" and that any long-shot hope hangs on the health of CWebb."

USAToday's preview of the Basketball season shows the Kings as the fifth best team and predicts that the Spurs will beat the pistons in the NBA Finals.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Sharon has volunteered as the Art Docent for the afternoon Kindergarten class. She spent an hour and a half this afternoon teaching a lesson plan titled "Artists paint People." The lesson talked briefly about Thomas Sully, Edward Manet and Pierre Auguste Renoir. It highlighted a painting by each Artist: The Torn Hat by Sully [shown below]; A Girl with a Watering Can by Renoir and The Fifer by Manet. The lesson uses mirrors to have the kids look at themselves and then draw their portrait.

Afterwards, She spent two plus hours volunteering to work in the extended day program. She had some interesting insights about Jack's ability to run with much bigger kids. Jack is used to having to try and run with bigger kids: Drew and Morgan; Kevin, Erin, Eric and Eileen his cousins; the almanor crowd and Pat's son Ryan. Outside of daycare, he is almost always the youngest wherever we are, except for your kids Brun!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Sharon, Jack and I went to the Western Railroad Museum on Highway 12 between Rio Vista and Suisun. The museum operates trains over a 21 section of track in Solano County. As a special event, pumpkin batch trains are operated Saturdays, October 11th, 18th and 25th and Sundays, October 12th, 19th and 26th. The trains take visitors to the Gum Grove station where the pumpkin patch is located in a wooded glen.

Jack had a good time on the hay fort, the hay ride and the wheat maze. Jack is standing on the top of the hay fort in the picture shown below:

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Sharon spent the afternoon serving as a coordinator for her third wedding at Good Shepherd. She enjoyed this wedding the most of any that she has done so far. She is more experienced and comfortable in the role and the wedding party had its act together.

Jack, Sharon and I went to dinner at the Gainsley's. Donna Gainsley and I have worked together on the Lawson implementations at Sutter over the last five plus years. Mike Kaplan and his wife and Rudy Jugoz were also there for dinner. Donna and Kevin have a nice piece of property in Sheldon.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Sharon worked a wedding rehearsal as a wedding coordinator for the church. It turns out that we can count up to eight hours of her time as a wedding coordinator towards our 30 parent hours for the school.

I spent most of the day in a Technical Management Council (TMC) meeting; the group includes the Regional CIOs and the SHSS IT Directors.

The Kings cut their roster from 18 to 14 after the October 22 pre-season game against the Dallas Mavericks by releasing forwards Mark Strickland and Phil Ricci, guard Brandin Knight and swingman Roberto Bergersen. With Chris Webber and Lawrence Funderburke expected to be placed on the injured list, the Kings appear to have an active roster of 12.

It appears that free agents Jabari Smith and Rodney Buford have made the team. The resulting roster looks like:

10Mike BibbyPG6-1190May 13, 1978
32Rodney BufordGF6-5189Nov. 2, 1977
13Doug ChristieSG6-6205May 9, 1970
21Vlade DivacC7-1260Feb. 3, 1968
51Lawrence FunderburkePF6-9230Dec. 15, 1970
24Bobby JacksonG6-1185Mar. 13, 1973
34Tony MassenburgFC6-9250Jul. 13, 1967
52Brad MillerC7-0261Apr. 12, 1976
8Anthony PeelerSG6-4208Nov. 25, 1969
55Jabari SmithPF6-11240Feb. 12, 1977
25Darius SongailaF6-9248Feb. 14, 1978
16Peja StojakovicSF6-10229Jun. 9, 1977
3Gerald WallaceSF6-7215Jul. 23, 1982
4Chris WebberPF6-10245Mar. 1, 1973

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Up at 2:00 a.m. to help run incident command for a problem encountered during the coordinated downtime. A small problem turned into a three hour marathon due to some confusion on hardware maintenance contracts. First thing in the morning, Yvonne and I met with the CIO to talk about the organization structure. We are working to create a purer engineering group headed by a CTO and a larger operations team. It was a long 14 plus hour day...

Sharon worked in Auburn most of the day for Margaret Heiser. On her way back, She stopped and had dinner with Holly (Wong) Chang. Holly and Sharon job shared the Assistant General Counsel position for a number of years at the AgAmerica/Western Farm Credit Banks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Sharon and her brother Tim went to the Kings preseason game tonight and saw them beat the Dallas Mavericks. The Kings won by a score of 121 to 99.

I spent most of the traveling to, attending and traveling back from the West Bay CIO meeting. The meeting was held at the Sutter Health office in downtown San Francisco.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The web cam and weather station on my home page are back on-line. The desktop computer at home died with a nasty registry error just before we went to Las Vegas. After several late nights in a row, I am just in the process of getting everything back up and running.

My fantasy football team won for the fifth week in a row by a score of 95 to 87. The team's record for the season is 6 wins and 1 loss.

Monday, October 20, 2003

I spent a couple of hours this morning working the registration desk for the Knights of Columbus golf tournament. The tournament was a fund raiser for Jack's school.

Sharon went with Jack's kindergarten class to the Crocker Art Museum Art Ark.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Morgan got a job working at Baskin Robbins!

Last weekend while we were in Las Vegas, Jack stayed with Sharon's brother Tim and his wife Kathy. This weekend, we kept their girls, Erin and Eileen. Friday was Tim and Kathy's 16th wedding anniversary. We did the same thing last year; they kept Jack the weekend of our anniversary and we took their girls the following weekend for their anniversary.

I took Jack and his cousins to church in the morning, while Sharon took them to the movie Good Boy! in the afternoon. Neither Sharon or the kids gave the movie a very good rating...

Saturday, October 18, 2003

After a long weekend in Las Vegas last weekend, we stayed close to home. Both Sharon and I brought colds back with us from Vegas.

I participated in a live draft for a NBA fantasy basketball team on Saturday morning. I am not very satisfied with the team that I drafted. The last couple times I have participated in live drafts I have drafted in the sixth or seventh spot. I prefer to be either higher (one through three) or lower (nine and ten).

Saturday night, we left the kids with a babysitter, had a bite to eat and went to see Intolerable Cruelty.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Although most of the discussion has been about Weber returning in December, he seems to be making good progress rehabbing his knee. In the radio interview I heard that was done during the two hour tour of his rehab, Weber initially said "a couple more weeks" and then immediately back away from the statement.

Peter Vecsey reported in the New York Post that Weber will be suspended five games for lying to the Grand Jury penalty, but the suspension won't be executed until his surgically repaired knee is fully rehabilitated in early to mid-December.

The Kings signed Gerald Wallace through the 2004-05 season when they exercised a $1.65 million option Thursday, two weeks before the deadline.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Jack's school requires 30 parent hours over the course of the school year. Sharon has done some yard duty at recess already and I am going to work at the golf tournament fund raiser next week. One of the things that we volunteered for was prep work for class projects. I spent 45 minutes tonight stapling black construction paper on 37 toilet paper rolls. Apparently, the class is going to use them on Friday to make bats.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Kings have until Oct. 31 to pick up the $1.65 million option on Gerald Wallace's contract for the 2004-2005 season. Wallace showed encouraging improvement during early practices, then made 8 of 28 shots (0.285) in the first three exhibition games and looked lost on defense.

Wallace played better tonight in a lost to Houston; he went 6 for 9 with 15 rebounds.

My fantasy football team won week six by a score of 70 to 55. The team's record improved to 5 wins and 1 loss with four straight wins. This weekend I play the team that I have lost to back in week two.

Monday, October 13, 2003

2003 Las Vegas Day Four

After getting up and packing, Pat Funk picked us up at the hotel and the three of us went to breakfast. Pat dropped us at the airport and we caught a late morning flight back to Sacramento.

Some random thoughts on Las Vegas. I would not stay at New York New York again. The room was nice, but the hotel and casino seem cramped and uninspired compared to many of the other hotels. I would probably choose to stay at the Venetian or the Paris. The Mandalay Bay is nice, but too far to the end of the strip. Sharon liked the Bellagio. As an aside, we also visited the city of Bellagio on Lake Como during our Italian trip in the fall of 1996.

I was dumbfounded by the number of people. There were people everywhere, including lots of families with small children. Las Vegas appears to have become a major family destination resort.

We will probably go back again. We did not get around to doing several things that we had on our list including the Napoleon and Red Square Bars and hiking at Red Rocks.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

2003 Las Vegas Day Three

Sunday morning, we had a light breakfast in "Times Square." Afterwards, we walked past the Excalibur and the Luxor to the Mandalay Bay Hotel to pick up our show tickets. In January of 1996, we stayed one night at the Luxor and one night at the Mirage. We took the tram back to the Excalibur and walked through the casino on our way back to New York New York. The Excalibur would be last on my list of places to stay; in my opinion, the atmosphere is cheesy.

We then took a cab to the Venetian. The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum is within the elaborate structure of Las Vegas's Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. We toured an exhibit titled American Pop Icons. The exhibit featured 28 paintings and sculptures from eight of the precursors and participants in the Pop art movement of the 1950's and 1960's—Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann. Except for maybe one of the Warhol's, I would not pay a nickel for any of the items.

The Venetian includes gondolas, canals and "St. Mark's Square."

Sharon and I visited Venice, Italy in October of 1996. Although I like the Venetian, it is impossible to duplicate the character of a city like Venice.

Sharon had seen a Food Network show on the Cheesecake Factory. We headed over to Caesar's to find the Cheesecake Factory for a late lunch. After lunch we returned to Bellagio where Sharon did some shopping while I checked the NFL scores...

Sunday Night, we went to see Momma Mia! at the Mandalay Bay. We took a taxi back to Venetian for a late dinner at Postrio. After dinner, we actually walked all the way back to New York New York from the Venetian, stopping at the Mirage to watch the volcano and the Bellagio to watch the fountain show.

Las Vegas Day 4

Saturday, October 11, 2003

2003 Las Vegas Day Two

In spite of a late night, we were up early. Before about 9:00 a.m., you could fire a cannon off in the casinos and not hit anyone. We walked over the to the Monte Carlo for breakfast.

Afterwards, we walked north up the strip and wandered through the Aladdin into the connected shopping mall called Desert Passage. Several of the hotels and casinos have very elaborate shopping malls connected to them.

After the Aladdin, we went into the Paris Hotel. The Paris Hotel has a two-thirds replica of the original Arc de Triomphe and a half size replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Those people who know me well know that I am not a heights person. Nevertheless, we went up to the top of the replica. Sharon and I are talking about a trip to France and Holland in 2004 and I thought that going to the top of the replica would be a good warm up for the real thing. Sharon took this picture from the top looking south down the strip.

We headed back to New York New York for lunch. Sharon wanted a pastrami sandwich. We had lunch in a section of the hotel called Times Square. Sharon and I stayed on Times Square in 1998; this section of the hotel bears no resemble to the real Times Square.

While Sharon took a nap, I ran on the hotel treadmill and watched the mayhem of the Yankees and Red Sox in Game 3.

We had an early dinner at Drais in the Barbary Coast. The Barbary Coast is a small, older hotel in the middle of the strip. We had walked by it earlier in the day and were even more skeptical we went got out of the cab and walked into the Casino. We were pleasantly surprised. Drai's was named one of the top 5 Las Vegas Restaurants in the 2001 Zagat Survey. I rarely recommend restaurants, but this is a place I would recommend (warning: it is pricey).

We went to Zumanity at New York New York. Zumanity is billed as another side of Cirque du Soleil.

Las Vegas Day Three

Friday, October 10, 2003

2003 Las Vegas Day One

Sharon and I have tried to make a tradition of taking a trip for our anniversary. In 1997, we spent a week in Grand Caymen scuba diving. After taking two years off after Jack was born, we started up again in 2000. We spent the anniversary weekend in Napa in 2000, Mammoth Lakes in 2001 and Cambria and Hearst Castle in 2002. This year we went to Las Vegas. Although Sharon and Jack spent a couple of days visiting Pat in Las Vegas in July, Sharon and I have not been to Las Vegas together since January 1996.

We stayed at the New York New York Hotel. Afer we decided on Las Vegas in late August, we had a difficult time finding a room. New York New York was definitely not our first choice.

After getting to the hotel in the early afternoon, we had a light lunch at Il Fornaio.

After lunch, We wandered around the hotel and then headed over to the Bellagio. From the there, we headed to Caesar's Palace .

We met Pat Funk and Bernard for drinks at the Shadow Bar in Caesar's and then the four of us went to dinner at 808.

After dinner, Sharon and I took a cab to a late show at the MGM Grand called La Femme.

Las Vegas Day Two

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Drew has gotten a part in a student directed play called Forbidden Broadway. The play runs October 24, 25 and 26. He described it as a show poking fun at other shows; there is a web site for a Broadway production of this play at

My fantasy football team won week five by a score of 88 to 70. The team's record improved to 4 wins and 1 loss.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I highly recommend the Newsweek article on Kobe. It can be found at:

The article is pretty long and paints an interesting picture of his childhood and social development.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I talked to Tomasin for a while last night. Tomasin, Hunter and Geselbracht are taking off on Wednesday for a Rugby World Cup Tour to Australia and New Zealand with the California Bald Eagles.

Tomasin, Bachman and I went to the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Scotland, Wales and England with the Tennessee Long Rifles.

I spent most of the day in Modesto for the SOMA Committee Meeting. This is the steering committee for Sutter Health's outpatient electronic medical record project.

Larkin and I went to the first King's pre-season game; the Kings beat the Clippers 101 to 82. Bibby and Stojakovic looked very good. Both of them scored 19 points in limited minutes. Peja was 6 of 10 from the field, while Mike was 7 of 9. Unfortunately, Gerald Wallace who is tagged to replace Jim Jackson and Hedo Turkoglu and back up Peja at small forward did not look good. Although he had 8 rebounds, Wallace was 2 of 10 from the field.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Talked to Rob

I talked to Rob Nooter on the phone for about 20 minutes this morning. Rob, Barb and their kids are moving to Tanzania in East Africa for at least 2 years. Rob will be working on a dairy project that is intended to improve production at the farm level, improve the quality and efficiency of the processing sector and promote increased consumer demand for milk and dairy products. They will be living in Dar Es Salaam, one of the capital cities on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

I visited Rob and Barb in Moscow in April of 1995. My working goal is to visit them in Africa in April of 2005.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Jack had a play day with Noah; one of his best friends from the old daycare center.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

2003 Fall Dinner Party

Busy day... Sharon and Jack took our cat, Peja, to the blessing of the animals on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi in the morning. We have an odd cat that enjoys water and liked having the parish priest sprinkle water on him.

In the afternoon, we took Jack to a birthday party for one of the boys in his new class.

We had the Larkin's and Bell's for dinner on Saturday night. Sharon made a wonderful dinner of Osso Buco and risotto.

For desert, she made another baked alaska as a cake for Matt's birthday.

Friday, October 03, 2003

2003 Kings Tickets Draw

We had a conference call to divide up the King's season tickets. It is a very odd group. Joe Larkin and I spit a quarter share in two King's season tickets; this works out to ten games. The other three shares are held by Sharon and her brother Tim, Sharon's ex-husband and a former boss of both Sharon and her ex-husband. Needless to say, interactions within the group are more than a little strained. I am not sure, but I think that this is the seventh year that Larkin and I have participated with the group.

It looks like Weber may not be on the court for the Kings until December. He has not yet been cleared to run on the knee.

Powered by big games from Randy Moss and Peyton Manning, my fantasy football team won 130 to 74. The team's record is now three wins and one loss.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

A recent study ranked Sacramento traffic as the 9th worst in nation.

One of the major reasons that we sold the house in Shingle Springs and moved to Elk Grove was traffic. By late 1999, I was reaching the point where I was spending up to twenty hours a week commuting to Sacramento. Additionally, Sharon's family lives in Sacramento and we would often find ourselves going down to Sacramento on at least one of the weekend days.

While our commute improved dramatically with the move to Elk Grove, it has gradually deteriorated over the last three plus years. In spite of a national economic downturn, housing starts in Sacramento have continued at an amazing pace. Some of the projections I have seen suggest the entire region will be gridlocked by 2015.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Drew and his girlfriend Kaylen had both auditioned for the major 2003-2004 theater productions at UCI. While both of them got callbacks for second auditions, neither of them got cast. Drew seems to be taking it in stride; he indicated last week that very few freshmen were likely to be cast.

I spent most of the day in San Francisco at CPMC. We met with the CIO, Applications Director and Technical Services Director about a strategy for including them in a enterprise change control process.