Saturday, January 31, 2004

Jack had a play day with Noah at the Discovery Museum of Sacramento.

The list of projects that need to be attacked around the house is starting to grow. They include: rebuilding a side fence that was blown down in one of the storms; finishing the moulding and painting in the upstairs hall that I started in November; fixing the flagpole that was also damaged in one of the storms; cleaning and organizing the disaster that is the downstairs den; and, putting up a new satelite dish and reorganizing all of the connections. I worked most of Saturday on the side fence; this included using a sledge hammer to break out the concrete supporting the fence posts that broke.

Sharon, Janie and Jeana got together for dinner at Janie's house. They are planning a trip to climb Half Dome later this year.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Bangkok and Thailand

Pat and Sharon were reminiscing about their trip to Bangkok and Thailand. Sharon took a few pictures from that trip that I need to organize into a photo album, including this one:

Thursday, January 29, 2004

After skiing a couple of days at Squaw Valley, Pat Funk spent the night with us. Sharon made her often requested, world famous Corn Flake Chicken. A year ago, Sharon and Pat spent the day shopping for jewelry in Bangkok.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I spent the day in San Francisco to attend the monthly West Bay CIO meeting. We are still debating where to go on holiday this year. One of the places that we are considering is the Florida Keys. I had a long talk with Sharon on the way to the bay area about her trip there.

One of the teams that I am responsible for at Sutter is the enterprise help desk. The team is managed by Laurie Lock. The Help Desk Institute has announced that Sutter Health’s enterprise help desk has been nominated for the 2004 HDI Internal Team Excellence Award. The nominees include: Alston & Bird; Commercebank; Corporate Express, Inc.; D.N. American; Franklin Templeton Technologies; GMAC; Hilton Hotels; Monsanto; Northeastern University; Saudi ARAMCO; and, Sutter Health. The winner is announced in late April.

Click on this link for a web page with more information!.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Thrills

On Monday at Sharon's work, they had a band called The Thrills performing live in the lunch room. I went to ITunes tonight and downloaded a live album that they had just released called from KFOG to IPOD. I fed a blank CD-R into the PC and burned a copy to play on the way to San Francisco tomorrow. Although Sharon thinks I am crazy, I believe that the record stores are going to have an increasingly difficult times competing with this type of technology.

Clearly, I am an early adopter. Nevertheless, fifteen years ago, I would spend my lunch hour wandering through the old Tower Book store at Watt and El Camino and leave with a stack of books. In April of 1997, I bought my first book from Daytrips Italy: 40 One Day Adventures by Rail, Bus or Car. Now, I spend my lunch hour wandering through I actually get very frustrated looking for things in a real book store...

A year ago, Jack and I spent 24 hours traveling back from Manila, just the two of us, while Sharon continued on to Thailand with Pat.

Sharon dropped off an appetizer at the school for Teacher Appreciation day; we got credit for an hour of parent time.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I never finished documenting the fiasco with Dell Support that I wrote about on December 21 and December 22. The Dell Corporate sales representive is going to stop by on Thursday so I figured I had better organize my notes...

We shipped the PC to Dell on December 23. It arrived back early on December 31. Sharon was very excited, until we opened the box. The box included a note from Dell saying that they had determined the problem with the hard disk. The note went on to say that we needed to call and get a new hard disk shipped to us. Both of us were incredulous that they had diagnosed the problem and then shipped the PC back from the depot still broken.

I got back on the phone with Dell and ended getting a very combative tech. It took me awhile to explain to him the situation and for him to review the information on his side. At this point, he indicated that he did not agree with the depot's diagnose. He wanted me to start over at the beginning with the troubleshooting efforts. I would not agree to start at the beginning. I explained again that the letter in the box with the PC said to call and get a replacement hard disk. After some back and forth, he finally said that he would order the hard disk. He said that he was not able to give me a tracking number so that I could track the shipment.

The hard disk did not show up on Friday. Saturday afternoon, I called Dell again and asked for the tracking number on hard disk that they were supposed to be shipping us. The tech was unable to find the tracking number. He indicated that he could see the hard disk in the system, but was unable to find the tracking number. He assured me that it had been shipped.

The hard disk did not show up on Monday. Late Monday, I called Dell again. After an extended discussion with the tech, he indicated that there was something odd about the record. He put me on hold for an extended period and when he came back he told me that the hard disk had not been shipped. He was fixing the problem and it should be shipped in the next day.

The hard disk finally arrived Wednesday, January 6.

Replacing the hard disk appears to have fixed the problem. The PC has been running trouble free for almost three weeks.

This is the second hard disk failure in less than fifteen months.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 14.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

I got a e-mail from Rob Nooter which included a long note from Barb. On January 5, Rob, Barb and their three kids moved to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Rob is starting up a dairy improvement project. Although Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, the letter indicates that they are getting successfully settled.

Here is a couple of excerpts from Rob's letter:

The kids have been wonderfully adaptable and accepting of the changes. They enjoy the school, have made friends and have handled the constraints of hotel life and now life in a mostly empty house with ease. ... they have been real troopers. When I asked Wes how the move was affecting him, he said, I really like it here. I said what is it you like, and his response was “Everything, I like it all.”

I am astounded that we have been able to get it all accomplished in the time we have had. Issues like getting contractors to start and finish their job, finding the right parts, etc. would be a challenge in the US, but we have been successful getting it done in a place where nothing is supposed to work efficiently. It is known as a place that moves at a pace described in Swahili as “pole-pole" (pronounced like the Spanish bullfighting cheer ole [or o-lay]). "

pole-pole adv.
from polepole "slowly, gently, softly, quietly; be calm, take it quietly, don't excite yourself, never mind": slowly; take it easy [< Swahili].
  • "Our head guide, Godliving, reminded us to go, 'pole, pole' ('slowly, slowly') to assist in acclimatization to the altitude." Barbara Glavish, "Mt. Kilimanjaro, then intriguing Zanzibar" International Travel News, Jan. 2001. This is a misinterpretation that the word was repeated. Pole-pole (Swahili polepole) is actually one word, although pole is another Swahili word with a similar but different meaning which would not have been used in this situation.
I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 13.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Celebrating Sharon's Birthday!

Sharon and I left Jack with Amy and took off in the early afternoon to go wine tasting in Somona. First, we went to the Buena Vista winery. The Buena Vista winery was founded in 1857 and claims to be California's first premium winery. The tasting room is in the original winery which is a California Historical Landmark.

The second winery we went to was Ravenswood. This winery specializes in Zinfandels. I was not enamored with any of their wines.

We then drove north to Kunde, but it closed at 4:30 p.m. just as we got there. We drove over the Oakville grade from the Valley of the Moon to the Napa Valley and went into St. Helena. Sharon and I had a drink at the Martini House. This place has a very nice bar downstairs where Sharon had a Lemon Drop that she raved about. We are definitely going to go back here for dinner some time.

We met Pat Funk and Bernard for Dinner at La Toque. The four of us had a nice four plus hour dinner! We used the occasion to celebrate all of our birthday's at one time; Pat's birthday is January 8th, mine is the 15th and Sharon's in the 23rd.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 12.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Sharon's Birthday!

I sent e-mails to a number of people encouraging them to send birthday wishes to her cell phone; a special thanks to everyone who did. Sharon got a number of messages over the course of the day.

Janie and Jeana took Sharon to lunch for her birthday at Il Fornaio.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 11.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I added a link in the column on the left side to a guest map. It allows visitors to the web site to leave their name and mark their location on a map.

Jack and I made a birthday cake for Sharon's birthday on Friday. I put together the marinade for a Tandoori Cornish Game Hen recipe for her birthday dinner tomorrow night and started the hens marinating.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 10.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I spent the day in meetings in San Francisco. I attended CPMC Kronos Executive Steering Committee, had lunch with the CPMC CIO and then went to the Lawson Support meeting. The CIO and I walked down Market Street to a chinese place for lunch; the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

On the way to the city, I caught up with Sharon and John Wallen. Wallen and I were working out the logistics of a spring training trip to Arizona.

While we were fixing dinner, Sharon noted with glee that "I get to call Peter Frampton's attorney tomorrow." She is enjoying the temporary job at T0wer, but is feeling a little overloaded between working a couple of days there and continuing to support her regular corporate customers.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 9.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I met Sharon for lunch. She gave me a tour of the T0wer Records headquarters. Although it is located in an odd part of town, the inside is interesting. It is decorated with an collection of painting, sculptures and an assortment of record industry memorabilia.

I spent 45 minutes cutting the center out of paper plates for the kindergarten to use in a class project. This is part of our ongoing efforts to fulfill our parent hours.

Sharon and Tim went to the Kings and Trailbrazers game. They saw the Kings lose a wild one in overtime, 104 to 109. Sharon pointed out that she has seen all three of the Kings home losses this year in person; two of the three losses were in overtime.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 8.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Last Wednesday night, Drew went with a group to see Chicago at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Patrick Swayze is starring in the "Billy Flynn" role. They hung out at the stage door afterwards and got to meet Patrick Swayze.

In November when they went to the Producers, they met Jason Alexander at the stage door. Kaylen got her picture taken with Jason.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 7.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Sharon, Jack and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters at Arco Arena on Sunday.

I had previously posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 6. This was the day that we traveled to Boracay. Boracay has been voted one of the best beaches in the world on several occasions.

Last year, I read the Hobbit and the three Lord of the Rings books. This year, I am going to read all of the Harry Potter novels. So far, I have read the first two novels in the series.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Celebrating My Birthday

We kept Erin and Eileen overnight while Tim and Kathy went to Reno. The five of us celebrated my birthday with cake and some presents.

I had previously posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 4. This was the day we played night golf along the 16th century walls of the Spanish fort in the middle of Manila; it was a very cool experience.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

I spent the day at the briefing center at SBC Labs in Austin, Texas. The agenda included the current state of the Sutter network, SBC's view of the future Sutter network, an overview and tour of SBC labs, optical and wireless technology and a roundtable for next steps. The one conclusion that I have come to that was somewhat unrelated to the main agenda is that we should be running fiber in our new hospitals was far as we can... Fiber to the desktop?

I had a very uneventful trip back. While my previous two trips on AmericaWest had resulted in some adventures, this one went like clockwork and I was home asleep in my own bed with a blonde shortly after 10 p.m.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 3.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I spent most of the day winding my way to Austin, Texas with Yvonne Risch, Dave Hamilton and Steve Wike. The group is meeting with SBC on Thursday.

I posted Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 2.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Sharon and her brother Tim went to the Kings and Miami Heat basketball game tonight, while Jack and I watched the game on NBA League Pass on Directv. The Kings squeaked out a 90 to 86 victory.

Jack has been to four Kings games already this season and has started to ask in the last week when he gets to go again. One of the things that we got him for Christmas was a Kings wall calendar which details the schedule for 2003-04 season. He bought out the calendar tonight, pointed to a Houston game later this month and said that he wanted to go to that game. I had to explain to him that the game is IN HOUSTON, not Sacramento. He wanted to know how far it was to Houston...

Morgan has always taken a very agressive schedule of classes. For this term, She has Jazz Band before school [zero period], Advanced English 3 during first block, Advanced Algebra 2 during second block and Chemistry during third block. She also continues to hold down a job at Baskins and Robbins.

Monday, January 12, 2004

A year ago today, Sharon, Jack and I started on our trip to the Philippines. I have worked on a diary of the trip, but never finished it. Over the next two weeks, I am going to finish publishing the written and photo journal. Heringer's in the Philippines, Day 1 was previously posted. Due to the time change and the length of the trip, Day Two is dated January 14!

Sharon and I have talked a lot over the last few months about our next big trip. Originally, we had talked about going to France with a side trip to visit Liz and Martin in Holland during the summer of 2004. We are now probably going to push that off until 2005 and do a domestic trip this year. We recently heard the Grand Canyon described as one of the places that you will ever go that lives up to its billing and have started to consider it as a possibility.

Employee Reviews, Employee Reviews, Employee Reviews... From a work stand point, the first two weeks of January are consumed with writing and giving employee performance reviews. The SHSS IT Department includes over 400 people. Getting everyone's review completed by January 16th is a major logistical undertaking.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

On December 26, Drew's old band, Eightfold, played at the Cosmic Cafe in Placerville. Both Morgan and Kaylen (Drew's girlfriend) got up and sang with the band. There is a photo album of pictures at:

Friday, January 09, 2004

Drew flew back to Irvine early Thursday morning and classes started today for the Winter quarter of his freshman year. His schedule for this quarter includes:

Crse          Crse     Sec      Grd 

Code Dept Num Typ Num Unts Opt Days Time
---- ---- ---- --- --- ---- --- ---- ----
02040 DANCE 30B STU A 2.0 PN M W F 08:30-09:50
02074 DANCE 50B STU C 2.0 PN M W 12:00-01:20
03010 DRAMA 30B STU F 4.0 GR T T 08:00-09:50
03080 DRAMA 70 STU A 4.0 GR TBA TBA -TBA
04090 MUSIC 78B LEC A 4.0 GR T T 01:00-02:20
21135 WRITING 39A SEM E 4.0 GR T T 11:00-12:20

total units enrolled 20.0 4.0 p/np units

I continue to have some concern that Drew is not taking enough general education classes. Morgan has a tough schedule this term, but more on that some other day.

I gave Drew a webcam for Christmas. He and I shared webcams tonight through MSN Messenger and he gave Sharon, Jack and I a virtual tour of his dorm room.

Jack is enrolled in a drama program that is being offered once a week. His first class was today.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I spent most of the day driving to Berkeley and back for the TAG meeting at the Herrick campus of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. TAG stands for the Technical Advisory Group and is made up of the IT Directors from each of the facilities and managers from SHSS IT. The agenda included a presentation by GE on Operating room and surgery systems.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

meetings, meetings, meetings... The first four days of this week are booked solid with meetings! I spent the first half of the day in SOMA, the steering committee for the our in-patient EMR project. This was followed by a review of the desktop standardization design and a meeting to talk about the all-hands awards.

Sharon is been enjoying her new temporary job assignment; she called me on the cell phone on the way home tonight and said "I had fun today!"

A new hard disk for Sharon's PC showed up from Dell today. I spent more than four hours this evening rebuilding the PC from scratch, including restoring the operating system, downloading and installing all of the OS patches, re-installing the applications and working to get all of the data back in the right place. I am probably about 80% done.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I spent almost all day in an IT planning meeting for 2004 with the directors and managers. We reviewed all of the projects planned for 2004 and their interrelationships and detailed the possible worst case scenarios.

There is an article in the December 22, 2003 edition of InformationWeek titled 2004 Innovators & Influencers: Bearing Down On The Future which includes a section covering Sutter Health's CIO and some of the projects that we have underway.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Our struggles with Dell continue. The computer is still not working. I am going to document the last couple of interactions in the near future...

Sharon and I spent a large part of the weekend taking down the Christmas decorations and packing them up as well as starting to clean out the den. I really enjoy the house during the holidays and I am sad to see the Christmas decorations come down.

Saturday night, we had a mediocre Mexican dinner at La Fuente in Elk Grove. This is the restaurant where Jack coined the infamous "Roar, the People" phrase.

Friday, January 02, 2004

In the fall of 1999, Sharon's brother Tim and a partner bought a bean sprout farm. I have mentioned to Tim on several occasions over the last year that I would like to get a tour. Sharon, Jack and I toured the bean sprout farm early this morning.

The "farm" is in a warehouse in an industrial part of Sacramento. We got a chance to see how the sprouts are grown and watch them packaging the sprouts for distribution.

Thursday, January 01, 2004


born. eat. shag. die.There's nothing like summing up the last year of your life to make you re-examine your priorities, or refocus on what has affected you.

The mayfly project is a web site that asked people to sum up the last year of their lives in twenty four words or less. Click on the button to the right!