Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween 2004

Every year since 1996, we have gone to Sharon's parents house on Halloween night. For the first couple of years, Sharon's nieces and nephews would be there. Starting in 1998 as infant, Jack joined them to trick or treat in the neighborhood where Sharon grew up. Last year, it was just Jack; his nieces and nephews were off doing other things.

We decided this year to stay at home. Jack and I went out about 6:00 p.m., while Sharon manned the door at our house. We hit about 25 houses. Jack had a great time and I got a chance to actually visit with some of the neighbors.

Early on, we merged together with two younger boys. They started adopted Jack as their leader and started following him. When we got their house, one of the boys ran up to the door and took his dad that this was his new friend.

Halloween 2003

Halloween 2002

Halloween 2001


Urban Legends Reference Pages: The outcome of Washington Redskins football games has correctly predicted the winner of every U.S. presidential election since 1936. In the previous 15 elections, if the Washington Redskins have lost their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent party has lost the White House. When they have won, the incumbent has stayed in power.

GNB 28 - WAS 14

Saturday, October 30, 2004

6th Soccer Game

With a full complement of kids turning out for the game, Jack only played two of the four quarters of today's soccer game. They field six kids at time and all twelve kids on the team showed up today.

In two quarters, Jack scored two goals on five shots. His team won by the score of 3 to 2. Overall, his team has 2 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie.

Jack seemed a little listless at first. It took him a while to get into the game. I blame myself for keeping him out late last night. By the time we got home from the game and got him in bed, it was almost 11:00 p.m.

I videoed this game with our DV camera. The following photos are captures from the video. The first picture shows him going in for his first goal!

a word to the wise

This is an interesting blog post about what happened to someone who went a little over the top with their blog: a word to the wise.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Kings Preseason Game

Jack and I went to the King's last preseason game against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns walloped the Kings by a score of 124 to 96; it did not even seem that close. This is the first time I had a chance to see the Kings for a whole game in the preseason and they looked bad.

I was very surprised to see Doug Christie start the game. The pregame radio show on the way to the arena indicated that he was not going to play for two more weeks. He played only seven minutes and his shooting was very rusty.

Parent Teacher Conference

Sharon and I went to the school and had a parent teacher conference with Jack's first grade teacher. Jack is doing above grade level work in both reading and math.

Slippery slope in Sacramento

Almost everyone I have talked to over the last month has not been very positive about the outlook for upcoming Kings season. The sentiments are summed up pretty well in Rick Bucher's 2004 NBA preview on titled Slippery slope in Sacramento. He notes:
"A week away from the start of the season, it's easier to say what the Sacramento Kings are not, than what they are. They are not deep and versatile. They are not one happy, tight-knit family. They are not, once again, injury-free."

NASA Photo Analyst

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Electronic Health Record

Sutter Health Will Implement
Nation’s Most Advanced Electronic Health Record
with Patient Access by 2006

Network expects to be the first regional health care provider in Northern California to bring EHR online

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 28, 2004 - As the national debate continues to wage over how best to take health care delivery to the next level in this country, Sutter Health has made a commitment to deploy an electronic health record (EHR) system networkwide by the end of 2006. The inpatient-outpatient system, which will be one of the first in the United States to include secure patient access to EHR data, will be completed years ahead of the national EHR deadline set by the current White House administration. Sutter Health also expects to be the first regional health care provider in Northern California to implement a comprehensive EHR system.

This newest commitment expands on EHR technology already benefiting patients within five Sutter-affiliated physician organizations and hospitals. Sutter’s aggressive online system will electronically connect more than 5,000 physicians, 27 hospitals and millions of patients across its not-for-profit Northern California network.

Advocated strongly by such industry organizations as the Pacific Business Group on Health, the Institute of Medicine and The Leapfrog Group, an EHR can improve efficiency in care delivery and help reduce health care costs by powerfully combining all inpatient and outpatient data into a single computerized system. It can put each patient’s most up-to-date health history at their caregivers’ fingertips – no matter where the patient receives care.

“Our EHR will be one of the most comprehensive and patient-centric systems ever implemented in the United States,” says John Hummel, Sutter Health senior vice president and chief information officer. “In a very short period of time, physicians and other professionals across our network will be able to better coordinate care through immediate online access to secure medical and patient data, including the very latest radiology, lab and pharmacy results. Just as important, patients will be able to view their personal health records and interact online with their physicians.”

Sutter’s physicians agree that the EHR will help make care more efficient and safe by not only making real-time data available to physicians, but by sharing the same personal health information with patients. “Informed patients make better decisions. Our comprehensive EHR will uniquely allow patients to view their own health histories and test results online. With this powerful tool, physicians and patients can better work together to develop appropriate treatment plans,” says Gordon Hunt, M.D., Sutter Health senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Sutter’s history in EHR development

Creating electronic health records throughout Sutter Health’s network of 27 hospitals, six medical foundations, and 11 independent physician associations, is not new practice for this integrated health system. Sutter-affiliated Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has been using an EHR since 1999. Powerful decision-support tools incorporated in the EHR system alert physicians about potential drug interactions and remind them about clinical guidelines relevant to their patients. In 2002, via PAMFOnline, PAMF was one of the first medical groups in the country to connect patients with their electronic health record. Paul Tang, M.D., chief medical information officer of PAMF, chaired the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Data Standards for Patient Safety and has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to help accelerate the adoption of EHR systems nationwide. He says, “Implementing an EHR system across the entire Sutter enterprise is the most effective way to enhance patient safety and to coordinate care across the health care continuum.”

Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Modesto; Sutter Medical Foundation in Sacramento; Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento; Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae; and Novato Community Hospital also have been using EHR technology.

Sutter’s investment and implementation timeline

Sutter Health’s $154 million investment in its new EHR technology is in addition to the $1.2 billion technology outlay that this family of not-for-profit hospitals and physician organizations will make in a broad range of patient safety initiatives over the next 10 years, including bar-coding technology for safe bedside administration of medications, digital imaging and computerized physician order entry.

“Our professionals are raising the bar on patient safety and satisfaction by eliminating inefficient procedures and providing better support systems for both the physician and the patient,” says Van R. Johnson, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “Sutter’s significant investment in advanced technology over then next 10 years will fundamentally reduce costs, eliminate the possibility of duplicative procedures or tests, reduce medical errors, and ensure true coordination of care between physicians and patients,” he says.

The network has chosen Wisconsin-based Epic Systems Corporation, one of the of the largest, most progressive health care information organizations in the nation, as its technology partner in its EHR initiative. Sutter and Epic will begin installing the new EHR system in July 2005 in three facilities: Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento; California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco; and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland.

How it works

With Sutter’s EHR system, physicians will have a comprehensive view of both inpatient and outpatient data beginning with an office visit, an emergency room visit or a hospital admission. Real-time data will include lab test results, medication histories and physician notes from any Sutter facility. Patients also will have access to a secure Internet site to request prescription renewals, schedule physician appointments, view their personal health history, send a message to their doctor, or access health information pertaining to their diagnosis. Finally, Sutter Health’s new integrated patient record will uniquely include state-of-the-art patient safety systems like bar coding for patient/drug identification and other computerized bedside technology to reduce medical errors.

About Sutter Health

Sutter Health is a family of not-for-profit hospitals and physician organizations that share resources and expertise to advance health care quality. Serving more than 100 communities in Northern California, Sutter Health is a recognized, regional leader in cardiac care, cancer treatment, orthopedics, obstetrics, and newborn intensive care, and is a pioneer in advanced patient safety technology. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Very busy day

This was one of those days where everything seems to pile up into one big heap. I had a mid-day meeting with the West Bay CIOs in the bay area. Unlike the 5 hour fiasco last week, it was a nice 1 hour and 40 minute ride into downtown San Francisco; I actually got to the meeting more than an hour early.

Although I had told Sharon this is one of the days that I had a commitment that I could not break when we synced calendars, Sharon scheduled laser eye surgery for today. Janie gave her a ride to the center, while I raced back from the bay area to pick her up after the surgery.

I picked her up, stopped and got Jack and then took Sharon home and put her to bed. Jack and I then raced around to get something to eat, find all the pieces of his cub scout uniform and take off for the cub scout pack meeting. Heading due east from our house to the pack meeting, we got a nice view of about 30 minutes of moon entering the earth's shadow. This was the first pack meeting that we have attended. His tiger cub den of first graders got up and sang The 12 days of Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A World Transformed

A World Transformed

"An occupation of Iraq could have incurred incalculable human and political costs... There was no viable exit strategy... Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

George Bush, Sr., 1998

I have run across quotes from George Bush, Sr's book in a number of places over the last year, including the October 10, 2004 Doonesbury. Given our military's experience in Vietnam, Beruit and Somalia, I have a hard time understanding what the current political and military leaders thought we would be facing once we defeated the Iraqi army.

According to the CIA Factbook, Iraq is ethnically 80% Arab, 15% Kurdish and 5% Turkoman, Assyrian or other. Religiously, Iraq is 65% Shi'a, 32% Sunni and 3% Christian or other. Given the passion that each of these groups has for their core beliefs, it is difficult for me to see anything other than a civil war in Iraq's future.

Apple iPod Photo

Apple - iPod Photo

Monday, October 25, 2004

I am experimenting with a second moblog site that has same different features and functions, including a cool calendar view. Both the Flickr and textamerica sites allow me to upload pictures to the web directly from my camera phone. The textamerica site also supports the camcorder functions of my camera phone.

Lost his second tooth

While eating lunch at school on Monday, Jack lost his second tooth.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Cub Scout Trip

Jack's cub scout den was originally planning to go to Apple Hill on Sunday. He and I were going to go on the trip and then stop and see Morgan see in a performance at the Grange Hall.

At the last minute, the den leader decided to go to the Discovery Museum. The den worked on a study sheet for the Bone Zone. They saw a 20 minute show at the Planetarium and a short animal presentation featuring J. R. the Porcupine.

Unfortunately, by the time we finished at the museum, we were too far away to make it to Placerville in time for Morgan's performance.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

2004 Fall Dinner Party

We had Joe and Cindy Larkin, Matt and Sherry Bell, Robert and Jennifer Goolis, Rudy Jugoz, Janie Diagle and Janie's mom for dinner. The Bell's and the Goolis' both brought their youngest kids with them.

Sharon made pumpkin soup (served in real pumpkins), standing rib roast, celery root mashed potatoes and broccolini for dinner. Janie contributed some pop-overs to the dinner. For desert, she made baked alaska. We had a great time with everyone not leaving until almost midnight.

Sharon's Dinner Table
Cindy and Joe Larkin
Robert and Jennifer Goolis
Matt and Sherry Bell
Rudy Jugoz and Janie Daigle


Jack scored two goals on six shots. Although I am not sure that he was trying to do it, he also had a great assist on the team's first goal. He stole the ball in the corner, looped around, centered it to the top of the goal box where one of his teammates knocked it. The final score was 3 to 3.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

2004 Kings Tickets Draw

Starting twenty years ago in the old Arco Arena, Larkin and I have either split season tickets, a share of season tickets or a ticket package almost every NBA season. We dropped our season tickets after the team used its first round pick to select Bobby Hurley in June of 1993. A couple of seasons later, we jumped back into a group and bought a quarter share of two season tickets.

We had a conference call to divide up the King's season tickets. As I have noted in the past, this is very odd group. The situation has gotten even stranger over the last year. There is a new plot twist that begs to be told. I am surprised that the group has hung together over the year and has not dissolved.

Distant Cousins

Bush and Kerry are actually distant cousins.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Bush Has Hurt My Sex Life

ABC News: Bush Has Hurt My Sex Life - "Schwarzenegger, who is married to a Kennedy, joked at a public-policy conference that his sex life suffered after he endorsed President Bush at the Republican National Convention. 'There was no sex for 14 days,' he said."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Five !@#$%^& hours!

Up early, I left Elk Grove a little before 5:30 a.m. for a meeting in San Francisco. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I glanced at the radar and there was a solid band of yellow over the bay area; I just did not know how much trouble.

A big-rig truck jackknifed and caught fire on westbound Interstate 80 near Gilman Street in Berkeley shutting down the freeway for about 40 minutes. It ended up taking me more than five hours to get into downtown San Francisco. urrgghh...

The meeting finished up a little after 4:30 p.m. and I was dreading the drive home. Interesting, the traffic was very light; it was more like a weekend than a weekday. I was able to cruise home in about 1 hour and 50 minutes. I could not decide if people just gave up in the morning, turned around and went home in the morning commute or they decide to work late to make up for showing up late. I suspect the former.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Worked at school fundraiser

I spent 7 1/2 hours working at a golf tournament which is a fund raiser for Jack's school. Last year, I worked a couple of hours at the registration desk. This year, I blocked out the day in advance so I could work the whole day and earn a big block of parent hours. The tournament was held at the Valley Hi Country Club.

I spent the morning helping to run the putting contest. After the tournament started, I sat on the 14th green and another parent from Jack's class. This was a par three with a hole in one prize, a closet to the pin prize and varying amounts of raffle tickets for either hitting the ball over the water, getting the ball on the green or being within 14 feet of the pin.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

replacing the pump

I spent the bulk of Sunday afternoon replacing the pump in the fountain outside the downstair's bathroom. While we were in Florida, it looks like the cleaning person turned the pump on even though the fountain was empty and the pump burned up.

Replacing the pump in this fountain is not a trivial job. The top part of the fountain is made up of three 100 pound pieces of concrete; they have to removed. The pump is hard wired into a switch inside the bathroom. The wiring runs out of the bottom of the fountain (a 200 pound piece of concrete) in the the ground. The wiring has been dug up and respliced into the house. I got everything back together except the top; I need one of the neighbors to help me lift it into place.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Another Hat Trick!

For Jack's soccer game, we went out to Rancho Murieta. This is about a 45 minute drive from our house and it seems like a long way to go for an under 6 recreational league game. Jack scored another hat trick! He had three goals on seven shots. His team ended up losing 5 to 4.

It was an odd field. The field was very short; the shortest I have ever seen. Nevertheless, the goals were pretty big for six year olds. The big goals on a short field led to a lot of goals.

One the way back, we stopped at Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse. Sharon filled up the truck with pumpkins and cornstalks to use in decorating the house.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Third Presidential Debate Observations

Given how close each candidate is staying to their message, I think that two presidential debates would have been enough: one debate on foreign affairs and one debate addressing domestic issues.

I do not believe that Bush had the right approach to the last debate. It seemed to me that he often started off each of his segments either by being incredulous or making a joke about something that Kerry said earlier. Personally, I do not think that this made Bush look very presidential or professional. Although I am sure that it is not true, I started to get the feeling at times that Bush was not taking the debate seriously.

While I think that education is an important subject, it seemed during one stretch that Bush was throwing out education as an answer for every question (minimum wage, outsourcing, ...).

Kerry's statement that "I believe that I can‘t legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith" is something that rings true to my core beliefs.

Overall, I think that Kerry "won" the debate. I thought that he got stronger as the hour and a half ground on and was particularly effective in the last 30 or 40 minutes.

Kings in Shanghai

I watched parts of the Kings versus Rockets game from Shanghai on ESPN while we were getting up and getting ready for work and school. It was a pleasant surprise to listen to Bill Walton talk about how good Weber looked!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Third Presidential Debate

I TiVoed the third presidential debate and watched it after we got home from dinner and Jack in bed. I will be posting some thoughts in the near future.

Vince's Italian Restaurant

Sharon, Jack and I went out to dinner at Vince's Italian Restaurant. We have driven by this place on Elk Grove Florin a number of times. Rather than try to go downtown or farther for dinner, we decided to stay local and give it a try. Neither of us were impressed by the food. This is not someplace that we will be going again soon.

8th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our eighth wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Anniversary Gift

On Monday, Sharon borrowed the Explorer from me for the afternoon with the excuse that she needed to pick up something. Instead, she arranged to have the truck detailed as an anniversary gift. Two guys spent five hours detailing it. For vehicle with almost 150,000 miles on it, I am amazed at how good it looks!

Political Links conservatives must not vote for Bush: "A Reaganite argues that Bush is a dangerous, profligate, moralizing radical -- and that his reelection would be catastrophic both for the right and for America."

George Bush Resume

Sunday, October 10, 2004

San Francisco Day 2

Sleeping late, we got up Sunday morning and had breakfast at Lori's Diner. Sharon had a couple of stores in Union Square where she wanted to do some shopping, while I went back to the room for a nap! We checked out of the hotel around noon and headed back to the valley.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

View from the Cityscape Bar and Restaurant

San Francisco

San Francisco Day 1

Over the last five years, Sharon and I have taken a trip for our anniversary. In 2003, we went to Las Vegas. This year, we decided to take a short trip to San Francisco. We took off after Jack's soccer game and drove into the city.

We stayed at the San Francisco Hilton. After unpacking, we had a drink at the Cityscape Bar and Restaurant which has some spectacular views of the city and the bay. Sharon had made dinner reservations at Masa's which was about six blocks from the hotel. The route from the hotel to the restaurant passed through Union Square; Sharon window shopped and ducked into one or two stores on the way.

We had a great leisurely dinner. We had originally talked about trying to take in a show and have an early or late dinner, but decided instead just to have a lazy dinner. We wandered back through Union Square stopping at a couple of places, including the Borders.

Game winning goal!

Jack played in his third soccer game of the season. Through the first 3 1/2 quarters of the game, he had six shots on goal, all of them either wide or stopped by the goalie. With the score tied 1 to 1 and less than two minutes to go in the game, he took a pass from one of his teammates and scored the game winning goal in the upper right corner of the net.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Second Presidential Debate

Sharon and I watched the second presidential debate. Bush clearly did better than the he did in the first debate. Personally, I would score the debate a draw. I expect that Bush's stronger performance will erode some of the momentum that Kerry has had over the last ten days.

One of my problems with Bush is highlighted by the question that asked "please give three instances in which you made a wrong decision and how you corrected them." Bush refuses to ever take responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Wallen and I had this conversation on the boat ramp over cocktails at Almanor.

As someone who has spent 20 years managing groups of people, I believe in the Harry Truman approach of "The Buck Stops Here". I believe that the person at the top has to be able to say that I recognize that we made some mistakes, I take responsibility for those mistakes and I am going to work hard to make sure that we do not make those mistakes again. I believe you have to be able to acknowledge the explicit mistakes that have been made. Bush's response of "appointments to boards you never heard of" does not cut it with me.

Good to be in DC!

AtomFilms- Good to be in DC!: From JibJab, the creators of the Internet phenomenon "This Land," comes another epic political parody.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Best VP debate parody image

Boing Boing: Best VP debate parody image

feeling under the weather

I have been feeling under the weather all week. I have got a lower respiratory infection that I can not seem to shake. It used to be that I would try to continue to work out to some degree when I was sick, but over the last few years I have taken the approach of laying off for longer periods of time. At this point, I have not worked out since Sunday.

I spent almost the whole day in meetings about our EMR project. We are kicking off a 26 month effort to implement an electronic medical record (EMR) at all of our hospitals (inpatient) and foundations (outpatient).

Bush's mystery bulge has picked up on a number of blogs and is now reporting that Bush had a radio receiver taped to his back during the first debate so he could receive messages via a tiny hearing-aid-like device in his ear. Here is a copy of the image from the debate feed that has raised the questions.

Webber misses second day Webber misses second day of practice

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Jack's big day

Tuesday morning, Jack lost his first tooth.

Tuesday night, Jack and I went to his first Cub Scout meeting. There were ten boys, including nine from his first grade class.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

What did he take out of his pocket?

A number of internet sites, including the Drudge Report and INDC Journal are reporting the Kerry took notes out of his pocket as he walked up to the lectern. Both sites suggest that this would be a clear violation of the rules agreed to for the debate. I distinctly remember seeing Kerry take something out of his pocket. It will be interesting to see if this is picked up by the mainstream media and how it is reported...

October Surprise

As I mentioned a month ago, I believe that there is some chance that the Bush Administration is going to parade bin Laden out before election day. - Campaigns worry about last-minute surprise: "In the presidential campaign's closing weeks, Democrats are bracing for an 'October surprise,' an event so dramatic it could influence the election's outcome. The capture of Osama bin Laden, for instance."

Working around the house

We spent the day working around the house, including cleaning the garage, mowing lawn and weeding and washing the cars. Sharon served as eucharistic minister for communion at the 5:00 p.m. Mass.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Morgan for Dinner

Morgan came for dinner. Sharon made her world famous, often requested cornflake chicken as well as scalloped potatoes and asparagus for dinner. We all enjoyed having a chance to see Morgan!

Sharon spent almost all afternoon serving as a wedding coordinator for a wedding at Good Shepherd. This is the fifth wedding that she has done since of June 2003 and the first wedding since February 2004.

Jack did not have a soccer game this weekend; his team had a bye. I spent the afternoon taking Jack to a birthday party for one of his classmates. It was a swimming party. Given that Jack is still not the strongest swimmer, we decided that I should stay, rather than just dropping him there. One of the parents made the observations that because we do not have a pool, Jack does not get a chance to put his swimming lessons to daily use.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Wedding Rehearsal

Sharon spent a couple of hours at a wedding rehearsal in her role as a wedding coordinator for Good Shepherd. This counts as parent hours towards 30 hour annual obligation at Jack's school.

Kings open training camp

The Kings opened training camp with media day at their practice facility. On the way home from work in the car, I listened to Mike Lamb and Grant Napear on KHTK interview Peja and Christie. Christie's description of his recent treatment for his plantar fasciitis was interesting (he was knocked out and had the bottom of his foot shocked five times with 1,900 volts of electricity?), but the interview with Peja was fluff. After listening to the interview and reading a couple of articles, I have no idea where Peja's head is... - Peja isn't going anywhere: "He seemed resigned that he will not be traded and will have to find a way to play this season with the only NBA franchise he has known." - Despite trade demand, Stojakovic reports: "The forward's thoughts about his future still weren't clear after he reiterated his opinion that the Kings would be better off without him -- but he also didn't mind staying in Sacramento." - Kings' TV to launch Nov. 2