Thursday, March 31, 2005

Palm Springs Aerial Tram

While at the conference, Sharon rode the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. The tram claims to have the world's largest rotating tram cars.

M&M'S Chocolate MPire

M&M'S Chocolate MPire

I like M&Ms...

Blogs and Wikis for the Enterprise

The March 28, 2005 issue of Infoworld has a special report on Blogs and Wikis for the Enterprise.

I have been using Typepad for a connected series of password protected work blogs since January of 2004. There are more than ten different blogs, including: one for each manager; a to-do list; one for general notes and documenting meetings; and, one for incident management.

I have also just started using Jotspot to build a wiki. I am just in the early stages of implementing some stuff for work and personal; the home page can be found at

There is actually one wiki page that guests can play in without logging on at:

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Jack and I are bachelors for a couple of days! Sharon is traveling for the rest of the week. She is in Ontario to work with one of her customers on a new store site and then going to Palm Springs with the client for a conference.

Doug and Jackie Christie Pictures are here

Why I don't use Yahoo as a search engine.

More Jackie Christie

Quote of the Day from ESPN's The Sports Guy:
Roses are red ...
violets are blue ...
if you look at another girl ...
I will beat you.

Doug Christie's wife Jackie reciting a poem she had written during this month's episode of HBO's 'Real Sports'

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dinner and a Kings Game

Randy and Jayne Wong, Sharon and I went to dinner at Mikuni Sushi; neither Sharon or I had been there before. The food was excellent.

Afterwards, the four of us went to the Kings Game. We saw the Kings play the Philadephia 76ers. This game marked the return of Chris Weber to Sacramento for the first time since he was traded in late February. The Kings pulled away in the fourth quarter to win by a score of 118 to 109.

We had a very nice evening!

Sara Lawrence College

Morgan got into Sarah Lawrence College.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter 2005

Jack eventually dragged both of us out of bed so that he could hunt for eggs and his Easter Basket. The Easter bunny brought Jack a baseball jersey.

Sharon, Jack and I went to Easter Mass at Good Shepherd Church. Sharon served as one of the eucharistic ministers. The place was absolutely packed.

After church, we took off for Sharon's parent. We took them food for the week and Easter dinner. Sharon's brother Tim and his family joined us for dinner with her parents.

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Baseball, Yard Work, Big Kids...

After Jack's baseball practice, I spent most of the day working in the yard. The weeds are starting to take over the backyard.

Drew and Morgan stopped by as they were driving back from UC Irvine. Morgan had flown down on Thursday to spend a few days and drive back with Drew.

Sharon, Liz and Janie went out for the evening to Old Sacramento. They had dinner at the Rio City Grill and then stopped at Tunel 21. With Sharon out for the evening, I worked on scanning and organizing pictures from my trip to Moscow and Germany in 1995. I am planning to publish my trip diary and the pictures next month.

Jack, Drew and Morgan

Playing Cards

Coloring Easter Eggs

Friday, March 25, 2005

Lesson E: Boats

On Thursday, Sharon was the Art Docent for Jack's first grade class. Lesson E showed how artists paint a horizon in a picture and touched on how artists depict movement in their work [previous lessons: Lesson A and B, Lesson C and Lesson D].

The class looked at Ground Swell by Edward Hopper, Boats at Saint Marie by Vincent Van Gogh and Boats at Argenteuil [shown below] by Claude Monet.

For their, art project the class drew a horizon line where the earth meets the sky and added a boat for a focal point.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Larkin, Sherry and I

Larkin, Sherry and I went to see the Kings versus Dallas Mavericks game. It was an exciting game that the Kings ended up winning by the score of 109 to 101. Peja hit six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 38 points.

I have always lamented that we are never the recipient of the free stuff that they throw into the stands during the game. Sitting in my seat and messing with the camera, I looked up in time to see a frisbee floating towards me. Without standing up, I reached up and grabbed it. The Kings frisbee had a $20 bill taped to it!

Kings versus Mavs Photo #1

Kings versus Mavs Photo #2

Kings versus Mavs Photo #3

Darius Songaila picture

Kings versus Mavs Photo #4

Flickr: Photo search results

Transparent Screen: Here is an interesting idea that I am going to have try when I get some time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

at the Batting Cages

With five days of rain, Jack's litte league team when to the batting cages rather than the field for practice. This was Jack's first experience with a batting cage and a pitching machine. He got smoked his first time through, but the second time up he was making contact on every pitch.

A city that clicks - A city that clicks: Sacramento officials agree to seek bids to set up a wireless Internet system that will cover the city.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Last Season

More than anything else, Jackson's The Last Season leaves you with a very unflattering picture of Kobe Bryant. Kobe comes across as very immature and self-centered. While it might be easy to discount Jackson's portrayal, the picture he paints is very consistent with an excellent Newsweek story published in October of 2003. On the other hand, I came away from the book feeling more sympathetic towards Shaq. Jackson paints Shaq as much more forthright and honest. The book also provides a glimpse of how much Kobe and Shaq have grown to dislike each other.

There were a couple of sections of the book that I found interesting. Talking about winning, Jackson relayed a saying from one of his assistant coaches:
You are only a success at the moment that you do a successful act. You can't be a success the next moment because you have already moved on to do something else. [page 112]

Sea levels to rise 25cm

After reading Crichton's State for Fear, I am not really sure what to believe about global warming. There are a number of things in Crichton's book that ring true to me.

The popular press continues to be full of articles forecasting that Sea levels [are] likely to rise 25cm this century.

Or Global Warming will lower Sea Levels.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I asked Sharon last weekend about having corned beef and cabbage for dinner on St. Patrick's day again. Due to our schedules, Saturday was the only day that we could manage it. After going to Mass at Good Shepherd, we enjoyed a great dinner of corned beef and cabbage and then we watched The Incredibles on DVD. Lying on the floor during the first part of the movie, the effect of the new sound system was very cool.

Picture with Maurice Evans

Maurice Evans picture

Morgan and Colleges

Morgan applied to college at the University of California at Davis, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Berkeley and San Diego. She also applied to Reed College in Portland, Oregon and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

So far, she has gotten into UC Davis, Irvine and Santa Cruz.

Friday, March 18, 2005

2005 Service Awards Banquet

Leaving Jack with his cousins, Sharon and I went to the Sutter Health Support Services Annual Service Awards Banquet at the Grand Sheraton. They changed the format slightly from previous years. In the past, all of the service awards were presented by Senior Vice Presidents. This year, they decided to broaden the presenters. As a result, I got up and presented two services awards: one for 15 years of service [Rudnicki] and another for 30 years [Prather].

Thursday, March 17, 2005

First Season of West Wing

Over the last two and a half months, Sharon and I watched the first season of West Wing on DVD. We have been watching a couple episodes a week after getting Jack to bed.

West Wing is one of less than half a dozen shows that we have set up as a season pass on TIVO. With its fast pacing, smart dialogue and intelligent subjects, it is one of the few shows that I would recommend.

West Wing also makes me wish that I could take a tour of the White House!

Planners seeking new highways

Planners seeking new highways must steer difficult course

13 things that do not make sense

New Scientist: 13 things that do not make sense

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

To the Snow

On Tuesday, Sharon and Liz took off for the snow. They snowshoed Tuesday afternoon and then spent the night at Rainbow Lodge. On Wednesday, they skied at Soda Springs Mountain Resort. This is the first time that Sharon has skied since at least 1997. She had a great time and is talking about trying to get back up again this year.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

To Orange County and back

I spent the day traveling to Orange County and back to see Drew. Heading to the airport early, the plane that I supposed to take had mechnical problems; there was a lot of hydraulic fluid dripping from under the engine.

Southwest then did something that I have never seen an airline do before. They put the passengers from our plane on the next flight that arrived in Sacramento. They told the passengers waiting for that plane that they were getting the next plane that arrived in Sacramento. It is my experience that airlines will typically cancel the flight and then rebook the passengers on later flights.

I saw Drew in a student production of Bat Boy, The Muscial. He did a great job in the role of Dr. Palmer.

Afterwards, Drew had a short call back for Seussical the Musical. When he was finished, we stopped by his apartment and then went out to dinner. He dropped me at the airport after dinner.

It was very nice to see Drew and spent a few hours with him.


Andrew Heringer

At Drew's Apartment

Andrew Heringer's Apartment at UCI

Friday, March 11, 2005

Cub Scout Go See It

Jack's Cub Scout Den visited Elk Grove Fire Station 76. Requirement 2G for the Tiger Cub Badge is to visit a police or fire station.

Since 1998, I have worked with Donna Gainsley. Sharon and I have gotten to know her and her husband Kevin socially. We have had them for dinner, they have had us for dinner and we have played golf together on a number of occasions.

Kevin is a Captain in the Elk Grove Fire Department. We set the visit up with him and he did a great job with the kids. Just as the visit was ending one of the trucks was called out on a possible house fire. The kids got to see the fire fighters dress, load in the truck and leave the station with the siren going.

I had my camera, but left the memory card sticking the computer. As a result, all I got were some camera phone pictures...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Rita's Retirement Party

Sharon traveled to Santa Rosa and back to attend a retirement party for Rita Whalen [on the left]. Rita is retiring from America AgCredit, ACA after 27 years with farm credit.

Quote of the Day


"Doug is distraught. He's still not over the trade, and it's not even the basketball part of it. It's the feel of Sacramento, the fans, the community. Sometimes he gets so down. We have a farewell video that the Kings gave us before we left, and I'll find him sitting there watching it, and he gets all choked up. I'll tell him, 'Doug, you have to stop.' But everything was so special there." - - Jackie Christie

From ESPN Page 2, Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Kings versus Grizzlies

Sharon and Liz went to the Kings versus Grizzlies game. The Kings let a 16 point second half lead slip away, but Bibby hit an amazing 3-pointer from several feet behind the line at the buzzer for a 85 to 82 win. Bibby made all four of Sacramento's field goals in the fourth quarter while his teammates went 0-for-9. There was a 10 minute stretch that the Kings only scored one field goal.

Weber Watch Day 14

Jack and I watched part of the third and all of the fourth quarters of the 76ers game against the Warriors. Chris Weber was 3 for 12 (25%) in the 76ers loss. Weber was booed repeatedly. In seven games for Philadephia, Weber is 41 for 119 or 34.4% from the field.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Weber Watch Day 13

Weber was 4 for 13 (30%) in the 76ers loss to the Heat. In six games for Philadephia, Weber is 38 for 107 or 35.5% from the field.

It also appears that Weber is not happy with his playing time!

GDS: Download Plug-ins

Google Desktop Search (GDS): Download Plug-ins

Baby Foxes

Baby Foxes Going to the Dogs

Miscellaneous Mammoth

The last run on Saturday as we were skiing back to Canyon Lodge, I was chasing the group. Moving flat out on a long easy stretch, we blew pass a small sign in the middle of the run that said EXPERTS ONLY. We were dropping down into a short chute right above the lodge called Blue Jay that is marked as a black diamond run. I had to laugh when I saw sign because at that point I was committed...

Coming through South Lake Tahoe, I was surprised to see there is now a gondola for Heavenly that extends down to the spot right next to the Embassy Suites near the California/Nevada border. Sitting at the light, I watched people come out of the casinos wearing ski clothes and carrying their skis and walk towards the gondola.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Back from Mammoth

We had a nice 2 bedroom, 3 bath with a loft condo at Mountain Back. It was close enough that we walked to the Canyon Lodge on Friday and Saturday morning.

After packing and loading the cars, I dropped Larkin, Steve and Pete at the Canyon Lodge a litte after 8:00 a.m. and started towards home. I was in Bridgeport at 9:00 a.m., Gardnerville at 10:00 a.m., Meyers at 10:50 a.m., Shingle Springs at 12:00 p.m. and home about 12:40 p.m. There was a lot of traffic through South Lake Tahoe and on the two lane section of Highway 50. Overall, it was an uneventful 4 hour and 40 minute trip back.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mammoth Day 2

A great day of skiing. We were on the chair lift about 8:25 a.m. We took a break at 10:00 a.m. and had lunch at 1:00 p.m. The sun slid in and out of behind some clouds in the morning, but by the afternoon it cleared off and was sunny. The snow was great. We finally gave up at 4:00 p.m.

This group skis hard and fast. Every one of the guys that I was skiing with wore a helmet! Although I was typically riding drag, I felt good about not slowing the group down too much for second straight day.

We had dinner at the Mammoth Bar and Grill. After dinner Larkin and I wandered through The Village at Mammoth and stopped for a beer at Hennessey's.

Mammoth Mountain

left to right: Pete, Larkin, Steve, Art, Larry and me

Sixth Basketball Game 2005

Jack played in his sixth and final little dribbler basketball game of the season. Baseball practice starts on Wednesday!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Mammoth Day 1

Up early, we were on the chairlift before 8:30 a.m. It snowed lightly all morning. The light was very flat making it very difficult to see bumps and moguls. We took a quick break at 10:00 a.m. and then had lunch around noon.

This was the first time I have skied in two years. The rest of the group skis a lot; for example, Larkin has already skied more than a dozen times this year. I kept up with the group pretty well and did not embarrass myself too badly.

After lunch it started to snow harder. At the top of a couple of the chairlifts, it was very difficult to see. Additionally, there was a lot of wet, heavy snow on the ground. Overall, the conditions were not ideal. Three of us (Larkin, Larry and I) skied until about 2:30 p.m. and then headed back to the condo.

For dinner, we got take-out pizza and watched the Heat rout the Kings on ESPN. This is not a late night group; everyone crashed early. I am sore. I used some muscles today that I have not used in a while...

Canyon Lodge at Mammoth

Goatee covered with ICE

A Goatee covered with Ice!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Off to Mammoth

I picked Larkin up at his house about 12:30 p.m. and we started off towards Mammoth Lakes for a weekend of skiing at Mammoth Mountain. Debating whether we should go from there through Reno or South Lake Tahoe, I think that we made a tactical error and chose Reno. We ended up getting caught up in a lot of traffic in Reno and Carson City.

We got to Mammoth Lakes about 6:00 p.m. and met up with the rest of the group at the condo. There are six guys skiing together tomorrow with several more people expected either late Friday or on Saturday. I have skied off and on with this group since 1994 at both Mammoth and around Tahoe. Most years since then, I have spent a weekend in March skiing with this crowd or in Arizona for spring training with the Davis Mafia.

My excitement for the evening was that I drew the high card and got my chose of bedrooms. I took the big master suite with a king size bed!

We had dinner at Gumpy's Sports Restaurant. After dinner, Larkin and I spent some time configuring our laptops to attach to the wireless access point in the condo building. The group crashed early with plans to be on the slopes at 8:30 a.m. when the lifts start running.

View from above Mono Lake

View from above Mono Lake
click on the picture for a larger copy!

Flower Arrangement Thirteen

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Electronic Medical Record

I spent most of the day in Modesto for the SOMA Meeting; this is the steering committee for Sutter Health's outpatient electronic medical record project. We have a major project underway to expand the electonic medical record to all of our hospital and doctor's offices.

More TivoToGo

After initially getting TivoToGo to work, I started having problems burning DVDs. Sonic's MyDVD would return a variety of error messages rather than successfully finish writing the DVDs. I tried DVDs from a number of different manufacturers without any improvement. Then standing in Staples in front of a wall of different DVDs, I read on the back of a pack of DVDs that it was important to match the rated speed of the DVD with the write speed of the DVD reader drive. Since I have done this, I have not had any problems; I have been able to create a number of DVDs without any problems.

Memo to Steve Jobs

CNET Commentary: Memo to Steve Jobs--buy TiVo