Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween 2005

Jack and I went out about 6:00 p.m. to trick or treat in our neighborhood, while Sharon manned the door. We spent about 45 minutes hitting the houses on our block. When we got back, Sharon and Jack went out to hit a few houses on the next block. Afterwards, Jack had a great time answering the door and giving out candy to other kids.

Halloween 2004

Halloween 2003

Halloween 2002

Halloween 2001

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Sharon, Jack and I went to see the Sacramento Ballet's performance of Dracula. The program included two other pieces: The Four Temperaments and The Illuminations.

ESPN NBA Power Rankings

The Kings are ranked 11th out of the 30 teams in's preseason NBA Power Rankings

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Return of the Jedi

We watched Return Of The Jedi on DVD. Over the last four plus months, we have watched all six of the Star Wars movies with Jack. Starting with Episode I, we watched them movies in numerical order, rather than the order in which they were filmed.

2005 Soccer Game 7

Jack played in his seventh soccer game of the year. Although he had two shots on goal early in the game, he did not score for the first time this year. Jack did have a great assist in the first half. He took the ball at mid-field and moved down the right sideline. At about the height of the goalie box, he centered the ball to a teammate who scored. Jack played full-back in the third quarter and sat out the fourth quarter.

His team started very slowly; all of the kids seemed out of synch. They fell behind 1 to 0 and then scored six straight goals to lead 6 to 1. The rules of the league allow the other team to put in two extra players when they are behind by 5 goals. With a two man advantage, the other team scored a couple of goals to make the final score 6 to 4. For the year, Jack's team has 7 wins and 1 loss.

2005 Soccer Game 7 pic 4

2005 Soccer Game 7 pic 3

2005 Soccer Game 7 pic 2

2005 Soccer Game 7 pic 1

Never Mind

Doonesbury had written a week of comic strips on the planned confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. Although they will not run in light of her withdrawal, they are available on-line.

Moblog Getting Soccer Snacks

Friday, October 28, 2005

Cub Scout Go See It

Sharon and Jack went on a Cub Scout go to see it to the Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse in downtown Sacramento. Sharon was impressed with the security features of the building and the view from the 15th floor, while Jack liked sitting in the judge's chair in a courtroom and taking into the microphone.

This satisfies requirement 4f for Cub Scout Wolf Rank: know your home and community - visit an important place in your community, such as a historic or government location and explain why it is important.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

October Cub Pack Meeting

Jack and I went to the October Cub Scout Pack meeting of Troop 233. The kids wore their halloween costumes. Interestingly, the most popular custume was Darth Vader. After the awards ceremonies, the kids did cookie decorating; bat decorating; small pumpkin decorating; and a balloon pop game.

October Cub Scout Pack Meeting

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

CA Historical Landmark #464

Prairie City
California State Historical Landmark #464
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This landmark is located on the northeast corner of Prairie City Road, 500 feet north of State Highway 50. There are 57 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sacramento County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 38.665 W 121° 09.457.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

Site of Prairie City, mining town and center of trade in California gold rush days. In July, 1853, Prairie City reached the height of its prosperity, and included fifteen stores and ten boarding houses and hotels. Two stage lines operated daily. A $50,000 quartz mill operated here in the 50's.

The site of the Prairie City Cemetery that once served the bustling gold rush town of Prairie City was located during construction of the Prairie City Road and Highway 50 interchange in May 1997. It was used between 1853 and at least 1872 and may have first been known as the Alder Creek Hill Cemetery as early as 1852. It was likely used by the citizens of Prairie City and other surrounding communities.

Please visit the Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery on Shadwfax Lane off Green Valley Road in El Dorado Hills, where in 1998, the remains of twelve of the deceased from this cemetery were relocated by the California Department of Transportation.

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The birth of Prairie City, Sacramento County, was announced in the pages of the Sacramento Daily Union newspaper in June of 1853. Located 21 miles from the City of Sacramento, it was approximately 2 miles south of Negro Bar, now known as Folsom. By that month, 40 frame and canvas houses had been erected and a water ditch for mining purposes was being constructed by the Natoma Water and Mining Company.

By July 4th, the town had 1500 inhabitants, including 15 families with women and children. Shortly thereafter, a mining district was formed to establish the "rules" for the miners, and later the area was designated as an election precinct.

Placer deposits began to diminish in 1854 and many of the miners and their families began to move away. Still, others stayed as the had established their homes and families in that vicinity. The U.S. Post Office closed its doors in early March 1866. By the mid-1870s, little of the original town remaind, though the school district continued until about the mid-1880s.

As late as 1901, the abandoned townsite was still referred to as Prairie City, though few resided there.

In Memoriam

Here lie the remains of twelve souls discovered during the construction of the Prairie City Road and Highway 50 interchange in May of 1997. They were relocated to this spot by the California Department of Transportation with the cooperation of the County of El Dorado. Through their efforts, and with the assistance of the Folsom Historical Society and the El Dorado County Pioneer Cemeteries Commission, these twelve deceased may now rest in peace forever.

Exactly who and how many deceased were buried at the Prairie City Cemetery may never be known

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Life 1981

There are two things I like about this picture. First, as I have mentioned before, I got a chance to get some mentoring during the 1980's. George Beitzel had a big influence on my professional development during the 1980's. Second, I am sitting at the keyboard of a HP workstation with a plotter.


click on the picture for a larger copy!
Mark Heringer 1981

All of the My Life Photos can be found here.

The Dilbert Blog

I read two comics strips on-line every morning: Dilbert and Doonesbury.

The creator of Dilbert now has a blog: The Dilbert Blog

Monday, October 24, 2005

Serrano Country Club

I played golf in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Charity Golf Tournament at Serrano County Club The foursome included my boss (the CIO), one of the IT VPs and her husband.

We were 5 over for the day. We actually eagled a short par 5.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rite of Welcoming

Since the first week of September, I have been participating in the Inquiry period of RCIA. There was a Rite of Welcoming on Sunday to start the Catechumemante period.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

2005 Fall Dinner Party

Going back a number of years [2004, 2003, 2002], we have had an ambitious fall dinner party. This year, we had the Bells, Cunninghams, Gainsleys, and Larkins for dinner. Sharon served a great dinner including: a fig appetizer paired with a 2004 Inognito Viognier; butternut squash paired with a 2003 Saint-Esprit Delas; and rack of lamb, broccolini, and tomato paired with a 2003 Craggy Range Pinot Noir. For desert, she served pumpkin cheesecake paired with a port. The weather was so nice that the group ended up outside in the backyard after dinner. We had a great time with the last groups not leaving until just before midnight.

Donna and Kevin Gainsley

Deborah and John Cunningham

Joe and Cindy Larkin

Sherry and Matt Bell

2005 Soccer Game 6

Jack played in his sixth soccer game of the season. He scored three goals, including the first goal of the game. He had four other strong shots, including one that went off the post and another on a solo break away 2/3's the length of the field where he got too deep in the goal box before he shot.

For the second time this year, he has made a play during a game that has me wondering if I could have made the same play. Towards the end of the first period, his team was attacking and Jack was in the top corner of the goal area. One of his teammates who has a strong leg kicked the ball towards Jack. With his back to the goal, Jack chested the ball to the ground at his feet. In a single motion, he spun around and put the ball just inside the goal post for a score. Given a hundred chances to make that play, I am not sure that I could do it once.

The team continues to pass very well. The teammate with the strong foot took the ball down the right sideline. As the other team bunched up around him, he rocketed the ball over their heads and in the center of the field where Jack was all alone. Jack beat the goalie one on one for his third goal.

His team won the game by a score of 6 to 1. For the season, the team has 6 wins and 1 loss.

Friday, October 21, 2005

NPR Podcasts

Part of my motivation from shifting from the iPod Shuffle to the Nano was to be able to listen to podcasts. At this point, I am downloading a whole set of NPR podcasts in the morning and transferring them to the Nano to listen to during the commute. The current list includes: NPR-Books; PRI's The World-Geo Quiz; NPR-Movies; NPR-Music; NPR-Health and Science; NPR-10AM ET News Summary; The California Report; NPR-Story of the Day; APM's Future Tense; and NPR-Technology.

7:40 mile!

As I went out for my lunch-time run, I set the virtual trainer on the Garman for a pace of 9:15 per mile over 7.5 miles. I rolled through the first mile at 9:11. At about the 1.25 mile mark, someone stuck up behind me and sailed pass. I picked up my pace to try and keep him in contact. I ended up running the second mile at 8:40. The rabbit then stopped just pass 2 mile mark, turned around and started walking back. Ugh... At this point, I still had 5.5 miles more to go. I labored through the next three miles with splits of 9:00, 8:50 and 8:50.

At the just pass the 4.75 mark, I turned a corner and there were 3 people I work with about 0.25 mile ahead of me; they had just turned around at Douglas Road. I figured I would make a stab at catching them. With some upbeat George Thorogood blasting on the headphones, I was able to catch them in about a mile and a quarter. I covered the sixth mile at 7:40! I ran the seventh mile in 8:26 and then coasted in the last 0.50 mile in 8:50. My legs are going to pay a price for the 7:40 mile over the next several days...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wolf Den Meeting #1

Jack's Cub Scout den had its first meeting of the year at our house. The boys worked on a number of their Wolf Cub requirements and electives, including: requirement 3c {Keep Your Body Healthy}; requirements 4a, 4b, 4c and 4d {Know your Home and Community}; requirements 9d and 9e {Be Safe at Home and on the Street}; and Elective 1A {It's a Secret}.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Life 1980


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Mark Heringer 1980

All of the My Life Photos can be found here.

The two following pictures were taken July 4, 1980 at the Watson's cabin in Tahoe. The four of us--Cindy, Don, Kim and I--drove the next day to Bobby and Devan Hunter's wedding in Palo Alto. I dated Kim from late 1979 into the first quarter of 1981.

Mark Heringer 1980Mark Heringer 1980

Missing Pictures

Partly due to the hubris of my divorce, I do not have any pictures for 1981, 1982 and 1983. I recently got a picture from 1982 from my sister Lee Ann and I am working with Wallen to try and get some pictures for 1981 to 1983. Given that I spent the five years from July 1979 to August of 1984 following John and Jill around, I am pretty sure that they have some pictures for those years.

Over the last six months, I have published one picture for each year each week. Rather than skipping to 1984, I am probably going to take a break and see if I can fill in the series before moving on.


I had a strong lunch-time run. I covered 7.05 miles at an average pace of 8:59 per mile. Over the first six miles, my splits improved every mile: 1-9:29; 2-9:25; 3-9:15; 4-8:59; 5-8:27; and 6-7:57. In spite of a back that has been brothering me since Almanor, I was able to run a sub eight mile over the sixth mile!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

VoIP Presentations

I spent the day at the Eden Medical Center attending the TIG meeting. The agenda included Voice over IP presentations (VoIP) by Cisco, Nortel and Mitel.

CA Historical Landmark #740

California State Historical Landmark #740

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The plaque is behind the Ranger Station at the entrance to the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area . While this might not be the middle of nowhere, you can see nowhere from there. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Joaquin.

A city of 3,500 population from 1895-1912, the town had a post office, company store, hotels, saloons, bandstand, and hundreds of homes. The Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company had 45 kilns and 13 tall smokestacks, clay came from the famous Tesla Coal Mine, four miles to the west. Town and plant were served by the Alameda and San Joaquin Railroad.

The town came to an end when the 1911 flooding of Corral Hollow Creek severely damaged the plant and the railroad line.

Top 40 Magazine Covers

ASME's Top 40 Magazine Covers of the past 40 years

Monday, October 17, 2005

ALL-TIME 100 Novels

The Complete List | TIME Magazine - ALL-TIME 100 Novels

Another School Fundraiser

I worked for two and a half hours at a fund raiser golf tournament for Jack's school. Sharon and I have to do 30 parents hours a year for the school.

Held at the Valley Hi Country Club, I worked as a volunteer for the tournament in both 2004 and 2003. Like last year, I spent the time running the putting contest.

Sharon and I actually played in the tournament in 2002.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

8 hours in the yard

I spent about eight hours working in the yard. We are working to get the yard and house cleaned up for a dinner party next weekend.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

2005 Soccer Game 5

Jack played in his fifth soccer game of the season. The game was played on a very short field at Fite School. He scored two goals, including his team's first goal of the game, and had four other shots on goal. Jack put his first goal in the top middle of the goal; there is no way that the goalie could have jumped high enough to block it. Late in the game, he was inbounding the ball very deep in the other team's end and tried to throw the ball into the goal to score.

His team won the game by a score of 7 to 1. For the season, the team has 5 wins and 1 loss.

After the game, we went to Davis Ranch to load up on pumpkins to decorate the house.

2005 Soccer Game 5 pic 1

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Big Boxmart

Jibjab takes a shot at outsourcing in Big Boxmart.

2nd Grade: Art Lesson A

Sharon spent the afternoon as the art docent for Jack's second grade class. The lesson focused on Henri Rousseau and how overlapping is used to show depth. The class saw the video Dropping in on Rousseau and then examined three Rousseau prints: Self Portrait; Virgin Forest [shown below]; and, Cart of Pere Juniet.

For their art project, the kids created a Rousseau jungle scene by cutting trees, plants, flowers and animals from contruction paper and layering them on the paper to show overlapping and depth.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Although I rarely watch them, Tivo will occasionally showcase a trailer for a movie or television series. Something caught my eye a couple of weeks ago and I watched the trailer for Serenity. As part of the trailer, Tivo was cross promoting the series that the movie was based on. Called Firefly, it is running on the SciFi Channel. On a whim, I set a season pass on Tivo to record the episodes. A few days later, I ran across a review of the movie by Orson Scott Card which got me more intrigued.

So far, I have watched two episodes of Firefly while running on the treadmill and have enjoyed them both. I am looking forward to the movie coming out on DVD.

My Life 1979


click on the picture for a larger copy!
Mark Heringer 1979

All of the My Life Photos can be found here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

CA Historical Landmark #21

Portolá Expedition Camp
California State Historical Landmark #21
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This landmark is located at the mouth of Pilarcitos Creek, 1/2 mile west of State Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, California. There are 33 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 28.362 W 122° 26.792.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

The Portolá Expedition of 1769 camped close to the mouth of Pilarcitos Creek on October 28 and 29. Portolá himself was very ill.

This landmark is not marked by a plaque. On October 11, 2005, Sharon and I hiked along the bottom section of Pilarcitos Creek during our short Half Moon Bay State Park hike.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Half Moon Bay Day 3 plus 2005 Kings Ticket Draw

After having breakfast in the room and packing up, Sharon and I headed to Half Moon Bay State Park. We hiked a couple of miles south down the beach from the Venice Beach entrance and back. Although some of the vegetation on the sand dunes was interesting, this was not a particularly scenic hike. Unlike Monday when the weather was spectacular, Tuesday was overcast.

We stopped at one of the big pumpkin patches on Highway 92 so Sharon could shop for Halloween decorations, did a conference call from the car to pick our Kings tickets for this season, and then stopped in downtown San Mateo for lunch at a Mexican/Salvadoran Restaurant called La Michoacana. We wandered across the valley and got back to Elk Grove in the early afternoon.

Half Moon Bay State Park Hike

Half Moon Bay State Park Hike

Monday, October 10, 2005

Half Moon Bay Day 2

After breakfast in the hotel, Sharon and I played a round of golf on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links. I started horribly; I could not get going. Sharon got a par on the 6th hole. I shot a 57 on the front nine, while Sharon carded a 55.

About the seventh hole, I started to hit the ball. I ended up getting a par on the 18th hole. I hit a driver down the middle about 230 yards and then hit a 5 wood 190 yards over the creek to the front of the green within about 12 feet of the pin. I two putted for a par. It was probably the best two golf shots I have ever hit. I shot 51 on the back nine and finished with a 108.

After golf, we had a bit to eat in the lobby of the hotel, hiked a couple of miles along the Ocean Course south of the hotel, went to the roman mineral bath and then the steam room, and watched the sunset from the hotel.

After the sun went down, we drove into Half Moon Bay and had dinner at Cetrella. Sharon had the guinea hen, while I had lamb shank. Over the appetizer last night and the salad and desert tonight, Sharon got some great ideas for the possibility of an Iron Chief special ingredient approach to a dinner party that we are having later this month.

Half Moon Bay Golf pic 2

I got a par!
18th tee on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay Golf pic 1

17th green on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Half Moon Bay Day 1

Sharon and I dropped Jack at her brother's and took off for Half Moon Bay. Over the last five years, we have made an effort to get away by ourselves for a couple of days to celebrate our anniversary: 2000 to Napa; 2001 to Mammoth; 2002 to Cambria (Hearst Castle); 2003 to Las Vegas; and, 2004 to San Francisco.

After getting hung up in traffic on highway 92 between 280 and 1, we finally got to the hotel about 2:30 p.m. After a late lunch in the hotel, we checked into the room. Sharon had made spa appointments for a pumpkin wash(?!?) and a massage. While she went to the spa, I went for a long run on the trails on the bluffs overlooking the ocean.

We ended up having a late dinner at the Navio. Sharon had duck, while I had short ribs combined with an interesting Craggy Range Pinot Noir from New Zealand that the Wine Steward recommended.

Half Moon Bay Ritz Carlton

Saturday, October 08, 2005

2005 Raingutter Regatta

We went straight from the soccer game to the Cub Scout Pack 233 picnic and Raingutter Regatta. The kids played some games (water balloon toss, sack races, etc.) and then we had lunch. After lunch, the scouts raced their boats. Six of the eight kids from Jack's Wolf den were there. Jack won all three of his heats and finished in first!

2005 Raingutter Regatta Pic 3

Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta

2005 Raingutter Regatta Pic 2

Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta

2005 Raingutter Regatta Pic 1

Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta

Moblog 2005 Raingutter Regatta

2005 Cub Scout Raingutter Regatta

2005 Soccer Game 4

Jack probably played his best soccer game of the last two years today. He scored two goals in the first half and had five other shots on goal. He played great on defense in the second half and had a number of very good passes. He presents a challenge because he is left-footed. As a result, he does some things from angles that the other kids are not prepared for.

His team won the game by a score of 8 to 0; seven different kids scored goals. Every kid on the team has now scored a goal this year. Their record for the year is now 4 wins and 1 losses. I am amazed at how well the team is starting to play together. Their spacing and passing is good for a under seven team.

2005 Soccer Game 4 pic 2

2005 Soccer Game 4 pic 1

Moblog 2005 Soccer Game 4

Friday, October 07, 2005

California Historical Landmark #534

Rancho Los Putos
California State Historical Landmark #534
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This landmark is located off Pena Adobe Road interchange on I-80, Northeast 0.5 mi on Pena Adobe Road in Pena Adobe Park, Vacaville , California. There are 13 other California State Historical Landmarks in Solano County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 20.195 W 122° 00.888.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

This is the site of Rancho Los Putos, of 10 square leagues, granted in 1845 by Governor Pio Pico to Juan Felipe Pena and Manuel Cabeza Vaca. The Pena adobe, erected here in 1842, is still owned by descendants of the Pena-Vaca families. The town of Vacaville, nearby, was established in 1851 on land sold by Vaca to William McDaniel.