Thursday, August 31, 2006

California Historical Landmark #746

The Coloma Road-Nimbus Dam
California State Historical Landmark #746

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located in the Nimbus Flat Boat Launching Facility, Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, California. There are 57 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sacramento County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° N 38° 38.057 W 121° 13.019.

You can log your visit to this landmark at


Alder Springs, south of this point, marks the old Coloma Road, running between Sutter's Fort and Cul-luh-mah (Coloma). Established in 1847, this road was used by James W. Marshall in January 1848 to bring the first gold from Sutter's Mill to the fort. Later, traveled by thousands to and from the diggings, it became the route of California's first stageline, established in 1849 by James E. Birch.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jack's 8th Birthday

We celebrated Jack's eighth birthday!

There will be a larger birthday party with his classmates and others in early September.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006


In May of 2005, I started using a web site to map my Flickr photos. Over the course of 2005, I probably mapped over 100 photos. In December of 2005, the site disappearred. The person who had built the site had been hired by Yahoo. Yahoo owns Flickr. In the last couple of days, much of the functionality of the old site and more has been pretty seamlessly merged into the Flickr site.

In late June 2005, Jack and I visited all of the pony express station sites between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, took pictures and logged the GPS locations. I can now generate a map of all these sites and the photos. Clicking on the red dots in the Flickr map brings up thumbnail pictures for each location.

I have several other set of photos that are mapped across Northern California, including our Frogpond Hike and Walk on the Wildside last year.

China ends funeral striptease acts

China ends funeral striptease acts -

Monday, August 28, 2006

Who killed Tower Records?

Who killed Tower Records?

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2006 Back to School Night

Sharon and I went to Back to School Night at Jack's school. The principal introduced the staff, the parish priests and the president of the school board spoke.

Afterwards, we went to Jack's class and his teacher gave the third grade parents an overview of the coming year. This is going to be a more intense year. For the first time, the kids will be getting letter grades. Instead of teaching the material until the class has learned it, the teacher stressed that they have a set curriculum that they have to cover by the end of the year. The resulting pace is going to be much different. Additionally, as the teacher repeated, the students are now reading to learn, rather than learning to read.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Off to Bumbershoot

Drew, Kellen and Dan are driving north to play at Bumbershoot in Seattle. They played a date Saturday afternoon in Eugene. They will be appearing next at The O Lounge in Seattle on September 1 at 9:00 p.m. They will then be playing at Bumbershoot on September 2, 3 and 4.

Unfold Tray Outside

I previously posted the cover of Drew's new album. Here is the artwork for the outside of the tray:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dinner at the Cunningham's

We finished the day having dinner at the Cunningham's. We swam in the pool, sat in the hot tub, had a nice dinner and showed them some of the pictures from our trip to France. The boys played together extremely well.

Picture Day Scrimmages

Jack's soccer team played two short scrimmages after the pictures. Each game had two 10 minutes periods.

In the first game, his team won 2 to 0. Jack played fullback for one of the periods. The coach told him to support the attack on offense and he actually had two shots on goal.

His team fell behind at the beginning of the second game, but then scored five straight goals to win 5 to 1. Jack's team has one player with a very strong leg. This player missed the first game, but he scored three quick goals in the first period of the second game. Jack played forward in the second period and scored one or two goals on four shots. Although Jack claims that the second goal was his, it was difficult to tell what happened in the bedlam in front of the goal. Jack had a great pass on long break, but his teammate's shot was just wide of the goal. Jack also headed the ball twice. Unfortunately, the second header was more off his nose than this head!

Soccer Picture Day

Friday, August 25, 2006

An interesting Soccer Season

This is going to be an interesting soccer season. Last year, Jack's team had 9 wins and 1 loss. To this team, the coach has added two more strong players. They now have a nucleus of at least 6 strong players.

Tonight, they scrimmaged the only team that they lost to last year. Jack's team outscored the other team by at least 10 to 1. It would have been worse, but the other team fielded a strong goalie in the fourth quarter who made 7 great stops and only allowed one goal.

Jack played very well. He had some solid defense stops, set-up two of the goals and had two saves as goalie in the fourth quarter. The whole team's spacing was very good. Jack was frustrated that he did not score; he has had a lot of success scoring goals in his first two seasons. It is going to be interesting for him to learn how to be a player on a very strong team, rather than the star on a weak team.

Jack playing Goalie

Pluto loses planet status

Pluto loses status as a planet.

Last week, astronomers at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) meeting in Prague were considering a new way to define the word planet. This would have meant adding three new planets to the Solar System, boosting the current tally of nine to 12..

Instead, the astronomers adopted historic new guidelines that demotes the small, distant world of Pluto to a secondary category, decreasing the number of planets from 9 to 8.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Run 4 Independence pic

On July 4, Sharon, Jack and I ran the Run 4 Independence ([Race Results], [Race Course Maps],[Starting Line Picture]).

Here is a picture of Jack and I taken during the race:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

California Historical Landmark #900

Nisipowinan Village Site
California State Historical Landmark #900

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located in Discovery Park at the archery range, Sacramento, California. There are 57 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sacramento County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 36.302 W 121° 29.984.

You can log your visit to this site at

This was the location of the most significant Indian village and cemetery of this region. The Nisipowinan, part of the Maidu tribe, had a strong economic and cultural interaction with Capt. John A. Sutter's settlement in the 1840s. The site shows evidence of habitation as early as 1000 b.c.

The Nisipowinan Village Site is known as “Joe’s Mound” after a Portuguese farmer of the area who was called Joe and ethnographically as Pujune. The village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1971. Artifacts noted at the site include burned bone, freshwater mussel shell, fire-affected rock, and ground stone fragments.

Pujune was the dominant village for the Nisenan on the east side of the Sacramento River from a few miles south of the American to above the mouth of the Feather River. Pujune controlled the mouth of the American River and portions of the Sacramento.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Moblog Soccer Practice

Running during Soccer Practice

While Jack had soccer practice, I ran laps around the park. Since the two vacations in July, I have been struggling with my running. I have labored through a number of runs with times that I am embarrassed to report. I finally felt like I could run today. Over the first four miles, I turned mile splits of 9:12, 8:54, 8:45 and 8:26. I ended up covering the first four miles with an average pace of 8:49. I coasted the last two miles and covered 6.00 miles with an average pace of 9:04.

While not spectacular, it is the second fastest average pace that I have run in the last four months. Combined with the fact that I found out that the cut-off time for the American River 50 is thirteen hours, I have some newfound optimisim that I will be able to accomplish my goals for the next eight months. The next race that I am planning to run is a half marathon during the Sacramento Cowtown Marathon.

Almanor Basin Transit Needs

Workshop keys on Almanor Basin transit -
The California Department of Transportation will host a public workshop Thursday to discuss current and future transportation needs in Almanor Basin.

Recent local growth has increased traffic, creating congestion that is expected to get worse with additional subdivisions planned for the area.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

2006 Back to School Ice Cream Social

With school starting tomorrow, Jack and I went to an ice cream social at the his school. He had a chance to find his classroom, meet this teacher, see where his desk will be and connect up with some of his classmates that he has not seen much over the summer. One of Jack's best friends was there and the two of them spent an hour plus dashing back and forth around the school and in and out of the classrooms.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Kevin's going away party

With a couple of different conflicting things on the calendar, we decided to go to Kevin's going away party. Kevin is Sharon's nephew. He will be leaving to go off to college at Gonzaga University on Wednesday.

At Kevin's Going Away Party

Friday, August 18, 2006

2006 California State Fair

After dropping a car at Sharon's brother's house, we spent the evening at the California State Fair. Jack rode a number of rides; we even joined him on a couple.

Sharon and Jack tried their hand at several carnival games. As you might expect, Jack was frustrated that he could not win anything. As I told Sharon at one point, my own personal opinion is that you would get more value and enjoyment in burning your money in a pile on the ground than you do in playing the carnival games, but that is just my personal opinion.

After a late dinner and a few more rides, Sharon was very pleased to find that the sheep were in the livestock barns. We got a chance to show Jack some southdowns like we had when lived at East View. We finished the night riding the monorail around and over the fairgrounds.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Drew, the babysitter, part 2

After spending a couple of days wandering up the California coast to Fort Bragg and the Avenue of the Giants, Drew was back. He spent the day with Jack. Once Jack was able to get him out of bed, the emphasis for the day was Worms Armageddon. We have all really enjoyed how much we have seen Drew over the last three weeks!

Stranger than Fiction


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Sharon and Marlene went to dinner at Mikuni's in Elk Grove.

New planets proposal

Proposal would increase planets from 9 to 12!

Andrew's New Album

Drew has finished up work on his new album.

The new album is called unfold and the songs include: Being Here; Circles; Hold My Hand; Southern California; Stormy Weather; A Thousand Years; Boy on the Beach; I Cannot Remember; Racecar; Morgan the Conquerer [Jack's personal favorite!]; and Blind Trying.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The New Blogger

Blogger, the software that I use to generate this blog, is finally getting a major upgrade: The New Blogger. The upgrade which is in beta includes a couple of features that I have wanted for some time, including the ability to categorize the posts, to date post prior to 1990 and to password protect blogs. The new system can be accessed at

I have been thinking for some time about blowing up the format and trying to implement a fresh look. I will probably use the conversion to the new system as an opportunity to change the look and feel of the blog. I have started to experiment with the new publishing software at:

Given the number of posts that I have and the complexity of my current template, I expect that it will be some time before they transfer me to the new system.

Crater Lake

What's growing at the bottom of Crater Lake?

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Placerville Show and New CD

Drew sent out this e-mail yesterday:
we got a show coming up this saturday the 19th [August 2006] at the cozmic cafe in good ol' placerville, ca. opening the show will be friends C.H.P. the show should start about 8pm and the door charge is only $5. for those who might want to go but don't know where placerville is - the beautiful town of placerville is nestled in the gold country of the sierra nevada foothills about 30 minutes east of sacramento. the cozmic cafe is a fantastic venue - for directions go to

unfortunately the new cd, offically titled "UNFOLD", will probably not be done by this weekend. we are all very excited to get this recording out into the world but we still need a lil time to make it as good as it can possibly be. UNFOLD is a step in a lil different than "& we hope" but it is a natural step for us in the evolution of our creation of music. please keep your eyes open for emails in the next couple weeks regarding ordering the new cd.

for those who can't make the show on saturday - look at my events calendar at and check out the shows coming up. a couple of us will be doing a mini tour/roadtrip going from san luis obipso in southern california - with stops in eugene, oregon and seattle, washington.

thank you all for your continued support and keeping passing the music around to friends!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Drew, the babysitter

Back from a show Saturday night at the Marcos Cafe in Lotus, Drew spent Sunday night with us and then stayed with Jack during the day. The two boys basically ran wild. Sharon got a couple of interesting phone calls from them, while they peppered me with IMs over the course of the day.

During dinner, I asked Drew what they did during the day. He said "we played Driver, lots of Driver." This is a video game for the playstation that I bought for Drew seven years ago.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Almanor 2006 Photo Album

A link to a photo album of pictures from this year's trip to Lake Almanor and the Dorado Inn is included below. Last year, I worked at getting pictures of the dads with all their kids. This year, I worked at getting pictures of all of the couples and pictures of each of the kids. I did not get individual pictures of Becky's boyfriend who was only there until Tuesday or Bob's son Adam who showed up late Thursday; Adam does show up in the group pictures of the kids.

Almanor 2006
Aug 5, 2006 - 44 Photos

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Harness Races

Saturday night, we went to the harness races at Cal Expo. We had tried to go last year. We ended up staying for five races. I successfully picked a longshot to win in the fourth race and a favorite to win in the fifth race.

Afterwards, we wandered over to the state fair livestock barns. Sharon was hoping that the sheep were there, but there was only goats.

More Almanor 2006 Musing

Since the beginning of time, Tomasin, Wallen, Nooter and I have played cribbage. I have lots of memories of lazy afternoons at Lake Almanor playing cribbage.

Although it does, it should not surprise me that the kids have started to play with a passion over the last few years. Drew and David are probably the most ardent players, but a number of the other kids play too. One of the nights last week after dinner, I found Jack playing three handed cribbage with Robbie and Becky; he is 7 while both Robbie and Becky are 22!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ark of the Covenant

Eating dinner, we watched an episode of Digging for the Truth that I had tivoed titled Hunt for the Lost Ark. The episode follows the trail of the Ark of the Covenant across the Middle East and Africa to the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Aksum, Ethiopia!?!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Shadow Glen Stables

Jack and Sharon went to Shadow Glen Stables for a morning horse ride along Lake Natoma. I took Morgan there once for a riding lesson a long time ago.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Musing about Almanor 2006

Reflecting back on last week, I feel like this was an odd year at Lake Almanor. It was the first time since we started going there in 1988 that Morgan did not go; I missed Morgan. Due to work issues, Sharon ended up being there for less than 24 hours; I missed Sharon.

As a result, it was just Drew, Jack and I. Drew fit in great. There were 11 different kids 17 years or older! Drew has known most of these kids his whole life.

Unfortunately, Jack was the odd man out. With Mikey not showing up until mid-day on Thursday, all of the other kids for most of the week were more than twice his age. As result, Jack turned to me to keep him entertained.

Although I ran more, played more golf and did more work (e-mail and conference calls) this year at Almanor than I have in recent memory, I felt like I did not do as much. This was primarily due to the fact that I only skied one day, while in past years I have skied every day. Additionally, without Sharon there, we did not do a day hike.

In spite of these struggles, the trip remains important because it is an opportunity to maintain friendships that stretch back almost 30 years. I have been lamenting how little I have seen of a number of people over the last year. The trip gave me a great opportunity to reconnect with everyone, particularly the Tomasins and Wallens.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

First Day of Soccer Practice

Jack missed the first week of soccer practice while we were at Lake Almanor last week. As a result, today was the start of the season for him. He is in the middle of the picture with the blue #10 French soccer jersey.

Any guesses who wore #10 for France in the world cup?

Monday, August 07, 2006

The making of the new album

In June, I went up to Georgetown and had dinner with Drew while he and his friends were working on his new album. They have put together a long video chronicling the making of the new album. The video includes scenes from the Riverc@ts game and father's day breakfast.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stick a fork in me

Stick a fork in me, I am done. I have been on the move 23 of the last 29 days, including major parts of the last four weekends. By today, I was ready to be at home in a more or less catatonic state.

We finished up the day watching My Dog Skip on DVD.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Kids

2006 Almanor Day 8

I spent most of the morning cleaning the cabins, packing up the car and helping people pull their boats out of the lake. After a few group pictures, we headed towards Chico.

Traditionally, a group will stop at the Graduate in Chico for lunch. This year, the Tomasin's, Hunter's and Heringer's all stopped.

Drew called a couple of his friends on the way into town. After lunch, he decided to spend the night in Chico.

Back on the road, Jack and I were home by 3:45 p.m.

The Adults

Friday, August 04, 2006

At Plumas Pines

2006 Almanor Day 7

Larkin got up early and headed back to Greenwood. Sharon had a number of things going on at work and after getting a couple of phone calls decided that she had better head back too. Sharon, Jack and I had breakfast in Chester and then she took off for Sacramento.

After all of the traveling over the last month, my goal for the day was to do as little as possible. I played horseshoes with Jack. Drew and Jack and David and Michael went out on a long run with the waverunners. I spent much of the day sitting on the boat ramp reading my book and catching up with people. Bachman and Geselbracht took off on their motorcycles in the late morning. In the afternoon, all of the kids swam in the lake and played king of the mountain on the float.

Ordering pizza for the kids, all of the adults went out to dinner. The Chabrier's came by and picked up everyone on their patio boat and took us across the lake to Plumas Pines. Plumas Pines had a live band so after dinner we stayed and danced. By the time, we got the patio boat back to the Dorado Inn it was after midnight.

Swimming in the Lake

Thursday, August 03, 2006

2006 Almanor Day 6

After a lazy Wednesday, we had a very busy Thursday. Connor left early in the morning. I ran four miles in the morning. Getting a quick breakfast, Drew, Jack and I went with Chris, Danny and Tomasin on his boat. Chris and Danny wakeskated--essentially a wakeboard with no bindings--and Drew wakeboarded. I worked on getting up on the wakeboard; I had never tried a wakeboard before.

Back at the cabins, we rallied everyone to go across the lake for lunch. With the closure of the hamburger hut, we decided to try Carol's. Hunter and I had deli sandwiches there on Sunday.

We invaded Carol's with more than 25 people. Both Larkin and Sharon were driving up to the lake. I was finally able to get a hold of Larkin and reroute him to Carol's to meet us.

We finished up lunch and raced back to the cabin's to meet Sharon. From there, Larkin, Sharon, Jack and I went to Bailey Creek to play golf. Sharon played 9 holes, while Jack, Larkin and I played 13 holes. I was pretty happy with the 53 that I shot on the front nine.

We then raced back to cabins to get ready for dinner. The Chabrier's had invited to their house for dinner. They have a place on the Lake about a mile north of the Dorado Inn. They served a great dinner to about 30 people! We had a wonderful time and ended up getting back to the Dorado Inn at almost 11:00 p.m.

A long day...

Jack at Bailey Creek

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

2006 Almanor Day 5

Wednesday was a slow, lazy day. With a large part of the group up until almost 2:00 a.m., most of the cabins slept late.

Eventually, I rallied Jack and we got Jill to take us out in the boat. Jack went tubing first. Jill then trashed me in the tube. Drew wandered by with one of Cal's waverunners and took Jack for a ride on the waverunner.

There was lots of horseshoe matches in the afternoon. Bachman was taunting the older kids. The older kids had some success against him winning a couple, but losing a lot.

Before dinner, the older kids--Robbie, Drew, David and Carol--took the Hunter's boat out to tube. Tomasin, Connor, Geselbracht, Bachman, Jack and I went out to watch them. After Drew tubed, they took Jack and he tubed with Drew and Carol.

After we went back in, Hunter's boat would not start was drifting about 1/2 mile from the dock. The kids got our attention and Tomasin, Jill and I went back out in the Wallen's boat to tow them back in.

Hunter made dinner (ribs and hamburgers) for the group. We finished the night playing cards on the picnic tables.

On the waverunner

Jack in the Tube

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

2006 Almanor Day 4

For years, Tomasin and I have taken a boat out in the morning with some combination of our kids. This has changed over the last two years. He upgraded his boat last year and now it is the boat of choice of all the older kids who are wakeboarding; everyone wants to go out on his boat. Additionally, Tomasin has been getting up earlier and going out with Chris and David. As a result, I have spent a lot more time on the Wallen's and Hunter's boat.

For the third morning in row, I got up and ran four miles. Afterwards, Jack, Drew and I went out on the Wallen's boat with John and Jill. Jack originally was going to try the double skis again, but "changed his mind." I drove the boat while Jill single skied. Drew also took a turn on a single ski.

I have been very tentative about the idea of water skiing this year. I have been struggling with my back and was worried that skiing would make it worse. I gave it a try today, skiing behind Hunter's boat with his Kidder. Although I missed a couple of starts at the beginning, I eventually worked out the bugs and had a great ski.

When we got back to the dock, Drew took Jack out for a long spin on one of the waverunners. Jack and I then went with Tomasin to look for the best place to buy gas on the lake.

When we got back, Jack and I headed to the store. It was my night to make dinner for 22 people. We went into town and did a big shop. My plan for dinner was to make a couple of big salads, some pasta and barbecue some chicken. I spent the rest of the day putting together the salads, getting the chicken ready and then cooking everything. I had a lot of help at the barbecue from Tomasin and Drew. I also made margarita's for everyone before dinner. It took me until almost 10:00 p.m. to get everything cleaned up and get Jack in bed.

A large group including Jill, Becky, Kyle, Carol, Drew, Robbie, Tomasin, Connor and Hunter took the boat to Plumas Pines to play 21 aces. I got Danny and David to babysit Jack and drove around the Lake to meet them.

I lasted until about midnight and then headed back to the cabins. When I got back to the cabins, Bachman and Geselbracht just got there. They had riden motorcycles up the Feather River Canyon. Wallen, Bachman, Geselbracht and I sat and visited until 1:45 a.m. At this point, the group returned from Plumas Pines. I finally crashed a little after 2:00 a.m.

Drew and Robbie