Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #7


The SEAS Eagles played their seventh basketball game of the summer league. They played SJE again...

Jack was the high scorer for the Eagles! He had 16 points on 4 for 6 from two point range, 2 for 3 from three point range and 2 for 4 from the free throw line. Jack added 3 rebounds and 5 steals.

The Eagles could not make a basket at the beginning of the game and fell behind by the score of 20 to 3 at the end of the first quarter. They clawed their way back and ended up losing by the score of 60 to 48. The box score is here.

Their record for the summer league is now 3 wins and 4 losses. All four of the losses have been to SJE!?! The game log is here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #6

The SEAS Eagles played their sixth game of the summer league against St. Mary's. They lost to St. Mary's in the Christian Brothers Tournament in February, but this is a very different St. Mary's team.

Jack had a very nice game.  He had 9 points on 4 for 5 from two point range, 0 for 2 from three point range and 1 for 2 from the free throw line. Jack added 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal with 2 turnovers.

The Eagles rolled to a 38 to 9 half-time lead and then cruised to a 56 to 28 win. The box score is here.

Their record for the summer league is now 3 wins and 3 losses. The game log is here.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bon Iver - Calgary

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Bon Iver - Calgary

Code Expiration: September 23, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

At Bartley Cavanaugh


After Outlaws Baseball practice in the morning, Sharon, Jack and I headed to Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course. With the first tee clogged up, we ended up jumping on the back nine.

This was probably the best nine holes of golf that I have ever played. With Jack getting frustrated and melting down in Wallenesque fashion, I proceeded to shoot a winter rules 43 on a par 35. I parred both of the Par 3's including hitting a 70 foot putt to within 6 inches and the Par 5. After parring the Par 5 11th and the Par 3 12th, I had a stretch were I had four straight bogeys on Par 4's.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stranger than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction
Sharon, Jack and I finished the day watching Stranger than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell, on the AppleTV.

2011 Run 4 Independence

In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Sharon, Jack and I ran the Run 4 Independence on the Fourth of July in Elk Grove Park. This was the first three years of race. This year, they moved the race to the weekend before the Fourth of July weekend.

Leaving Jack asleep in bed, Sharon and I went to the race. Standing at the starting line, my garmin GPS died; it was out of battery. I almost never run without the garmin. The custom screen that I have shows me the pace for the entire run as well as the pace for the current mile. Once the race started, I had no idea how fast I was running.

This year's course as a double loop through the park and around Elk Grove High School. It was the fourth different course that they have used in the four times that we have run the race. I didn't enjoy this course.

It has been five years since I ran a 5k by myself. In the 2006 Run Against Pain, I ran a 53:07 for a pace of 8:34 per mile. I finished the 2011 Run 4 Independence in 53:37 for a pace of 8:38 per mile. Overall, I was pretty pleased with that result. I think that I could have carried a little more speed.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 NBA draft results: Draft grades - ESPN

2011 NBA draft results: Draft grades - ESPN

SACRAMENTO KINGS GRADE: A
Round 1: Jimmer Fredette (10, obtained from Bucks)

Round 2: Tyler Honeycutt (35), Isaiah Thomas (60, obtained from Chicago via Milwaukee)

Analysis: I hated the trade the Kings made on Thursday. But I loved Sacramento's draft.

Fredette was the perfect fit on a team that needed his shooting ability. (I would say the same thing if the Kings would've stayed at No. 7 and taken Fredette.) At a minimum, Fredette will come in and be a sharpshooting sparkplug off the bench, but he could be much more. He's replacing Beno Udrih, and Fredette should eventually be an upgrade over Udrih in almost every way.

My main concern is the fact that the coaching staff reportedly isn't in love with Fredette, which could be a problem. For him to succeed, he will need a coach who believes in him.

I like the Tyler Honeycutt pick, as well. Honeycutt has a lot of untapped talent, a high basketball IQ and good passing ability, which should allow him to stick in the league.

Isaiah Thomas has value as the No. 60 pick -- he's tough, he can get to the basket and he can play the point.

Outlaws Spring 2011 Pic #1

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #5

Over the last few years, Jack has literally played hundreds of organized competitive baseball, flag football, basketball and soccer games. I rarely rant about the officiating. After the first game in the SJE summer league last week, I mentioned that the refereeing was terrible. The SEAS Eagles had the same set of referees again and they were horrible.

The SEAS Eagles played their fifth game of the summer league. They played SJE for the third time in two weeks. Apparently, they are having trouble with two of the teams in the six team league fielding enough players.

Jack struggled with his shot. He had 3 points on 0 for 4 from two point range, 0 for 3 from three point range and 3 for 4 from the free throw line. Jack added 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 turnover.

With SEAS leading by the score of 47 to 42 with about 1:30 left in the game, the referees won the game and the Eagles lost by the score of 49 to 47. The box score is here.

Their record for the summer league is now 2 wins and 3 losses. The game log is here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wallen

After spending the weekend with his mom in Redding, Wallen joined us for dinner on Sunday night. He spent the night and then got up very early Monday morning to head back to the Pacific Northwest. I always enjoy Wallen's company.

Nevada Historical Marker #210

Sunday morning when I was in Reno for the Petersen Shootout, I spent an hour wandering around looking for five different Nevada Historical Landmarks, including; Reno #30; Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot #210; Lake Mansion #227; Frederick Joseph DeLongchamps #245; and Site of Nevada's First Public Library #247.

Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot
Nevada Historical Marker #210

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

This marker is located at 325 East 4th Street, Reno, Nevada. There are 41 other historical markers in Washoe County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 31.859 W 119° 48.568.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Marker #210
This building was constructed as a passenger depot for the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad, a narrow-gauge line connecting Reno with northern California and southern Oregon.

It began operations in 1882 as the Nevada and California Railroad. Reno was its headquarters with a roundhouse, repair shops, and a storage yard situated at this location. Northward expansion of the line terminated at Lakeview, Oregon, January, 1912.

In 1917, the Western Pacific Railroad purchased the N.C.O. line from Reno to Herlong, California, and standard gauged it. The depot continued to serve the traveling public until 1937.


Nevada Historical Marker #210
Nevada Historical Marker #210

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #3 and #4

The SEAS Eagles played a double header in the 2011 Summer Basketball League at SJE. The Eagles played OLA in the first game. They did not play OLA during the Varsity Comp season earlier this year, but split games with them in the JV Comp Season in 2009-2010.

Jack had 8 points on 4 for 10 from the field. He was 4 for 7 from two point range and 0 for 3 from three point range. Jack added 4 rebounds and 1 steal.

Trailing most of the game, the Eagles pulled ahead in the last couple of minutes and won by the score of 71 to 68. The box score is here.

An hour later, the Eagles turned around and played SJE for the second time in a week. With temperatures outside over a 100 degrees, the gym was very hot. Additionally, Jack had a very couple of days. In addition to swimming and playing soccer at Jesuit on Monday and Tuesday, he worked out with Coach Boyle and had an hour and a half basketball practice on Monday night. Jack's leg were dead by the second game.

Jack again ended up with 8 points, but was 3 for 13 from the field. He was 1 for 7 from two point range and 2 for 6 from three point range. Jack added 3 steals, an assist and a block.

I think that all of the boys were feeling the heat. After shooting .455 in the first game, the Eagles were 15 for 55 from the field [.273], including 4 for 24 [.167] from three point range. Trailing by 6 to 10 points most of the second half, the Eagles lost by the score of 50 to 46. The box score is here.

Their record for the summer league is now 2 wins and 2 losses. The game log is here.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - The Boxer Rebellion - No Harm

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - The Boxer Rebellion - No Harm

Code Expiration: September 16, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kayaking from Rattlesnake Bar


Sharon, Jack and I took the kayaks to Folsom Lake and launched from Rattlesnake Bar. Although I shouldn't have been, I was surprised by how high the water was. We headed up the lake towards the North Fork of the American River. The 5 MPH buoys were about 3/4's of a mile from the boat ramp. After about 2 miles, we stopped and had lunch on the eastern shore.

After lunch, I cajoled Jack and Sharon to do about another 1/2 mile up the lake. I was thinking we would be able to get close to where the lake turns into the river; we didn't. Based on aerial photos, it looks like we would have had to go another mile to get to that point.

In total, we covered a little more than 5 miles.

Kayaks!

Kayaks!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Unrated Widescreen Edition)Sharon and I watched Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The movie is not available as a download or a rental on iTunes. As a result, for the first time in a long time, I actually had to actually order the DVD.

Partly driven by Jack, we have seen a number of Will Ferrell movies over the last few months, including Blades of Glory and Talladega Nights. I did not find Anchorman as funny as the others that we have seen.

The movies has an interesting cast, including Christina Applegate, Steve Carell and Fred Willard. There are also cameo appearances by a number of other stars.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Nevada Historical Marker #31

We stopped in Mesquite for lunch on the way to Zion National Park in April. Traveling across Southern Nevada, I continue to be fascinated by the Spanish exploration and settlement of the southwest.

The Old Spanish Trail
Nevada Historical Marker #31

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

This marker is located at 35 West Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite, Nevada. There are 28 other historical markers in Clark County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 36° 48.244 W 114° 04.123.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Landmark #31

Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada's first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. The trail was later used by the wagons of the "49ers" and Mormon pioneers. Concrete posts marking the trail were erected in 1965.

Nevada Historical Landmark #56

Starbucks iTunes 10 Song Summer Mix

Beginning June 6, when you purchase a Frappuccino blended beverage at Starbucks, the barista will hand you a free 10-Song Summer Mix playlist, including:

Death Cab for Cuite - Underneath the Sycamore
Brooker T. Jones Featuring Biz Markie, Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones - Just a Friend
Cold War Kids - Skip the Charades
Matt Nathanson - Faster
Fleet Foxes - Battery Kinzie
The Airborne Toxic Event - Half of Something Else
Parts & Labor - Rest
Peter Bjorn and John - Eyes
Telekinesis - Country Lane
We Are Augustines - Chapel Song

Starbucks iTunes 10 Song Summer Mix
Starbucks iTunes 10 Song Summer Mix

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #2

Jack played in the second game of the 2011 summer basketball league at SJE. The SEAS Eagles played Holy Spirit. Cole plays on the Holy Spirit team. I had a chance to talk with Debra before the game and visit briefly with John during the game.

Jack scored 14 points on 7 for 13 from the field. He added 2 rebounds and 2 steals with only one turnover. Jack was very successful at getting to the rim; almost all of his baskets were lay-ups. Malcolm had a team leading 15 points.

Playing with only five players, Holy Spirit was at a disadvantage. The Eagles ran and trapped them to death. Pulling away in the second quarter, SEAS beat Holy Spirit by the score of 58 to 33. After not scoring the first game, I brought my iPad and scored the game. The box score is here.

Their record for the summer league is now 1 win and 1 loss. The game log is here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

I finished reading Old Man's War by John Scalzi. I bought the book in March after seeing it on the list of books nominated for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Novel. After slogging through the Picasso biography, I was looking for somewhat lighter to read.

The basic premise of the book reminds me of several other science fiction books that I have read, including Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers, Joe Haldeman's The Forever War and John Steakley's Armor. Additionally, much like David Brin's Uplift novels, the story is set in a universe heavily populated with life forms. Old Man's War has enough new ideas to set it apart and keep it interesting.

After being inducted into the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF), the protagonist must learn to survive in battle against a wide variety of aliens. While the soldiers in Starship Troopers, The Forever War and Armor relied on powered body armor to gain advantage over their aliens, the soldiers in Old Man's War have enhanced DNA, nanotechnology and neural implants giving them advantages in strength, speed, endurance and information processing.

The book was just the right change of pace that I was looking for. As I have said before, I read science fiction partly because I love to see how authors play with ideas about technology; this is a good example. I enjoyed Old Man's War enough that I am definitely going to read the sequel.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 SJE Summer Basketball Game #1

Jack played with the SEAS Eagles in the first game of the SJE 2011 Summer Basketball League. With six teams, the league stretches over the next five weeks with two games a week. With the Outlaws playing baseball until the end of July, I am not sure how many of the games Jack is going to play.

SEAS played SJE in the first game of the league. They lost to SJE twice during the regular season in the Christian Brothers tournament and the second round of the season ending PAL tournament.

I had intended to keep score, but forgot my iPad charging at work. Jack ended up scoring 5 points on 2 for a bunch. He struggled with his shot. Jack had two nice steals but missed the lay-ups and also missed a point blank shot on a nice pass from Joe. He had a couple of turnovers at the beginning of the game, but settled down and took better care of the ball as the game progressed.

Taking way too many three point shots [I really wish I had been keeping score], the SEAS Eagles lost to SJE by the score of 47 to 34.

The refereeing was terrible.

Their record for the summer league is now 0 wins and 1 loss. The game log is here.

2011 SJE Summer Basketball League Log Game

5 Wins and 5 losses

07-12-2011 - SEAS 76, Sacred Heart 17 - [box score]
07-07-2011 - SEAS defeated OLA
07-05-2011 - Holy Spirit defeated SEAS
06-30-2011 - SJE 60, SEAS 48 - [box score]
06-28-2011 - SEAS 56, St. Mary's 28 - [box score]
06-23-2011 - SJE 49, SEAS 47 - [box score]
06-21-2011 - SJE 50, SEAS 46 - [box score]
06-21-2011 - SEAS 71, OLA 68 - [box score]
06-16-2011 - SEAS 58, Holy Spirit 33 - [box score]
06-14-2011 - SJE 47, SEAS 34

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - My Morning Jacket - Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - My Morning Jacket - Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

Code Expiration: September 9, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

www.grantland.com

Over the years, I have been a big fan of ESPN's Bill Simmons columns and podcasts. Last week, he launched a new website that will be 70% sports and 30% pop culture. While it will be fully owned by ESPN, it will not carry the ESPN brand.

The website is called Grantland.

Grantland Rice (November 1, 1880 – July 13, 1954) was an early 20th century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #9 Day 2

Back in Antioch for the second day of the All World tournament, the Outlaws played the Brentwood Blast Red. With a win, the Outlaws would have advanced to the semi-final game of the tournament.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 1 with a walk. In his first at bat, Jack ran the count to 3 and 2 and drew a walk. The pitcher tried to throw behind him and Jack stole second. He ended the inning on second when Breyton popped out to the pitcher. Jack struck out on three pitches in his second at-bat. After struggling at the plate at the beginning of the year, this was Jack's first strike out in 19 plate appearances. Talking to him on the way home, he was stealing the pitch signs from the opposing coach, but said that he misread the third strike call and was badly fooled.

In the field, Jack played 1 1/3 innings at first base and 2 2/3 innings at shortstop. He had one put out at first base on a very nice dig and two assists at shortstop. Jack has not spent any time at shortstop in the last three years and it makes me very nervous to watch him play there.

Giving up three walks and hitting a batter, the Outlaws pitching collapsed in the top of the second. By time they got out of the inning, Brentwood had scored 6 runs. The Outlaws could never get back on track, lost by the score of 9 to 0 and were eliminated from the tournament. The box score is here.

The Outlaws have 21 wins and 18 losses for the Spring 2011 season. The game log is here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #9 Day 1

The Outlaws played in the All World 4GG Tournament at Antioch Community Park. This is a nine team tournament with the top four teams advancing to a play-off on Sunday. The Outlaws played the Walnut Creek Bulldawgs in the first game. They beat this team at a tournament in Martinez in April.

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 4 with a triple and five RBIs. In his first at bat, Jack hit a 3 and 2 pitch hard up the middle. The pitcher made a "look what I found catch" and threw Jack out at first. With Cooper on third and Trevor on second with no outs, Jack grounded a 1 and 1 pitch to the right side. Cooper scored for the RBI and Jack was thrown out at first. In his third at bat with J.J. on third and two outs, Jack hit a 2 and 2 pitch for an infield single to the left side for a RBI. With the bases loaded and two outs, Jack came to bat in the fifth inning. He crushed the first pitch over the right fielder's head for a triple and three RBIs.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third and one inning at shortstop. With Jeremy gone on vacation, Jack will probably play shortstop this weekend when Cooper pitches. He had one put out on a nifty play by Cooper at shortstop. With one out and a runner on second, Cooper made a stop deep in the hole. He made a spinning move and a throw to Jack at third to get the runner trying to advance from second.

On the strength of Breyton's two home runs and 6 RBIs and Jack's triple and 5 RBIs, the Outlaws rolled to a 13 to 4 win over the Bulldawgs. The box score is here.

After a two hour break, the Outlaws played the Oakland Cal Ripken All Stars in the second game. They have played this team twice in the Northern California Cal Ripken Tournament, losing to them in 2010 and 2009.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2. In his first at bat, he hit the first pitch to the left side for a fielder's choice. Trevor was forced out at second and Jack was safe at first. Jack ended the inning there. Jack hit a 1 and 0 pitch for a hard line drive into right field in his second at bat. I was sure that it was going to be a base hit. The right fielder was playing fairly shallow, fielded the ball quickly and threw Jack out at first. It makes me crazy that the Outlaws never seem to be able to make this play.

In the field, Jack played four innings in centerfield and pitch part of the fifth. He had three put outs on catches in centerfield.

With the Outlaws trailing by the score of 6 to 0 in the fifth, Jack came in to pitch. He walked the first batter on five pitches. The runner moved to second on an error by Jack; he made a wild pick off throw to first. The runner then moved to third on a wild pitch. The batter then pushed a 1 and 2 pitch through the left side to score the runner. Although the score was only 7 to 0, the umpires ended the game. Jack threw 11 pitches: 5 balls and 6 strikes.

The Outlaws lost the game by the score of 7 to 0. The box score is here.

Finally, the Outlaws turned around and played the Backspin Mets. This is not a team that they have played before.

At the plate, Jack was 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs. In his first at bat, Jack hit a 2 and 1 pitch for a soft pop up that fell between the first baseman, second baseman and pitcher. Trevor scored from third. Jack was caught stealing second. With two outs and J.J. on third and Bailey on second, Jack hit the first pitch through the right side for a single and two RBIs. He ended the inning at first. In his third at bat, Jack hit the first pitch for a hard grounder off the first baseman's shin to score Cooper from third. He went to second on a wild pitch, but ended the inning there. Jack lined a 2 and 1 pitch into right field for a single in his fourth plate appearance. He stole second and scored on Jordan's infield single.

In the field, Jack played sixth innings at third. He had two assists. Jack handled two grounders to the left side and threw the runners out at first.

Behind a complete game by Josh, the Outlaws won by the score of 8 to 3. The box score is here.

The Outlaws have 21 wins and 17 losses for the Spring 2011 season. The game log is here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 SHSS IS Golf Tournament

I spend the day playing in the 23rd annual SHSS Information Systems Golf Tournament. The tournament is a charity fund raiser for the hospitals. I have played in this tournament ten of the last eleven years. After holding the tournament the last two years at the Bass Lake Course, the tournament moved back to the Forest Lake Golf Course in Acampo. As Ricky would say, Bass Lake had "too many rules."

Starting in 2007, I have been required to play with vendors who made a contribution. This year, I played with Glenn Gerlach from Microsoft, Rob Adams from AT&T and Mark from Quest.

Even though I played twice in May, I played horrible. I did not take any swings at the driving range and could never really get on track. Glenn, Rob and Mark carried the team. In spite of the fact that we used four of my drives, we had 12 birdies and no bogies for a 54.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

2011 Disneyland Day 5

While I flew back to Sacramento on Monday, Sharon and Jack stayed an extra day and flew home on Tuesday. Sharon took advantage of the extra day to ride Star Tours twice more with Tom and Becky. She particularly liked the ending on Naboo. Jack spent most of Monday hanging out with Kevin and Eric. The group finished Monday night having dinner at Ariel's Grotto and watching the World of Color show. Tom said that the boys grudgingly admitted that the show was worth giving up a ride to see. By the time that Sharon and Jack got back to the room, it was after 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Back from Orange County

2011 Disneyland Day 4

I got up a little before 5 a.m., caught a taxi from the hotel to John Wayne Airport and took an uneventful 7:30 a.m. flight back to Sacramento. I was back in the office before 10 a.m.

Sharon and Jack are staying one more day and flying home on Tuesday. It was a great trip.

After four long days with not enough sleep, I felt like someone had hit me in the head with a baseball bat by the end of the work day.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

2011 Disneyland Day 3

View from the room at the Grand Californian Hotel

Up early, Sharon and I walked into downtown Disney and got coffee at the La Brea Bakery Cafe. I was frankly astonished at the number of people pouring into Disneyland at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

We decided to get another set of fast passes for Star Tours. Heading into the park, the line was already two hours long for Star Tours. After standing in a line to get the fast passes, Sharon and I rode the Matterhorn and then headed back to the room.

I was surprised to find Jack was still asleep when we got back to the room. Borrowing Tim's car, Sharon, Jack and I followed Tom, Eric and Kevin to the St. Boniface Catholic Church for Mass.

After Mass, the six of us went to breakfast at a French Canadian restaurant called Cafe Casse Croute.

Sharon, Jack and I headed into Disneyland when we got back and used the Star Tours fast passes. This time, the beginning was taking off with the Millennium Falcon, the middle was on Hoth where a battle between Rebels and Imperial AT-ATs is happening followed by an appearance by Yoda, and the ending was on Coruscant. While we saw a difference middle section than the previous day, we saw the same beginning and ending. Apparently, there are two different beginnings and three different endings.

I really enjoyed Star Tours. If there wasn't a million people trying to get on the ride, it would be cool to ride it seven or eight times in succession to see the different combinations.

Sharon was planning to spend the afternoon at the spa so she headed back to the hotel. Jack and I rode the Matterhorn, spent some time at the shooting gallery in Frontierland and then rode the Indy Jones ride.

With a large part of the group at the spa getting massages, Jack and I headed back to the room and then to the gym. While I ran a 10k on the treadmill, Jack covered 20 miles on the bike!

Afterwards, we got cleaned up for dinner. Sharon, Kevin and I had a drink in the bar. The entire group then went to a German restaurant for dinner: the Loreley Restaurant inside the Phoenix Club. I enjoyed my Phoenix Combination of grilled bratwurst, Polish sausage and Leberkäse (veal loaf) with sauerkraut, but Sharon was not crazy about her meal.

Leaving the hotel for dinner, I had an odd experience. I looked up and saw two boys walking towards me with ELk Grove Longhorns sweatshirts. It turned out to be a family that played on the Gunners and the Outlaws for a year and went to Cooperstown. Sharon and I stopped and talked to them for a few minutes.

Sharon and I crashed in the room after we got back from dinner, but Jack went back out into the park until after midnight with Tom, Eric and Kevin.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

2011 Disneyland Day 2


I started the day with Tom, Becky, Jack and Sharon for breakfast in the Storyteller Cafe of the Grand Californian Hotel.

Leaving Jack with Eric and Kevin, Sharon and I headed to Disneyland with the intention of getting fast passes for Star Tours. The updated version of Star Tours opened on Friday and there is a crush of people around the ride. Standby wait times have stretched over 2 hours!

From there, we headed back to California Adventure to meet up with everyone else. Sharon and I made a quick stop at Soaring Over California. At this point, Drew called and was pulling into the parking lot. While I went to meet Drew, Sharon met part of the group at Grizzy River Run Water Ride. Drew and I got there in time to see them come down the drop at the end.

Kevin, Eric, Tom, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I looped back around and did the Grizzy River Run again.

With Becky, this group headed back to Soaring over California. Exiting that ride, we picked up Tim, Kathy, Erin and Eileen. In addition to the new Star Tours ride, a new Little Mermaid ride opened on Friday. We used one of the fast pass coupons that we got from the hotel. It turned out to a be waste of time; I can't imagine the ride being of interest to anyone but a six year old girl. While we lamented using one of the fast pass tickets, we would have been more upset if we had waited in line for an hour or two.

Splitting up, Jack, Eric, Kevin, Drew and I rode the California Screamin' rollcoaster. Afterwards we caught up with Tom, Becky and Sharon at the Wine Country Trattoria for a snack and a glass of wine.

The group then headed to Disneyland. We grabbed some fast passes for Space Mountain. With some time to kill before our Star Tours fast passes, we rode the Buzz Lightyear ride, Mister Toad's Wild Ride and Peter Pan. The ending to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is very odd. With Drew searching the internet for tips and tricks, Drew and Jack took a couple of extra rides on Buzz Lightyear rather than heading to Castle with the rest of the group.

Finally, we rode the new Star Tours ride. This is an updated 3D version of the old ride with 54 possible experiences. In our case, the beginning was taking off with the Millennium Falcon, the middle was a podrace on Tatooine followed by an appearance by Princess Leia, and the ending was on Coruscant.

Afterwards, Sharon took off to get cleaned up for dinner. I stayed with Jack, Eric, Kevin and Drew. We dashed into Buzz Lightyear one more time [Drew scored an unbelievable 657,000 points], ran over and got fast passes for Splash Mountain, came back and rode Space Mountain, stopped briefly at the Frontierland shooting gallery, went on the Pirates of the Caribbean and finished the evening getting soaking wet on Splash Mountain. Jack and Kevin were soaked as we walked back to the room.

I got cleaned up. The adults had dinner reservations at the Napa Rose Restaurant at the Grand Californian; we had a very nice dinner. Sharon had duck and I had a fixed meal that included boar and veal for the entree. Drew went with Jack, Eileen, Erin, Eric and Kevin to dinner at the trattoria in California Adventure. After dinner, Drew and Jack took the Toy Story ride.

I finished the evening walking Drew to the parking lot tram. I really enjoyed having him join us for the day!

Friday, June 03, 2011

2011 Disneyland Day 1

Friday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I flew from Sacramento to Orange County. We got our luggage and caught a cab to Disneyland. We are spending the weekend at the Grand Californian Hotel with Sharon's two brothers' families. Sharon's sister-in-law, Becky, has wanted to make a trip with all three families for years.

Unfortunately, when we got to the hotel about 4 p.m., the room was not ready. We ended up sitting in the lobby for about an hour. At this point, the Tom's and Tim's rolled in. They had driven from Northern Californa, stopping overnight at Harris Ranch.

After getting settled into the rooms, everyone [Sharon, Jack, Tom, Becky, Kevin, Eric, Tim, Kathy, Erin, Eileen and I] got together in Tom's room for a drink and hors· d'oeuvres.

From there, we all headed to Disneyland. Taking the Disneyland Railroad around to New Orleans Square, we started with the Pirates of the Caribbean. From there, we rode the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain.

We had a late dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrace watching the fireworks. At this point, the Tim's headed back to the hotel, while the rest of us rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Sharon bailed out after the bobsleds. Tom, Becky, Kevin, Eric, Jack and I finished the night riding Space Mountain, the Indiana Jones Adventure and the Jungle Cruise.

By the time Jack and I got back to the room and turned out the lights for the night it was after 12:30 a.m.

At John Wayne Airport


John Wayne

To Orange County

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Nevada Historical Marker #56

We stopped in Mesquite for lunch on the way to Zion National Park in April.

Virgin Valley
Nevada Historical Marker #56

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This marker is located at 35 West Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite, Nevada. There are 28 other historical markers in Clark County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 36° 48.248 W 114° 04.110.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Landmark #56

Virgin Valley was traveled by Jedediah Smith in 1826 and by Frémont in 1844.

The valley served as the right-of-way for the Old Spanish Trail (1829-1848) and for the Morman road or southern route of travel to southern California.

The areas was settled by pioneers of the Latter-Day Saints Church, who colonized Bunderville in 1877 and Mesquite in 1880.

The Virgin River provided water for the development of the valley's agricultural resources.


Nevada Historical Landmark #56
Nevada Historical Landmark #56

Clark County Historical Markers

Nevada Historical Landmarks in Clark County
{GPS Coordinates of Site Location}

6. El Dorado Canyon
*31. The Old Spanish Trail - [map] - {36.80407,-114.06872}
32. The Old Spanish Trail
33. The Old Spanish Trail
34. The Old Spanish Trail
35. Las Vegas Mormon Fort And Rancho
36. Moapa Valley
37. Powell of the Colorado
40. Las Vegas (The Meadows)
41. Pueblo Grande de Nevada
*56. Virgin Valley - [map] - {36.804133,-114.0685}
86. Tule Springs
102. Goodsprings
103. Gypsum Cave
104. The Camel Corps
115. Potosi
116. Searchlight
139. Old Spanish Trail (Journey of Death)
140. Old Spanish Trail (Garces Expedition)
141. Old Spanish Trail (Armijo's Route)
142. Old Spanish Trail (Mt. Springs Pass)
150. Nevada's First State Park
168. Arrowhead Trail
188. Von Schmidt State Boundary Monument
190. Original Homesite of Pioneer Las Vegan,"Pop" Squires
195. The Last Spike
197. Arrowhead Trail II
214. Rafael Rivera
224. Kyle Ranch

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Life of Picasso: The Cubist Rebel, 1907-1917

I finished reading A Life of Picasso: The Cubist Rebel. The second volume of a planned four volume set, this book focuses on the inception and rise of the Cubist movement. I read the first volume a little less than two years ago and enjoyed it enough that I bought the second volume.

As I mentioned when I read the first volume, I have always been fascinated by Picasso; there is so much variety in his work. We got a chance to see quite a bit of his work in Spain last summer. We toured the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and saw Picasso's Guernica at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

After finishing the book, I turned to Sharon and said "I finished the stupid book." Obviously, this is not a ringing endorsement. After my perspective, the book spent too much time focusing on obscure discussions about the different schools of cubism and the arguments between their proponents.

The book explores Picasso's relationship with Georges Braque and their development of cubism as an art form. It also tracks Picasso's unsuccessful search for a wife through several relationships over the course of the the ten years.

I had hoped that it would provide more of a glimpse into life during World War I. Picasso lived in Paris and the south of France during the war years. As a pacifist, Picasso successfully avoided any involvement. Although inconvenienced by the war, Picasso was largely able to live his life uninterrupted.

This is not a book that I recommend for the casual reader. I struggled to get through it more than anything that I have read in the last twenty years. Nevertheless, I will read the next volume. I am interested in getting a complete picture of Picasso's life.

Like the first volume, the book has over 900 paintings, sketches and photos. Many of the key paintings from this period are either in Russia or in the hands of private collections. There are a couple that I of paintings that I am going to try and track down some day.



Three Women - State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg


Girl with the Mandolin - The Museum of Modern Art, New York


The Accordionist - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York


Women in an Armchair - Collection Sally Ganz, New York