Friday, October 30, 2015

ESPN killing Grantland is sad for its writers, fans

ESPN Statement Regarding Grantland - ESPN MediaZone

Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland. After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent. Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.

Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Every Day

Grant land and ESPN Films have released the forty-first film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.

30 for 30 Shorts: Every Day

The latest film, directed by Gabe Spitzer, tells the story of how the journey to a million steps starts with taking one at a time.

You can find Every Day on the ESPN web site at .

More about the film at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 Kings versus Clippers

Larkin and I went to opening night of the 2015/16 NBA season to watch the Sacramento Kings versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Trailing by 10 points for most of the game, the Kings tied the game at 95 with 6:22 let in the game. As shown in the picture above, the Kings led 98 to 97 with 4:19 remaining… Paul Pierce made a couple of clutch shots down the stretch and the Clippers pulled away to win by the score of 111 to 104.

DeMarcus Cousins was the Kings leading scorer. He had 32 points going 10 for 21 from the field, 4 for 5 from three and 8 for 11 from the free throw line. Unfortunately, Cousins had 8 turnovers!

Blake Griffin looked good and was the Clippers leading scorer. He had 33 points on 14 for 20 from the field and 5 for 7 from the free throw line.

The Kings offense looked disjointed for most of the game; it looked like they had never played together. The line-up of Collison, Cousins, Gay, Casspi and Belinelli {a point guard, a big man and three perimeter shooters} pulled the Kings back into the game in the fourth period.

I listened to the Bill Simmons annual NBA over/under podcast on the way to the game. Simmons and House were bullish on the Kings. Watching the Kings offense in the first game, I am not… More about Simmons over/under podcast later this week.

Larkin and I wandered down and talked to Snipes at halftime. He was at the game with Craig in section 124, while Keith and one of his friends were sitting in their season tickets.

The Kings have 0 wins and 1 loss in games that I have seen in the 2015-2016 NBA season.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall IT Directors Workshop 2015 Day 2

I spent the day at the second day of the Fall IT Directors Workshop. The agenda included: Morning Inspiration; the Ambulatory SWAT Team; ITPS & Business Intelligence by the CMIO; the Lodi Go-Live; Project Planning {I like Pie}; the Most Wired Award; and closing remarks by the CIO. The CFO was scheduled to speak in the afternoon, but had a conflict.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Super Sharp

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Super Sharp

Code Expiration: January 19, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall IT Directors Workshop 2015 Day 1

I spent the day at the first day of the Fall IT Directors Workshop. The agenda included: Morning Inspiration by San Joaquin; CIO Welcome; CTO Update; Rapid Response; Clinical Informatics; walk about with CareAware Connect, Clairvia, GE PACS Project/VNA, Health Info Exchange and Population Health/Analytics; HEAT; and, Leading Through Change by Ron Kirsch of the O'Brien Group.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Jesuit Mother Son Mass

For the fourth year in a row [2014, 2013 and 2012], Sharon and Jack went with a group to the Jesuit Mother Son Mass. Afterwards, Jack went to Future Stars to work on this college applications, while Sharon went to breakfast with to brunch with a group at Bacon and Butter.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dinner with the Gainsleys and Larkins

Sharon and I got together with the Larkins and the Gainsleys for dinner at Cibo7. While we have done a number of things with the Gainsleys [Milo Greene in Reno, dinner in Old Sac and dinner in Yountville, we haven't seen the Larkins since the six of us got together for dinner last December.

The food was good. I had Bucatini Bolognese, while Sharon had Grimaud Farms Duck Breast. The group finished the night at bar at Paul Martin's.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette was cut by the San Antonio Spurs yesterday. I saw Jimmer play a number of times in person when he was with the Kings. This included games against the Clippers, Suns, Raptors, Timberwolves, Suns again, Thunder and Bucks.

I didn't think that he was an NBA player when he was drafted by the Kings. I never saw anything when I saw him in person that changed this opinion...
Why Jimmer Fredette has been such a big bust in the NBA

"Jimmer thinks everybody is stupid," said an NBA assistant who worked with Fredette. "He thinks everybody needs to come and just turn over their offense and let him shoot it anytime he wants. That's not how the league works."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SmartHospital Integrated Testing

I spent the day attending integrated testing for the SmartHospital project. Clinicians ran scripts testing the integration between Clairvia, Cerner CareAware Connect, the iPhones and the Sotera Visi Mobile devices.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

While Sharon was on her European vacation, I watched Mad Max: Fury Road. I am not really sure why I chose the movie. I was just flipping through the current releases on the AppleTV and picked it…

Directed and produced by George Miller, it is the fourth instalment in the Mad Max franchise. The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities. It follows Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) who joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to flee from cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his army in an armoured tanker truck.

The film is essentially one long chase scene. Jack said something about the movie being filmed without any CGI special effects. I don't recommend the film.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Streaks

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Streaks

Code Expiration: January 12, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rickett's Circus

I walked by this waymark on my way to get the rental car when we were in Philadelphia to pick Jack up from UPenn.

Rickett's Circus
Pennsylvania Historical Marker

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

This marker is located at South 12th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 57.053 W 075° 09.590.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

Rickett's Circus

America's first circus building was opened here at 12th and Market Streets, April 3, 1793. On that day the English equestrian John Bill Ricketts gave America's first complete circus performance. President Washington attended his show later that season.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Winter Is Coming

Sharon and I watched Winter is Coming, the first episode of season one of Game of Thrones. I watched season one more than three years ago.

Over the last couple of years, I have listened to the Cast of Kings podcast. This podcast didn't start until season two of Game of Thrones. They decided this fall to read the first book, watch the corresponding season one episode and then do a podcast. I am finally reading the first book of George R. Martin's series and following along.

As a side note, I am also doing something that I never do. I always read just one book at the time. Due to the way the podcasts are spread out, I will be carrying two books for the next couple of months...

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Martian (film)

After some bad Mexican food, Sharon and I went to see The Martian in 3D at the Century 16 Theaters at Greenback. I had finished reading the book earlier in the week.

The film is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon. The film features Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in supporting roles.

Although it simplified most of the scientific plot points, the movie did a solid job of translating the book on to the big screen. The screenwriter did choose to cut three of the book's major plot points from the second half of the film. Additionally, they monkeyed with the ending. While I don't argue with how they cut the book to fit a two hour movie, I think that they should have stayed truer to the ending of the book...

Both Sharon and I enjoyed the movie and recommend it!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

I finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. I bought the book a couple of months ago after seeing promotions for the movie. With a couple of different books on the nightstand, I was looking for something lighter after reading Napoleon: A life.

The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive. The book has been described as Castaway meets Apollo 13. The narrative is mostly told through the log entries.

Although it gets one basic fact wrong [the power of a dusk storm!], the book relies heavily on Watney working through the challenges with plausible solutions. The science behind his solutions is solid.

I enjoyed the book; I would give it a strong "B" grade. Sharon and I talked about going and seeing the movie last weekend, but I asked her to push it off a weekend so I could finish the book. We will probably see it this weekend.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: Trojan Wars

Running on the treadmill at the hotel, I watched Trojan Wars. This is the first installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here. I still have one more episode [Angry Sky] of Volume 2 to watch!?!

The documentary starts by looking at USC's football tradition. John McKay coached the Trojans from 1960 to 1975; he won four national championship and five Rose Bowls and coached two Heisman Trophy winners. John Robinson coached the team from 1975 to 1982; he won one national championship and three Rose Bowls and coached two Heisman Trophy winners. The Trojans won 74.3% of their games in the 1960s and 80.3% of their games in the 1970s.

The program then fell into decline in the 1980s and 1990s. During the 1990s, USC won just over 50% of its games.

The film then focuses on USC resurgence under Pete Carroll. Carroll coached the team from 2000 to 2009. During this period, the team had 97 wins and 19 losses (83.6%). In 2003, USC finished with 12 wins and one loss and won its first national championship since 1978. In 2004, USC went undefeated and won its second straight nation championship. Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002, Matt Leinart won in 2004 and Reggie Bush won in 2005.

At the end of the 2005 season in January 2006, an undefeated USC team lost the national championship game to Texas and Vince Young. I enjoyed the footage of that game. I didn't remember that Reggie Bush tried to lateral the ball to a teammate.

The film also looks at the impact of Los Angeles and Hollywood on the team. It examines the NCAA sanctions that the program incurred at the end of Carroll's run and the loss of Bush's Heisman.

As I have said on a number of occasions, I am not a college football fan. I have no interest in USC football. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this documentary a lot more than I expected. It is an engaging film that tells a good story.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Larkmead Winery - Kornell Cellars

Sharon and I stopped at this winery on our 2015 anniversary trip. The Larkmead Winery is the third oldest winery in the Napa Valley. The Charles Krug Winery is credited as being the oldest operating winery in the Napa Valley.

Larkmead Winery
Also known as Hanns Kornell Champagne Cellars

National Register of Historic Places #1982002215

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

This marker is located at 1091 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 33' 31.9" N 122° 31' 21.3" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at



Felix Salmina arrived from Switzerland in the 1860's and in 1892 purchased this winery that had been established in 1884 by Lillian Hitchcock Coit. Felix converted the winery into a larger facility using stone quarried from nearby hills and expanded the vineyards. Initially grapes sold for $5.00 per ton and wine for 5 cents a gallon. After prohibition, Larkmead developed a reputation as "one of the outstanding wine processing plants" in the Napa Valley. It was here that Hans Kornell produced sparkling wines. In 1993 the Frank family took over the operations and continues to produce both sparkling and still wines.

Dedicated April 17, 2004
By Sam Brannan Chapter #1004
E Clampus Vitus

Larkmead Winery

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Naught Reawakening

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Naught Reawakening

Code Expiration: January 5, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrating Nineteen Years

With Sharon having Columbus Day off from work, she drove over and met me in Napa in the afternoon. The plan for the day was to go wine tasting and have dinner near Calistoga to celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary.

We started with a late light lunch at the Hog Island Oyster Co. at the Oxbow Market in Napa. We had some broiled oysters and a salad. We need to sample a couple of the other restaurants at the Oxbow Market in the future...

From there, we headed north up the Napa Valley to the Frank Family Vineyards. The Frank Family property is one of the three oldest wineries in the Napa Valley. After wine tasting there, we continued north to the Bennett Lane Winery.

After wine tasting, we stopped and walked around in downtown Calistoga. It was unseasonably warm; the temperatures were in the mid-90s.

We finished the day with dinner at the Solbar Restaurant at the Solage Resort. I had heirloom melon and duck prosciutto and seared day boat diver scallops, while Sharon had seared sonoma artisan foie gras and pan-roasted mary’s chicken. As Sharon said, the dinner was "very, very good." After dinner, we exchanged gifts [sun glasses and a vase from Peru].

We drove back to Napa and crashed at the Napa Valley Marriott.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

American River Trail Bike Ride

On Sunday morning, Sharon and I rode 15.4 miles along the American River Bike Trail. Starting at Arden Park, we headed west to Cal Expo. There was a herd of sheep grazing along the river behind Cal Expo.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Davis Ranch

Before I forget, on Saturday, October 3, Sharon and I made our annual pilgrimage to Davis Ranch to get fall decorations. We have gone there for a car load of stuff every fall for twelve straight years [2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014]. One of my favorite pictures from those trips is here.

Davis Ranch

Friday, October 09, 2015

Brokeback Mountain

Sharon and I watched Brokeback Mountain. Sharon had seen the film in the theater when it came out in 2005, but I hadn't.

The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, and Randy Quaid. It depicts the complex relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards; the most nominations at the 78th Academy Awards. The nominations included: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heath Ledger); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jake Gyllenhaal); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Michelle Williams); and Best Cinematography (Rodrigo Prieto). The film ended up winning three Oscars: Best Director (Ang Lee); Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana); and, Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla). It lost best picture to Crash.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

2015 Jesuit High School President's Club Dinner

For the fourth year in a row [2012, 2013 and 2014], Sharon and I went to the Jesuit High School President's Club Dinner. With Jack in his senior year, it is unlikely we will ever go to this event again...

Oddly, other than Denny, we didn't run into very many people we knew. We sat with the president of the booster's club; Sharon has been the secretary of the booster's club over the last three years. Rod and Julie were tending bar. We talked to them afterwards.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: #BringBackSungWoo

Grant land and ESPN Films have released the fortieth film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.

30 for 30 Shorts: #BringBackSungWoo

The latest film, directed by Josh Swade and Josh Shelov, tells the story of the Kansas City Royals’ frenzied fan base and, more importantly, its biggest fan of all.

You can find #BringBackSungWoo on the ESPN web site at

More about the film at:

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

PSFS Building

I walked by this waymark on my way to get the rental car when we were in Philadelphia to pick Jack up from UPenn.

PSFS Building
Pennsylvania Historical Marker

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

This marker is located at 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 57.114 W 075° 09.619.

You can log your visit to this landmark at


The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building is regarded as the first International Style skyscraper built in the U.S. Completed in 1932, it was a radical departure from traditional bank architecture, exploiting the latest technological and structural advances.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Lettercraft

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Lettercraft

Code Expiration: December 29, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

California Historical Landmark #686

Working out of St. Helena from January through November of 2015, I have started exploring California Historical Landmarks in Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties, including: Site of Stone and Kelsey Home [#426], The Battle of Bloody Island [#427], Sulphur Bank Mine [#428], Lower Lake Stone Jail [#429], Stone House [#450], Old Bull Trail Road and St Helena Toll Road [#467], Chiles Grist Mill [#547], Schramsberg [#561], Charles Krug Winery [#563], Site of York's Cabin [#682], Site of Hudson Cabin [#683], Sam Brannan Store [#684], Sam Brannan Cottage [#685], Site of Kelsey House [#686], Beringer Brothers Winery [#814], Old Lake County Courthouse [#897], Petrified Forest [#915] and Litto's Hubcap Ranch [#939]. I visited all seven of the California Historical Landmarks in Lake County and finished visiting all of the Napa landmarks.

Site of Kelsey House - Calistoga
California State Historical Landmark #686

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

This landmark is located 500 feet northwest of intersection of State Highway 29 and Diamond Mountain Road, 1.1 miles south of Calistoga, California. There are 16 other California State Historical Landmarks in Napa County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 33' 55.9" N 122° 33' 51.8" W.

California Historical Landmark #686

Nancy Kelsey arrived in California in 1841 with the Bidwell-Bartleson party and settled with her family south of present-day Calistoga. Now the hearthstone is all that can be seen of the house. The property is owned by the Rockstrohs.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

European Vacation Photos

Janie came over on Saturday night for dinner. Sharon bought sauerkraut and brats from a German deli.

After dinner, we looked through all of the pictures and videos that Janie took on her and Sharon's European trip. We hooked the projector that I got Jack for his birthday to Janie's iPhone and displayed the pictures on the wall. We probably looked at almost 1,000 pictures!

I will probably end up using this picture of Sharon at Mürren in front of the Eiger on the Christmas card.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

2015 Jesuit Homecoming

For the fourth year in a row [2012, 2103, 2014] Jack went to the Jesuit Homecoming. The group had dinner at Theo's house. After the dance, Jack spent the night at Travis' house.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Grand Canyon from the Stratosphere! A Space Balloon Story

Strapped to a weather balloon bound for space, a GoPro camera soared almost 100,000 feet, into the stratosphere, to capture high-resolution footage of the Grand Canyon in 2013. An hour and a half into its flight the balloon burst and the camera plummeted back to earth.

It was two years before anyone would find the camera, which was lost in the Arizona desert.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Dinner with the Gainsleys at Ad Hoc

When we had dinner with the Gainsleys in July, we made plans to get together in Napa in early October. We all met at the Napa Valley Marriott. We called a cab and went to dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville; this is one of Sharon's favorite restaurants. We had a nice dinner of a kale salad, flat iron steak and potatoes with the wine pairings. Getting a cab back to the hotel, we finished the night in the bar at the hotel.