Monday, November 30, 2015

2015 Christmas Tree Lane

For the fourth straight year [2014, 2013, 2012], Sharon, Jack and I went to the Loyola Guild’s 59th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Gala Dinner at the DoubleTree Hotel. The event included a shopping boutique, a dinner and a fashion/variety show.

We sat with the Walbecks [Luke] and the Tses [Ethan]. Jack played baseball for Matt Walbeck's baseball teams over the last three summers. Sitting between Matt and Jack, I spent most of the evening talking to Matt.

The Laskins were sitting at the table behind us with Jack and David sitting back to back. Jack and David have known each other since kindergarden.

Sharon, Jack and I participated in the Senior Celebration part of the program. Sharon has talked about doing this since the first time we went to Christmas Tree Lane.

It was a very nice evening.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rehearsal for Christmas Tree Lane Senior Celebration

Sharon, Jack and I spent two hours at the DoubleTree Hotel on West Point Way for the Christmas Tree Lane Senior Celebration rehearsal. We have gone to Christmas Tree Lane for the last three years [2014, 2013, 2012]. It will be fun this year for the three of us to take part in the program.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Putting Up Christmas Decorations

I spent most of the morning dragging boxes of Christmas decorations back from storage. We spent the rest of the day flipping the house from fall to Christmas.

Sharon met Liz for dinner. Liz is off next week for six weeks in Central America.

Becky, Kevin and Leah

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

After running the Run to Feed the Hungry, Sharon made a couple of pumpkin pies. We took off for Sharon's brother Tim's house about 2:30 pm and picked Tom and Eric up along the way.

At sixteen, it was a big group this year, including: Tom, Eric, Jim Dunn, Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Erin, Dillon, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Leah parent's Terry and Steve, Sharon, Jack and I. Tim and Kathy made a great turkey dinner with some cuts that Tim got from a barbecue client plus a whole turkey. Everyone raved about the stuffing.

In what was probably a mistake, we took Tiber. The Tim's have three dogs and we thought it would be a nice for Tiber to have a chance to run around in the backyard.

I didn't watch as much football as usual [too busy trying to keep an eye on Tiber!?!], but saw some of the Cowboys getting pounded 33 to 14 by the Panthers. Romo re-injured his shoulder and got knocked out of the game.

2015 Run to Feed the Hungry

At the start of the 2015 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the eleventh time in the last twelve years [20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon, Jack and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving.

For the four year in a row, we parked on University Avenue and walked across the Guy West Bridge to the campus. Sharon ran untimed, while Jack was meeting a friend so I ended up at the starting line by myself.

I had a very slow time this year. I had been struggling with my right knee over the last couple of weeks, but it never bothered me. I was just slow... My time was 1:00:21 for an average pace of 9:43. Based on Runkeeper, my splits were: 1-9:46; 2-9:33; 3-9:41; 4-9:51; 5-9:41, and; 6-9:39.

Running with a friend from St. Francis, Jack finished in 58:27 for an average pace of 9:25.

2015 Run to Feed the Hungry

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Becky's Funeral

Sharon, Jack and I attended Becky's funeral mass at St. Ignatius Loyola. It was a very nice service. The priest had known Becky from her involvement in the school. As a result, it was a extremely personal homily. Tom gave a great eulogy. Sharon also got up and said a few words. The service was well attended.

We then moved to the grave site at St. Mary's Cemetery for a short service.

After the interment, we hosted the reception at our house. At one point, I tried to get Jack to count how people were there. My guess is that we had more than 60 people at the house. Sharon did a great job getting the house ready for the reception.

It was a long day...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rosary for Rebecca (Becky) Frame

Sharon, Jack and I attended the Rosary for Tom's wife Becky. Tim, Eric and Kevin and Barbara (her sister) all spoke. Afterwards, the family walked down the street to Plan B Cafe for dinner.

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

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lydia's Christening

Saturday morning, Sharon, Jack and I went to Lydia's christening at St. Ignatius Church. Eric is Lydia's godfather, while Leah's sister who lives in France is her godmother. There was one other family having their baby boy baptized at the same time. Our group included Tom, Jim Dunn, Terry (Leah's mom), Tim, Kathy, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Sharon, Jack and I.

Afterwards, everyone went back to Tom's house. They have a tradition of smoking cigars after the baptism. The cigar didn't agree with me...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Rebecca "Becky" Lee Frame


In Sacramento, November 15, 2015 after a long and brave struggle with leukemia.

Born October 6, 1953 in Palo Alto to Alfred W. “Bob” Holst and Evelyn Rose Doucette. Rebecca enjoyed a happy childhood in the South Bay Area and had fond memories of her home and school days in New Almaden.

She is survived by her loving husband, Tom, with whom she just celebrated 30 years of marriage, her sons, Kevin and Eric, new daughter-in-law Leah, and 4 month old granddaughter, Lydia; also by her father and devoted sister Barbara Bartels and many nieces and nephews.

Rebecca had a smile a mile wide. Her greatest characteristic was her charm. She had that wonderful gift of being able to strike up a conversation with a total stranger and make an instant friend.

She had a strong work ethic beginning at a very early age working for her father’s printing business. For the last 30 years she worked as a legal secretary/paralegal/legal assistant, most recently for the firm of Webb & Tapella where she leaves many dear co-workers. She was a member of the St. Thomas More Legal Society. She also worked with her husband at Pacific Energetics, Inc., an oil and gas lease acquisition company of which she was a corporate officer.

Education was of great importance to her as she not only provided for her sons’ schooling from kindergarten through college at Jesuit schools but also served for several years, teasing that she was the token non-Catholic on the St. Ignatius School Board. She will be remembered as the cheerleader at all her sons’ sporting events and as the pickle juice queen.

An avid reader she loved her local library and was a devoted Janeite reading and re-reading the novels of Jane Austen. She liked nothing better after an exhausting work-week than to curl up on the couch and watch again the BBC adaptations of Austen’s novels. She was an early member of the Sacramento Branch of the Jane Austen Society.

Rebecca loved travel and fine dining and among her most memorable trips was being married in Salzburg, Austria and a month-long honeymoon through Europe.

The family acknowledges the wonderful care Rebecca received during her long struggle from the staff of UCD Health System and in particular from those certain nurses (you know who you are) both at UCD and the unofficial “nurses’ advisory council”.

After many years as a practicing “closet Catholic” Rebecca fully embraced the faith being baptized in July of this year. Friends are invited to attend a Rosary service at W. F. Gormley & Sons, 2015 Capitol Ave. Tuesday November 24 at 6:30 PM and or a mass celebrating her life at St. Ignatius Church, 3235 Arden Way Wednesday November 25 at 10 AM.

In lieu of flowers remembrances may be made in her memory to some of the causes dearest to her heart: St. Ignatius Parish School, 3245 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95825; Arden-Dimick Branch of Sacramento Public Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento, CA 95864; Sacred Stones Project, New Clairvaux Abbey, 26240 7th St., Vina, CA 96092 or Jane Austen Society North America (JASNA), Greater Sacramento Branch, 6030 Steadman Place, Elk Grove, CA 95758.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court by Jalen Rose

I finished reading Got to Give the People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court by Jalen Rose. As well as seeing him on NBA Countdown, I have listened to Jalen over the last couple of years on the Bill Simmons and Grantland Sports podcasts. When I saw on twitter that he had a book out, I ordered it from Amazon.

While I had a good feel for Jalen's outlook on life, the book fills out his philosophy and provides a number of stories to highlight some of the points. I had forgotten that he was on the Pacers team that was beaten by the Laker in the 2000 NBA Finals. Additionally, I was surprised by a couple of the stories in the last section of the book, particularly his interactions with Chris Weber and his current family situation.

I do need to go back and rewatch the Fab Five documentary that Jalen produced for ESPN Films in the near future. I would like to focus on watching Jalen play.

This idea of amateur sports taking place within the confines of a multibillion-dollar business is ludicrous. Those two things don't go together naturally. I understand shoe companies have to make money. I understand television networks have to make money. What I don't understand is why the young athletes who are making every last cent of it possible can't be entitled to any money in return.
I do agree with Jalen's take on the business of college sports. I believe that the athletes are due some compensation beyond a scholarship…

It is an interesting book, but with so many great books in the world, I just don't recommend it. It feels light weight; I think that Jalen excluded more of his life story than he included. I would also acknowledge that I read this book while I was reading Game of Thrones. I never read multiple books at once. As a result, the book ended up feeling a little disjointed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rebecca Frame

After a long struggle with leukemia, my sister-in-law Rebecca Frame passed away on Sunday.

October 6, 1953-November 15, 2015
Eternal rest grant unto her, oh Lord.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project

In the midst of a turbulent weekend, Sharon and I went to see Jack in the final matinee performance of Jesuit High School's Fall Drama production of Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project. This is the third time that we had seen the show; we went to the opening night Gala performance and to a Friday night show with Drew, Nicki and Morgan.

Jack did a great job! He is talking about trying out for the spring musical.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


After dinner at Cafe Bernardo, Sharon and I went to see Spectre. Over the last few years, I watched all of the Bond films.

Sky fall is the twenty-fourth spy film in the James Bond series. It features Daniel Craig's fourth performance as James Bond. The story features James Bond's first encounter with the global criminal organisation Spectre; it marks the group's first appearance in a Bond film since 1971's Diamonds Are Forever.

In addition to Daniel Craig as James Bond, agent 007, the film includes: Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a man believed to be dead whose father helped raise Bond after his parents died; Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann, a psychologist working at a private medical clinic in the Austrian Alps and the daughter of Mr. White; Ben Whishaw as Q, the MI6 quartermaster; Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, a former agent who left the field to become M's assistant; Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, the head of MI6, and; Jesper Christensen as Mr. White, a fugitive from MI6 and a senior figure in the Quantum organisation, a former subsidiary of Spectre.

The plot revolves around the use of electronic surveillance. Spectre conspires to create a global surveillance network.

At almost two and a half hours, it is both the longest and the most expensive Bond film ever made. You can see where they spent the money; the scale and detail of the opening scene set in Mexico City is amazing.

I enjoyed parts of the movie, but felt that it was overwrought. It could have been trimmed down and tightened up a lot. I did enjoy Christoph Waltz's performance and the reintroduction of Blofeld. Sharon was less enthusiastic; in particular, she said that "it was the worst Bond girl ever."  Overall, I give it a B-.  It is definitely the weakest of the four Daniel Craig Bond films.

Friday, November 13, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Tose: The Movie

ESPN Films has released the forty-second film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.

30 for 30 Shorts: Tose: The Movie

The late Leonard Tose was a genius and a fool, a saint and a sinner, but most of all the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles was the man who took his team from the depths of the NFL all the way to the Super Bowl.

You can find Tose: The Movie on the ESPN web site at

Thursday, November 12, 2015

California Historical Landmark #561

Sharon and I stopped here while we were wandering across the Napa Valley.

California State Historical Landmark #561

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at the end of Schramsberg Road, on Highway 29, 3.1 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' 01.4" N 122° 32' 17.1" W.

You can log your site to this site at!

California historical landmark

Founded in 1862 by Jacob Schram, this was the first hillside winery of the Napa Valley. Robert Louis Stevenson, visiting here in 1880, devoted a chapter of his 'Silverado Squatters' to Schramsberg and its wines, Ambrose Bierce and Lilly Hitchcock Coit were other cherished friends. The original house and winery have been excellently preserved.

California historical landmark

California historical landmark

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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day in Napa

At Kuleto Estate
With Sharon off for Veterans Day, we met in Napa in the afternoon.

I had made a reservation at Schramsburg. Founded in 1862, Schramsberg is the second oldest winery in the Napa Valley. Charles Krug is the oldest, while Larkmead is the third oldest. We had a nice tour that included the caves followed by a tasting.

After Schramsburg, we made a quick stop at Tra Vigne for an appetizer. After being open for more than twenty years, Tra Vigne is closing on December 20. Over the course of the day, we heard a couple of different stories of how quickly it is going to reopen under new ownership.

From there, we headed to Kuleto. Sharon is a wine club member there and had two shipments to pick up.  We had a quick tasting and then wandered out to enjoy the view.

After checking into the hotel and getting lucky with a nice room, we finished the night having dinner at Morimoto in Napa. We had an assortment of appetizers and rolls. I was not that impressed with the food; I would rather have Mikunis...

Monday, November 09, 2015

2015 Fall Dinner Party Menu

Around My French Table

November 7, 2015

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “An army marches on its stomach.”

Mustard Bâtons
Kir Royal


Escargots à la Bourguignon
2013 Partick Javillier
Vin de Bourgogne
Cuvée des Forgets

Soupe À L'oignon
2012 Domaine de la Presidente
Chateauneuf du Pape

Boeuf Bourguignon
2012 Louis Jadot
Premier Cru Beaune
Clos des Ursules

Crêpes Suzette
2011 Chateau Doisy
Vedrines Sauternes

Sunday, November 08, 2015

2015 Corgi Faire

Corgi Faire

For the second year in a row [2014], Sharon and I went to the Corgi Faire at the Dixon Fairgrounds. This is actually the third year in a row that Sharon has gone; she went by herself in 2013 while looking for a Corgi breeder. With the weather rainy, there weren't has been dogs running around outside on the lawn as last year.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

2015 Fall Dinner Party

Sharon and I have made it a tradition to host a fall dinner party [2014, 2013, 2012201120102009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]. This year, the group included the Gainsleys, Sanborns, Larkins, Renterias, Janie and Liz.

The theme of this year's dinner revolved around Sharon and Janie's trip to Europe.

The menu is here.

During dessert, we asked everyone to guess the number of pumpkins in the house. The guesses ranged from Phil's at 121 to Rod's at 285!

It has become a tradition to finish the night with Dinner for One and the three Saturday Night Live Lonely Island videos with Justin Timberlake.

For the first time, we had the party after daylight savings time and, as a result, started the party at 5:30 pm. It was 11:30 pm when Sharon and I walked the Larkins and Gainsleys to the front gate to catch a cab.

Next year, the fall dinner party will be held at Sea Ranch. Sharon and I will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project

I picked Drew and Nicki up at the airport. Heading back to the house, we met up with Sharon and Morgan.

The five of us went to see Jack in Jesuit High School's Fall Drama production of Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project. Sharon and I had gone opening night, but Jack didn't know that we were coming again. Drew and I had worked to get them here as a surprise. Drew and Nicki also got a surprise; Jack mentioned them in the program!

Jack said after the play that he saw Sharon and then Drew, Nicki and Morgan during the third scene near the beginning of the play.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project

Sharon and I went to opening night Gala performance of Jesuit's Fall Drama production of Tower Stories: A Post 9/11 Project. Jack is in the cast. I am very proud of him; he did a great job!
Jesuit's Fall Drama production - Tower Stories: A Post 9/11 Project, a documentary theater-piece, starts playing tonight at 7:30pm. This play explores the uniquely challenging, controversial and important time in our recent history, all the while extending Jesuit Drama’s commitment to social justice-minded “Theater of Testimony.” You won't want to miss this. For tickets and schedule, visit…/fall-play-tickets-now-sale

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

To Windsor

Finishing the work day in Santa Rosa, I caught up with Tomasin at his office in Healdsburg. We headed out to the Dry Creek Store again...

Eventually, we headed back to his office. I was fascinated to watch him finish the day by dictating a number of cases and coding all of the visits.

After a quick stop at Johnny Garlic's, we had Mexican food and watched the beginning of the Warriors versus Clippers game at the Tomasins. It was nice to Mikey, Chris and Julie. I took off fairly early and wandered back to Napa.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: The Gospel According to Mac

Running on the treadmill at the hotel, I watched The Gospel According to Mac. This is the third installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

I have never really followed college football. Consequently, I didn't know anything about Bill McCartney's story. The story reads like a Hollywood script. The major plot points include:
  • After a successful start as a high school football and basketball coach in Detroit, he spent eight years as an assistant under coaching legend Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan.
  • Taking over a woeful University of Colorado Boulder program, McCartney was the head football coach from 1982 to 1994 and compiled a record of 93–55–5.
  • Under McCartney, the Buffalos won three consecutive Big Eight Conference titles between 1989 and 1991.
  • In 1989 and 1990, the Buffalos played Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. They lost in 1989, but won in 1990.
  • The 1990 team was crowned as national champions by the Associated Press, splitting the title with the Georgia Tech team that topped the final Coaches' Poll rankings.
  • In a game against Missouri in the championship 1990 season, referees mistakenly allowed an extra down on which Colorado scored the winning touchdown as time expired.
  • After the 1988 season, the Buffaloes' star quarterback Sal Aunese was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He died in the middle of the 1989 season.
  • McCartney's own daughter became pregnant by the team's quarterback Sal Aunese who died five months after the baby was born.
  • There were arrests and strife between his mostly African-American players and the Boulder police.
  • A vocal born again Christian, McCartney founded a Christian men's group called Promise Keepers.
  • After the team went 11 and 1 in 1994 and was ranked 3rd nationally, McCartney retired from coaching.
Bill McCartney participated in the making of the documentary. There is a lot of interview footage of him and key players from the Buffalo teams used throughout the film. I was very surprised by the story. I actually gasped a couple of times. Although I struggle with finding time to watch the two hour 30 for 30s, this one is worth looking for!

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

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Code Expiration: January 26, 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015

Simmons 2015 NBA Western Conference Over/Under Podcast

On the October 26, 2015 Bill Simmons Podcast [Episode 15], Joe House joined Bill Simmons to evaluate the NBA's Western Conference in Part 2 of their annual NBA over/under podcast. At the 22:30 point in the podcast, they talk about the Sacramento Kings.

The Sacramento Kings over/under for wins is 33. Both Simmons and House like the over?!? Their comments about the Kings include:
  • The owner is out of his mind and gloriously incompetent.
  • If you put enough crazy people on a basketball team, it is not going to go well. It's not. And there are some crazy people on this basketball team.
Watching the Kings in the season opener, I don't like the over!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Jesuit Drama - Terror Stories: A Post 9-11 Project

Starting Thursday, November 5, Jack will be appearing in the Jesuit High School Fall play titled TERROR STORIES: A POST 9-11 PROJECT.

There are two weeks of performances:
  • Thursday through Saturday, November 5th through 7th at 7:30pm and,
  • Thursday through Saturday, November 12th through 14th at 7:30pm plus Sunday, November 15th at 2:00pm.
Tickets are available here.