Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

Sharon and I had a late dinner at Paragary's. They had a very nice set menu including duck confit & local chicories, roasted chestnut & celery root soup, maine lobster & gnocchi, tenderloin and sea scallops. It was one of the better meals that we have had recently.

We arrived home about the same time as a large group of teenagers that were apparently abandoning a local party for our house. Leaving the house to the kids, Sharon and I walked down the street to a New Year's Eve party at Mitchell and Greg's.

When we wandered back a little before 1 am, the house was empty except for Jack and a friend. We crashed about 1:30 am...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Game of Thrones

I finished reading Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Over the course of a ten week period, I read chapters in the book, watched the corresponding episode of season one of the HBO show with Sharon and then listened to A Cast of Kings podcast about the HBO episode. While I had previously watched season one, Sharon had never seen it before. I got the idea of doing this from the podcast; they did a book club and season one rewatch this fall.

The descriptions of the Vale, River Run and the two major battles in the book are very good. It really highlights challenges of bringing this type of book material to the screen. In particular, in season one, you only see the aftermaths of the battles, not the battles themselves.

It is also interesting how they cast the principal child characters as much older than they are in the book. The casting of Rob and Jon Snow as men in their twenties, rather than teenagers makes it a much different story.

I enjoyed the book. I was pleasantly surprised at how well written it was. I am motivated to read the rest of the books. The only thing that I regret is I was reading a couple of books at the same time during the ten week period. I would read the chapters for the episode and then switch to another book while waiting to watch the episode with Sharon. As a result, I didn't feel like I immersed myself in the book as much as I would have liked. I have never really tried to juggle reading multiple books at the same time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Carmel again Day 3

Sleeping late, we had breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards, we drove down to the Carmel Beach and walked to the south end with Tiber. We walked back to the car along the path on the street.

Packing up the car, we rolled from the hotel a little before 11 am. I decided to take 101 through Morgan Hill to 680 to 80 rather than 156 to 5.

We eventually stopped for lunch at the Lazy Dog Restaurant in Concord. We had lunch on a dog-friendly patio.

There was some traffic on 80 at the normal gore points. We got back to Carmichael about 4 pm. It was about a 5 hour trip home, including almost an hour and a half stop for lunch. This is almost the same travel time that it took us to get to Carmel via I-5 and Pacheco Pass.

I enjoyed the trip with Tiber enough that I can see Sharon and I doing some kind of short trip with him again...

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Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Carmel again Day 2

While Jack watched Tottenham beat Watford by the score of 2 to 1, Sharon and I did some of laundry and had breakfast at the hotel. After Jack had some breakfast, we got organized for a hike. The plan for the day was to head out to Garland Ranch Regional Park. This park allows dogs.

On the way, we stopped and got some nice sandwiches at Erik's DeliCafe.

We ended up hiking 4.77 miles in about three hours including a stop for lunch. From the visitor's center, we took the shortcut trail to the homestead trail to the sage trail to the sky trail. This climbs up to almost 1,000 feet. At the sky trail, we headed down to Inspiration Point for lunch.

Morgan started up the trail after us. She finally caught up with us at Inspiration Point. A 360 degree panorama from Inspiration Point is here.

From Inspiration Point, we headed down the sky trail to the mesa trail. We took a side trip to an indian grinding rock and continued up the waterfall trail to a dry seasonal waterfall. We turned around at the base of waterfall and headed back to the visitor center on the lupine loop.

I enjoyed the hike. In spite of the climb, Tiber did great. He was a ball of energy the whole time. A Google Map and views of the hike in Google Earth are here.

After getting cleaned up, Sharon and I headed back to Grasings.

Leaving Tiber with a dog sitter, Jack, Morgan, Sharon and I finished the night with dinner at the Flying Fish Grill. Sharon and I had a great dinner there in July. Morgan had ahi, Jack had seafood pasta and Sharon and I spilt a clay pot. The clay pot was a novelty dinner; it is not something we would do twice. We brought a bottle of Bouchaine Pinot Meunier with us.

While Morgan drove Jack and Sharon back to the hotel, I walked back.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Carmel again Day 1

When we were in Carmel in July, we talked about coming back and bringing Jack and Tiber. We decided to fit in a short trip between Christmas and New Year's.

Up early, we were going to try and get on the road by 8 am. With some struggles getting Jack in the car, we left about 8:30 am. With a quick stop in Lathrop for gas, it took just about three and a half hours to get to the hotel. We are spending two night at the Carmel Country Inn. Amazingly, the room was ready.

After getting the car unpacked, we headed to Bistro Giovanni for a nice lunch.

After lunch, We took Tiber down to the Carmel Beach. We walked from the hotel to Ocean, down Ocean to the beach and then along the beach to the southern end and back. Tiber got to play with two other younger, smaller corgis.

From there, we walked up to the George Rodrigue Studio that was closed when we were in Carmel in July. Sharon looked at some prints and originals, but they are mostly out of our price range.

In total, we probably covered about 3 1/2 miles. Tiber started to drag a little heading back up Ocean from the beach. I had forgotten how much uphill it was.

After a nap, Sharon and I wandered down to the Carmel drug store and then to the bar at Grasings. While I am not sure that we will eat here again, we both like the bar.

The four of us finished the night with dinner at the Forge in the Forest. They allow dogs on the patio. Sharon had sole, Jack had lobster tacos, Tiber had some chicken and I had butternut squash ravioli. This was not a good meal. I am not sure what was going on. Our waiter seemed dazed and confused. At one point, he said something about two other waiters quitting. Sharon and my meals and the service were bad. I will not go here again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Big Short

Over the last couple of years, Sharon and I have tried to see most of the Oscars nominated films. Trying to get a jump on this year's films, we went to see The Big Short.

The Big Short is based on the 2010 book of the same name. Written by Michael Lewis, the book looks at the financial crisis of 2007–2010 which was brought on by the build-up of the housing market and credit bubble.

The movie follows the simultaneous stories of three groups of people who discovered the groundwork for the financial crisis and managed to enormously profit from it. The film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.

In spite of the buzz about the film, I am not sure that it is going to be nominated for best picture. The film starts slow and has an odd cadence to the first twenty minutes. At best, I graded the film as a "B," while Sharon gave it a "B-". I can see Gosling getting nominated for supporting actor.

In a unique way, the film does a solid job of explaining some of the key concepts of the credit markets. Nevertheless, I am still not sure I understand what a synthetic CDO is...

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day 2015

The three of us had a very nice Christmas morning opening presents around the tree. We had a lazy breakfast of blueberry pancakes. After breakfast, we went down to the field with Tiber. Jack practiced flying the drone that he had gotten for Christmas. Tiber wanted badly to get ahold of the drone.

Sharon and I spent some time in the late morning working to get the house back in order. It was a mess after Christmas Eve dinner.

Continuing our tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day, we went to see Star Wars - The Force Awakens. This is the seventh year in a row that we have seen a movie on Christmas Day. This was Jack second time seeing the film; Jack and four of his friends had watched episodes one through six on Saturday and then went to see The Force Awakens at midnight at the IMAX. Tom and Eric joined us for the movie. Tom hadn't seen it, but it was Eric's third viewing... The movie was very good. Sharon gave Star Wars - The Force Awakens a 9.5. I don't think that I have ever heard her rate a movie higher!

After watching Star Wars, the five of us headed to Buca de Beppo. Sharon had made a reservation a couple of weeks ago. I have been amazed in the last couple of years how crowded Buca de Beppo is on Christmas Day.

Sharon, Jack and I finished the night watching Elf. We had watched Elf before on Christmas 2004!?!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

Jack and I went to the 4 pm Christmas Eve Mass at St. Ignatuis. We got there about 3:30 pm and the place was already filling up. Tom, Eric and Sharon rolled up just before Mass started. We wedged the five of us into the space that Jack and I had been saving... While I probably shouldn't be, I was surprised at how many people were packed into the church.

After Mass, we rushed home. For the fourth time in the last five years, we hosted Christmas Eve. At seventeen, I think that it is the biggest group we have ever hosted. It included Sharon's brother Tom, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Jim Dunn, Sharon's brother Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Will, Erin, Dillon, Leah parent's Terry and Steve, Sharon, Jack and I. It was interesting to add a baby to the mix.

Sharon made a great dinner of individual beef wellingtons and squash. Leah contributed a green bean casserole. The Tims brought some bundt cakes for desert.

After dinner, we exchanged gifts. Eric gave bobbleheads as gifts, including Pope Francis to his dad, Winston Churchill to me and Napoleon to Sharon.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Jack has been accepted at Georgetown. He is very interested in their international business program.

This is the second of six early action colleges that he will be hearing from before the end of December.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Notre Dame

Jack has been accepted at Notre Dame into the Mendoza College of Business.

This is the first of six early action colleges that he will be hearing from before the end of December.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Wandering back from St. Helena, I met Snipes at the Limelight. We spent about an hour catching up before I headed for home...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Drew leaving Milo Greene

Hey Friends. Andrew here. The quickest way to say this is that I am leaving Milo Greene. A few months ago - I came to...

Posted by Andrew Dawson Heringer on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

California Historical Landmark #890

Colusa County Courthouse
California State Historical Landmark #890

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

This landmark is located at 547 Market Street, Colusa, California. There are two other California State Historical Landmarks in Colusa County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 12.836 W 122° 00.534.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #890

Erected in 1861, this Federal/Classic Revival style building is the oldest remaining courthouse in the Sacramento Valley. The 'Southern' style reflects the county's heritage and states' rights sympathies during the Civil War. In its early years, the courthouse also served as a center for cultural, social, and religious activities.

California Historical Landmark #890

Colusa County

California State Historical Landmarks
in Colusa County

NO. 238 Swift's Stone Corral - [map] - {39.289738,-122.303170}
*NO. 890 Colusa County Courthouse - [map] - {39.21393,-122.0089}

List of California Counties

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Friday night, November 20, Sharon and I watched Trainwreck. The film was directed by Judd Apatow and written by Amy Schumer. It stars Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Professional wrestler John Cena has a role as one of Schumer's boyfriends, while LeBron James has a fairly large part playing himself. There is an odd scene in the movie that includes LeBron, Matthew Broderick, Chris Evert, and Marv Albert all playing themselves...

We both found the movie watchable and entertaining...

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Neighborhood Progressive Christmas Party

Neighbor Progressive Christmas Party
Sharon and I went to a progressive Christmas Party in the Deterding Ranch neighborhood. The party started the evening at Greg and Mitchell's home, moved to Mike and Jill's and then to our house. We finished the evening at Dan and Deborah's for dessert.

In almost four years in this neighborhood, we have gotten to know people and built stronger connections than we ever did in twelve years in Marina Point.

Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Christmas Tree

After a busy couple of weeks, Sharon and I finished decorating the Christmas Tree on Friday night.


Tuesday, December 08, 2015

SmartHospital Go-Live

Starting 6 am on Tuesday, I worked a 15 hour shift as part of a SmartHospital Go-live. We implemented an integrated set of technology including Cerner Clairvia, CareAware Alertlink and Connect, iPhones and Sotera Visi Mobile. The iPhones and Visi Mobiles ride on the new wireless network that we implemented in September.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Effects Studio

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Monday, December 07, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: The Prince of Pennsylvania

Running on the treadmill at home, I watched The Prince of Pennsylvania. This is the second installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here. The documentary looks at the real life events surrounding John du Pont, an eccentric heir to a family fortune with a passion for wrestling, and brothers Mark and Dave Schultz, freestyle Olympic wrestlers.

In the 1980s, du Pont established a wrestling facility at his Foxcatcher Farm after becoming interested in the sport. He became a prominent supporter for amateur sports in the United States and a sponsor for USA Wrestling.

Dave and Mark Schultz both won gold at the 1984 Olympics. The Schultzes were the only brothers to win both World and Olympic championships. The Schultz brothers won more NCAA, U.S. Open, World, and Olympic titles than any American brother combination in history.

Earlier this year, I watched Foxcatcher. Foxcatcher was a Oscar nominated film based on the same story.

The story includes a lot of good interviews and actual footage of the key players and events. While most of the recent 30 for 30s have been two hours, The Prince of Pennsylvania was only an hour long. With a shorter running time, the documentary felt tight and focused. The 30 for 30 is better than the movie, but they are a very nice compliment to each other.

I gifted Foxcatcher and the The Prince of Pennsylvania 30 for 30 to Drew for his birthday.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Getting a Christmas Tree

Saturday morning, Jack and I met Sharon at Abel's Christmas Trees on Sunrise. After getting a tree at Lamb's in Elk Grove for the last six years, Sharon spotted this lot. This may be the same farm that we bought trees from in 2001 and 2002 on Folsom Boulevard.

They didn't have a flocked tree that Sharon liked. We picked out another tree and had them flock it. I raced back late Saturday afternoon to pick it up before the Farm Credit West Christmas Party.

It turns that this is probably the biggest tree that we have ever gotten! I bet the owner $5 that I could get the tree inside my SUV and close the tailgate; I couldn't. I had to tie the tailgate down. I was able to get the tree home. Jack and I got it into the front room and up on the stand. It is enormous!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

2015 Farm Credit West Christmas Party

For the fifth straight year [2011, 2102, 2013, 2014], Sharon and I went to the Farm Credit West Christmas Party. Like 2012, it was held at La Provence in Roseville.

We took a couple of Star Wars bobble heads as a white elephant gifts. I ended up with a coffee mug, while Sharon got a reindeer beer stein... I spent most of the evening sitting across from and talking with Van.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

College Applications

As of December 1st, Jack has applied to nine colleges. The list includes:
  1. Oxford
  2. Georgetown (early action)
  3. Boston College (early action)
  4. Norte Dame (early action)
  5. Northeastern (early action)
  6. Villanova (early action)
  7. Loyola of Chicago (early action)
  8. USC
  9. Boston University
Five of these are early action; he should hear back from them before the end of December.

Jack said that he is tentatively planning to apply to five more by the end of the month, including:
We have visited ten of these fourteen schools.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Lester S. Heringer

Les was the last of my dad's surviving brothers. We went to his birthday and anniversary celebration in 2011. During the summer after my sophomore year in college, I worked for two of his sons--Steve and Les, Jr--hauling prunes with a 1949 Peterbilt and a set of doubles.

Lester was born in 1918 and passed away peacefully at his home in Clarksburg at 97 years of age. He worked tirelessly on the farm with his father, uncle, brothers and cousins developing it into a very productive operation. He studied Agronomy at UC Davis and excelled as catcher of the Aggie's baseball team and as quarterback of the football team. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs but shortly enlisted in the U.S. Army serving in WWII, discharging in 1945 as a Major. In 1943 he married his childhood sweetheart Marjorie and they celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in 2015. They lovingly raised 7 children; Gale (Steve) Brock, Stephen (Donna) Heringer, Cinda (Steve) Muser, Les (Janet) Heringer, Stanley Heringer, Jann Nelson Heringer and Duke Heringer. They have been blessed with 12 grand and 24 great grandchildren. Lester was predeceased by his parents Stephen F. & Mabel Holmes Heringer, and son Stanley. Lester helped organize and provided leadership to many Agricultural organizations including California Tomato Growers Assn., California Canners and Growers, Council of California Growers, Valley Nitrogen Producers, UC Davis Advisory Board and The California Agricultural Leadership Program. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at Clarksburg Community Church on Dec. 12th at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers you may contribute to the Ag related foundation of your choice.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Thicker Than Water

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

30 for 30 Shorts: Thicker Than Water

No diver had ever won two gold medals in consecutive Olympics, so the pressure on Greg Louganis before the 2008 Games in Seoul was immense. And that was before he found out that he was HIV positive, before he knew he would have to take AZT around the clock, and before he realized he needed to keep his condition a secret. In this moving documentary directed by Jennifer Arnold, Louganis and his coach, Ron O'Brien, open up about those excruciating days, and the leaps of faith that they both took to make history.

You can find Thicker Than Water on the ESPN web site at .

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