Sunday, January 31, 2016


With the Oscar nominations finally announced, Sharon and I are working to see the rest of the nominated films. Sunday afternoon, we went to see Creed at the UA Theater in Roseville.

This is essentially the seventh film in the Rocky franchise. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed, Apollo's son, and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. It also features Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashād. For his performance, Stallone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his first Oscar nomination since the original film.

I need to go back and watch some of the older Rocky films. Sharon was reading summaries of the seven films while we were driving home. I don't recall ever seeing Rocky III. While I was wandering in and out of the room, Sharon and Jack watched the original Rocky film a couple of years ago.

I liked the film more than Sharon did. I thought that the boxing sequences were very well done. In a strange coincidence, I started watching the 30 for 30 Volume 3 film Chasing Tyson while running on the treadmill this weekend. Although I think that Sharon favors Christian Bale's performance in The Big Short, I think that Sylvester Stallone has a shot at the Oscar for the best supporting actor.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Jesuit Booster Crab Feed

Sharon and I went to the Jesuit Boosters Crab Feed with Tim and Kathy, Kevin and Donna, Rod and Julie, Tom and Janie. I had bought a table for ten and then bid on and won the Royal Table. The Royal Table included: front row parking for four vehicles; front and center seating; fine china and linens; bar service at the table; and a host of personal attendants. It was a very nice evening!

This is the fourth year in a row [2015, 2014, 2013] that we have gone. We also went once with Tom and Becky when Eric was at Jesuit.

Taking advantage of our licensed driver, we had Jack pick us up and bring us home after the event.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Kairos 128

Jack spent most of the week at Kairos 128 in Applegate. The Jesuit High School Kairos Retreat began after school on Tuesday and ended early on a Friday evening. This was one of five Kairos retreats each year. Sharon and I went to a Candlelight Prayer service for the retreat on Tuesday night.

The retreat was led by a team composed of 8 seniors who have made Kairos and 8 faculty/staff members. The activities on Kairos promote and build community, foster trust and openness, and encourage reflection. The key themes were: knowing oneself; discovering Jesus in a personal way; recognizing and responding to Jesus’ call; and living the message of Christ.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Following up on last year's SmartHospital project, I spent three days in kick-off meetings for the SmartRoom project. The SmartRoom project includes Cerner Capacity Management, MyStation, RoomLink and Infusion Management. Additionally, it includes integration with Rauland Nurse Call, Stryker beds, Baxter pumps and Centrak Real Time Location Services (RTLS).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Grand Island Shrine

Grand Island Shrine
Also known as The Little Shrine at Sycamore

National Register of Historic Places #1974000508

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

This marker is located 8 miles south of Colusa on CA 45, Colusa, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are 39° 06' 56.9" N 121° 56' 12.6" W.

Grand Island Shrine

Grand Island Shrine

Site of the first Catholic mass to be said in Colusa County, May 1856. In 1864, a Catholic mission was conducted and a large wooden cross erected to commemorate the occasion. Masses, pilgrimages and visits were made here continuously thereafter. In order to preserve the identity of the place, Father Michael Wallrath secured a deed from Mrs. Anna Myers to this parcel of land and constructed a small shrine from hand kilned bricks in 1883.
State of California
Point of Historical Interest
No. COL-001

Grand Island Shire

Grand Island Shire

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kairos Parent Candlelight Prayer Service

With Jack taking off to attend Kairos 128, Sharon and I attended a parent prayer service at the Chapel of the North American Martyrs.

Seniors who have previously attended Kairos led the Kairos Parent Candlelight Prayer Service. We heard first-hand what Kairos is about and what Jack is experiencing each day. Jack and all of the boys on Kairos 128 were called by name and remembered in prayer. We went forward and lit a candle in his honor. When the service was over, we took that candle home as a remembrance.

We have known several of the boys and their families since kindergarten...

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Speaky - Voice Reader

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Speaky - Voice Reader

Code Expiration: April 19, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Breaking Bad: The Final Season

Sharon and I watched the finale of the final season of Breaking Bad. We finished Season 1 in September of 2014, Season 2 in February of 2015, Season 3 in May of 2015., Season 4 in December of 2015 and Season 5 in January of 2016.

The final season of Breaking Bad premiered on August 11, 2013 and concluded on September 29, 2013. Then final season includes only eight episodes.

In 2014, the final season was nominated for sixteen Emmys. It won six Emmys, including: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series; Outstanding Drama Series; and, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series.

Sharon was not particularly satisfied with the finale. While I have often heard Breaking Bad talked about as the best television series ever, I am a little put off by the gratuitous use of murder. The best example of this is the murder of Andrea in the next to last episode of the series. As I said at the end of season two, the show is not very life affirming...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: Angry Sky

Running on the treadmill at home over a couple of nights, I finally watched Angry Sky. This is the thirtieth and final installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 volume II. An episode guide for Vol II is here. 30 for 30 Volume 3 debuted on October 13, 2015.

The film is based loosely on the book Magnificent Failure: Free Fall from the Edge of Space. In the mid-60's, Nick Piantanida, a truck driver from New Jersey, attempted the same parachute jump from the edge of space as Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull.

Piantandia had a film crew following him around in the early 1960s. As a result, there is some amazing footage of him and his two unsuccessful attempts. Additionally, the film includes interviews with his widow, brother and a number of other key figures.

This is an odd film. There is no doubt that it is a fascinating story. Nick Piantanida was a larger than life character. It is amazing what he was trying to accomplish on a shoestring almost 50 years ago. There are parts of the film that are hard to watch; too much like watching a car crash in slow motion...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Celebrating Sharon's Birthday

To kick off her birthday, I took Sharon to dinner on Thursday night at the Farm at the Carneros Inn. We had talked about snowshoeing on Saturday, but the weather didn't cooperate.

Sharon did the Mama Bootcamp in the morning. When she got home, we spent some time in the jacuzzi.

We spent the afternoon at the Mall. I gave Sharon a gift certificate to White House Black Market for her birthday.

Sharon, Jack and I finished the day going to Mass at St. Ignatius. Afterwards, we went to dinner at Cafe Vinoteca for dinner. We finished the night with cupcakes and one more present at home.

Friday, January 22, 2016


With the Oscar nominations finally announced, Sharon and I are working to see the rest of the nominated films. After going to dinner on Thursday night to kick off Sharon's birthday celebration, we watched Carol at the hotel.

The film is based on the novel The Price of Salt (also known as Carol) by Patricia Highsmith. The book was published in 1952.

The film stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Set in 1952 in New York City, the film tells the story of a young aspiring photographer and her relationship with an older woman going through a difficult divorce.

The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score. Blanchett was nominated for Best Actress, while Mara was nominated for Supporting Actress.

Sharon compared Blanchett's performance in Carol to her performance in Blue Jasmine. I don't believe that either Blanchett or Mara are going to win an Oscar for their performances. The film is not in the same league as the other Oscar nominated films that we have seen so far. It is a little slow and overwrought...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kicking off Sharon's Birthday Weekend

With Sharon's birthday on Saturday, she met me in Napa. We went to dinner at Farm at the Carneros Inn. We had a very nice table near the fireplace. We split Bone Marrow Custard and Carnaroli Risotto as an appetizer. For main courses, Sharon had Seared Daybook Scallops and I had Superior Farm Lamb. We enjoyed the ambience of restaurant. The food was good, but not great.

Wandering back to the hotel, we finished the night watching Carol.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Breaking Bad: Season 5

This weekend, Sharon and I finished watching the fifth season of Breaking Bad. We finished Season 1 in September of 2014, Season 2 in February of 2015, Season 3 in May of 2015. and Season 4 in December of 2015.

The fifth season of Breaking Bad premiered on July 15, 2012 and concluded on September 2, 2012. Season five includes only eight episodes.

In 2013, the series was nominated for thirteen Emmys and won its first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for the first half of the fifth season. In addition, Anna Gunn won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

I enjoyed season five a lot more than season four. I am looking forward to finishing up the series with the final season!

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - hocus.

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Hocus

Code Expiration: April 12, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

1,604 miles running and 401 miles cycling

On our trip to Florida in Summer of 2004, I started to play with the idea of running the American River 50 in April of 2007. I committed myself and started to train.

In 2005, I ran slightly less than 1,630 miles.

In 2006, I ran slightly less than 1,680 miles.

In 2007, I ran 1,721 miles. This included successfully completing the American River 50.

In 2008, I ran more than 1,925 miles!

In 2009, I ran 1,832 miles.

In 2010, I ran 1,700 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Spain in the summer.

In 2011, I ran 1,763 miles. This seems impossible in a year that I took almost nine weeks of vacation!

In 2012, my goal was to start cross-training. I ran and hiked 1,441 miles. This included two full weeks off during the trip to Italy in the summer. Additionally, I cycled 1,133 miles. Most of this cycling was done on a stationary bike. I covered 1,016 miles virtually biking across America.

In 2013, I ran 1,521 miles and cycled 1,092 miles. My goal for 2013 was to best both the running and the cycling totals. I accomplished the running goal. Additionally, I was going to try and lift at least 48 times (4 times a month) at Arden Hills. I failed in this goal.

In 2014, I ran 1,583 miles and cycled 886 miles. I averaged 30.4 miles running and 17.0 miles cycling every week! My goal was to restart a sit-up, push-up and light routine that I have done in the past. I failed in this goal.

In 2015, I ran 1,604 miles and cycled 401 miles. My goal was to work out with weighs 52 times this year; I have failed over the last three years at my strength training goal.

For 2016, I am looking forward into 2017. Like the American River 50 in 2007, I looking for a physical challenge in 2017. I am toying with the idea of a 100 to 120 mile hike along a section of the Pacific Coast Trail in Northern California [Boreal Ridge on Highway 80 to Chester on Highway 36].

Sunday, January 17, 2016

43.2 miles

I ran 43.2 miles last week (Sunday to Saturday); essentially a 10k everyday for 7 days. My body feels pretty good.

This is the most miles that I have run in a week since November of 2011. There was a week in early 2014 where I covered 44.5 miles, but that included a 11.5 mile hike on New Year's Eve day and a 7.8 mile hike at the Larkins.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


With the Oscar nominations announced on Thursday, Sharon and I are working to see the rest of the nominated films. We actually got a better start this year than in past years. Spending some more time doing some research, I have already seen five of the eight films nominated for best picture. Saturday night, we went to see Brooklyn at the UA in Roseville.

The film is based on Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name. It stars Saoirse Ronan. Set in 1952, the film tells the story of a young Irish woman's immigration to Brooklyn.

The film was nominated for best picture, while Ronan was nominated for Actress in a leading role. This is actually the first of this year's nominated performance for best actress that we have seen. Brooklyn was also nominated for best adapted screenplay.

Sharon gave it an "8" and placed it ahead of The Big Short and Revenant on her list. I wouldn't rate it quite as high. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie. After I read a little about the film before we went to see it, I almost tried to talk Sharon into seeing something else this weekend. I am glad that we went... The movie exceeded my expectations.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Celebrating My Birthday

Sharon, Morgan, Jack and I celebrated my birthday at Mikuni on Hazel. Presents included Under Armour and Georgetown shirts.

After dropping Morgan off, we finished the night with cupcakes at home.

Here is how I have celebrated my last fourteen birthdays!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 Oscar Nominations

My predictions are shown in red.

In 2014, I got five out of five in these categories. In 2015, I got three out of five.

Although everyone and their brother says The Revenant is winning Best Picture, it is not in my top four of the eight films. I Am picking Spotlight! I would rather be wrong than pick The Revenant!

Best picture
   The Revenant
   Mad Max: Fury Road
   The Big Short
   Bridge of Spies
   The Martian

Actor in a leading role
   Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
   Matt Damon - The Martian
   Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
   Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
   Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

Actress in a leading role
   Brie Larson - Room
   Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
   Cate Blanchett - Carol
   Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
   Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years

Actress in a supporting role
   Rooney Mara - Carol
   Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
   Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
   Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
   Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

Actor in a supporting role
   Sylvester Stallone - Creed
   Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies - [ACTUAL WINNER!]
   Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
   Christian Bale - The Big Short
   Tom Hardy - The Revenant

The 2021 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2020 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2019 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2018 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2017 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2016 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2015 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2014 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2013 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2010 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1988 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1975 Oscar nominations are here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

I finished reading Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 29th book by John Grisham that I have read in the last twenty-three years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of...

This is an odd book. The story is told in a first person narrative style. Initially, the book seemed like a series of unconnected short stories. More than halfway through, the story flipped and went somewhere I didn't expect. For several reasons, I didn't like the direction that the story took. I put the book down for a couple of days before I picked it back up and finished it. As part of the change in direction, the book drew together a bunch of the seemly unconnected stories.

It is not a bad book, but I am not sure that it a very good book either. Nevertheless, I will continue to read Grisham novels as filler between more ambitious books. They serve as a nice mindless break.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Celebrating Tom's Birthday

Sharon, Jack and I went to Leah and Kevin's house for Tom's birthday dinner. The group include Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Tom, Eric, Jim, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Jack, Sharon and I. We watched the last part of the Green Bay versus Washington NFL game [Green Bay 32, Washington 18] and the start of the Golden Globes.

Kevin and Leah served mashed potatoes, green beans and beef bourguignon. We did presents and cupcakes after dinner.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

2016 Kings versus Warriors

After meeting Tomasin, Mikey, Snipes and Keith for dinner at Chevy's on the river, Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Golden State Warriors NBA basketball game. Trailing by the score of 60 to 58 at halftime, the Kings kept the game close in the first half. The Warriors open a 12 point lead by the end of the third quarter and won the game by the score of 128 to 116.

DeMarcus Cousins was the high scorer for the Kings. In only 30 minutes, he had 33 points on 12 for 27 from the field, 2 for 6 from three and 7 for 9 from the three throw line. Cousins added 10 rebounds and 3 steals.

Stephen Curry was the high scorer for the Kings. In 38 minutes, he had 38 points on 12 for 21 from the field and 6 for 7 from the free throw line. Curry was 8 for 14 from three point range. He added 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Some of Curry's three point shots were circus shots; it is amazing to see some of the angles that he is shooting from...

The game was a sell-out. There were lots and lots of Warrior jerseys. It seemed like they raised the prices for everything from the parking to food and drinks. It will be interesting to see if the prices are lower at the next game I attend.

Amazing the Kings are only two games behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth playoff spot. With Rondo leading the league in assists, they actually seem to have a functional offense.

The Kings have 0 wins and 2 losses in games that I have seen in the 2015-2016 NBA season.

The group made a stop at the Skylight lounge after the game and then Larkin dropped me at Malabar. Jack eventually gave me a ride home.

Friday, January 08, 2016

The Revenant

Over the last couple of years, Sharon and I have tried to see most of the Oscars nominated films. After dinner at Taro's, Sharon and I went to see The Revenant. With the Oscar nominations not out until January 14, I googled a number of sites this year trying to find out which films the critics thought would be nominated. The Revenant is nominated for a Golden Globe and seems to be on a lot of lists of the best films from last year.

Set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota, the film was inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass. It is based in part on Michael Punke's book The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge.

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass.

The scenery and cinematology are amazing. There is no computer-generated imagery and the film was shot with natural lighting. This is definitely a movie to see on the big screen. Sharon liked DiCaprio's performance a lot more than I did; she thinks that he can win the best actor. If it is nominated, I don't think that The Revenant wins best picture.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Elizabeth Carol "Betty" (Bird) Wallen

Elizabeth "Betty" Carol Wallen (Bird)

Palo Cedro, CA

May 16, 1927 – December 21, 2015

Betty Wallen entered this world in Decatur, IL to Virginia and Carroll Bird on May 16, 1927. The family re-located to southern California shortly thereafter where she was joined by brothers Tom and John over the next 16 years. She passed from us on December 21, 2015 at the age of 88.

Always an exceptional student, Betty also enjoyed the stage and often was part of St. Mary's academy school musicals during her school years. As was the case for many folks, the Depression hit her family very hard and she grew up in a home with multiple family members, sharing a room with her cousin and aunt for many of her early years. She often fondly recalled these years as wonderful because of the closeness it created in her family.

After Betty graduated from high school, she was awarded an academic scholarship to St. Mary's College where she graduated with a Professional Nurse degree in 1947. She did her advanced training at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles where she subsequently became a surgical nurse. It was at St. Mary's and St. Vincent's that she made many of her lifelong friends and met the love her life, Bob Wallen, an aspiring young surgeon freshly home from the Medical Corps in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. They married on September 22, 1951 and shared nearly the next 57 years together raising six children and enjoying 12 grandchildren until Bob passed away in 2008.

Betty put her nursing career on hold while raising six children initially in southern California until the family relocated to the Redding area in 1971. But shortly after moving to Redding, she returned to nursing as an educator in the nursing program at Shasta College, a job she truly cherished.

Betty was a remarkable woman in every role she played…mother, grandmother, wife, sister and daughter! Her warm dark blue eyes and gentle smile welcomed all she met and she made many friends during her 44 years in Redding. A deeply religious woman, she lived her Catholic faith daily and remained a parishioner first at St. Joseph's and at Our Lady of Mercy until her death. Always providing those around her as a role model, she never demonstrated this more profoundly then the 40+ years she battled multiple sclerosis never complaining and rarely missing any family events.

During the last two decades of her life when mobility for her became more challenging, Betty took particular pleasure in hosting family barbeques at the family home in Palo Cedro, the last being her 88th birthday this past May. She loved her family passionately and often attended the soccer, baseball, basketball and football games of her grands as they competed in high school and college athletics. She was not only a great fan but very knowledgeable and passionate one as well!

Betty leaves behind her younger brother Tom Bird of Oxnard, California and John Bird of Leesburg, VA. And six children: Bob (Suzette) of Paradise, CA, John (Jill) of Bremerton, WA, Jim (Allyn) of Seattle, Jean Risin (Don) of Reno, NV, Elizabeth of Berkeley and Bill (Cass) from Redding, 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

A Rosary followed by a funeral service will be held this Sunday, December 27th at the Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel on Deschutes Rd. in Palo Cedro with a reception to follow at the family home. Following cremation, Betty will be interred on her birthday in May of 2016 with her beloved husband, Bob, at the family plot in Cobb Valley, CA. following a family celebration of her life.

The family asks that memorial contributions be made to either the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Shasta College Nursing Program.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Breaking Bad: Season 4

Saturday night, December 19, Sharon and I finished watching the fourth season of Breaking Bad. We finished Season 1 in September of 2014, Season 2 in February of 2015 and Season 3 in May of 2015.

The fourth season of Breaking Bad premiered on July 17, 2011 and concluded on October 9, 2011. It consists of 13 episodes.

This season received thirteen Emmy Award nominations, but only one win. Aaron Paul won the only award for the series, winning for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The nominations included Outstanding Drama Series, Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Giancarlo Esposito for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Anna Gunn for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Mark Margolis for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and Vince Gilligan for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ("Face Off").

Season four was not my favorite season of Breaking Bad. Making a push to finish the series, we are already about halfway through season five...

Monday, January 04, 2016

Garland Ranch Hike

When we were in Carmel between Christmas and New Year's, Tiber, Jack, Morgan, Sharon and I hiked in Garland Ranch. Using data from Runkeeper on my iPhone, I put together a Google Map and views of the hike in Google Earth.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

5K Run

Early Sunday morning, I went with Sharon to do a 5k Mama Bootcamp Celebration Run.

Saturday, January 02, 2016


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, Morgan, Sharon and I went to see Spotlight. Unlike past years, I googled a number of sites this year trying to find out which films the critics thought would be nominated. Spotlight seems to be on the top of everyone's list.

Spotlight is about The Boston Globe's Spotlight team and its investigation into the widespread Catholic priest child sex abuse cases in the Boston area. Spotlight is the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in the United States. The film is based on a series of stories by the real Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and John Slattery. Keaton plays the head of the Spotlight team.

I thought the film was very well done. In my opinion, it is a much better film than The Big Short. Sharon rated the film an 8.5 on a scale of 10. I would give it a B+.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Day 2016

Sharon and I went to Mass at St. Ignatius [The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord & the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God].

Afterwards, we wandered over to Tom's and watched Notre Dame play Ohio State in the BatttleFrog Bowl. I am still trying to figure out what BattleFrog is... The group included Tom, Jim, Eric, Kevin, Leah and Lydia.

Falling behind 14 to 0 in the first quarter, Notre Dame got blown out by the score of 44 to 28. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 149 yards and matched a Fiesta Bowl record with four touchdowns.