Thursday, March 31, 2016

Morgan's New Job

Graduating from the Rudolf Steiner College teaching program in May, Morgan will start working at Sophia's Hearth Family Center, a Waldorf early childhood center in Keene, New Hampshire in June.

We have really enjoyed having her so close over the last year.

wanted to say thanks everyone for helping me golden circle my epic two day job interview-- it went pretty much perfectly and i accepted a full time teaching position at sophia's hearth family center, a waldorf early childhood center in keene, new hampshire, which i will begin in mid-june! this is probably what it feels like to be proposed to by someone you actually like.

also i will most likely be working with the 1 - 3 year olds in the toddler room, my dream come true.

anyone who wants to go on a cross country drive from california to new hampshire should let me know. (preferably someone with big muscles who can protect me from vagabonds.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: Chasing Tyson

Running on the treadmill in January, I watched Chasing Tyson. This is the fourth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

This film follows the interwoven careers of Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Holyfield finally met Tyson in two memorable fights in 1996 and 1997. The second fight may be one of the most bizarre fights in boxing history.

The footage of Tyson's early career is amazing. Tyson looked like a machine in the early fights of his career.

Holyfield had moved up in weight class to fight as a heavywieght. While Tyson was in prison, he fought some bums. Eventually, Holyfield won the heavyweight championship belt an unprecedented four times.

Three random observations... First, in one of his first fights after Tyson got out of prison, the camera starts on Tyson and then pans out. A white guy runs into the middle of the ring as the bell for the first round rings. The first thing that jumped into my head was that the guy looked like me at 35! Tyson floored him in the first round...

Second, while I was watching this documentary, Sharon and I went to see Creed. This documentary made me appreciate the quality of the boxing scenes in Creed.

Third, I was surprised to see Hoyfield in Carl's Jr commercials in January and February.

This film is worth looking for. I am planning to gift a copy to my brother-in-law in the near future.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

California Historical Landmark #238

Swift's Stone Corral
California State Historical Landmark #238

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located 1,000 feet south of Maxwell-Sites Road, 6.4 miles west of Maxwell, California. There are two other California State Historical Landmarks in Colusa County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 39° 17' 23.1" N 122° 18' 11.4" W.


The original owner and builder of this stone corral was Granville P. Swift, a native of Kentucky. In 1847 Swift began ranching in Stone Creek Valley in Colusa County. In 1850 he and his partner Frank Sears needed a corral and, as there was no timber in the surrounding country, they built one from the flat stones that were scattered over the area.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - twofold inc.

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

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter 2016
Up early to walk Tiber, we were able to drag ourselves to the 7:30 am Mass at St. Ignatius.

A little after 1:00 pm, Sharon, Jack and I headed to Tom's house. The group for an early dinner included: Tom, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Jim, Sharon, Jack and I. I enjoyed hanging out in the backyard watching Lydia before dinner... We had a nice dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes au gratin, green beans, brussel sprouts and jello.

After dinner, we watched Syracuse (#10 seed) beat Virginia (#1) by the score of 68 to 62 in the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


On Thursday night after dinner, Sharon and I watched Burnt at the hotel.

The film stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson. Burnt marked Cooper and Miller's second on-screen collaboration following the 2014 war film American Sniper. The film was released on October 30, 2015.

Bradley Cooper plays a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.

Sharon enjoyed the film for its cooking scenes; me not so much. I don't recommend it...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Caymus plus Hog Island Oyster Co.

With Sharon spending Thursday night in Napa, I met her at lunchtime on Friday at Caymus Vineyards. Afterwards we headed to the Oxbow Market in Napa and had lunch at Hog Island Oyster Co. We split fresh oysters, grilled oysters (Bagna Cauda), a salad and some seafood stew.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


With Jack in Southern California, Sharon spent the night with me in Napa. We had a causal dinner at the Woodshed. We had a couple of nice salads. I had a meatball tascas, while Sharon had fried pacific cod. We split a bottle of Istine Chianti Classico [too dry!].

We finished the night watching Burnt at the hotel.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Eisenhower: Soldier and President by Stephen Ambrose

My book for March is Eisenhower: Soldier and President by Stephen Ambrose. This is part of my long term project to read books about all of the presidents. I recently found a New York Times list of recommended books for each president. When I saw the Ambrose book about Eisenhower on the list, I was intrigued.

While I have read a number of books about World War II, the view of the war from Eisenhower's life story is interesting. After struggles as a commander in North Africa and Italy, he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander. Eisenhower was responsible for D-Day and the ensuing war on the continent. The problems he had keeping all of the generals in line are fascinating, particularly British General Montgomery. General Patton was a loose cannon. [Note to self], I need to read a biography on Patton at some point.

The book also presents a great overview of the 1950s. Eisenhower was president from 1952 to 1960. This period includes the Korean War, Brown versus the Board of Education, the French War in Vietnam, Sputnik, the U2 getting shot down over Russian, the Chinese shelling the Taiwanese islands, the Hungarian Revolution, Stalin's death and Castro coming to power.

It is amazing that another nuclear weapon was not used in the 1950s. In the book, it seems like everyone around Eisenhower wanted to use nuclear at one time or another. The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State and the Joint Chiefs advocated using nuclear weapons against North Korean, the Chinese and even North Vietnam at one point or another. I was shocked at one point when they talked about testing that include an atomic bomb fired by a two man bazooka crew...

I really enjoyed the book. I liked Ambrose's writing style. Even importantly, it feels like Ambrose does a good job of painting a balanced picture of Eisenhower's strengths and weaknesses as well as his successes and failures. As president, Eisenhower's leadership on segregation was abysmal.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Training Desert Run

On Sunday morning at Spring Training, Wallen and I had a nice 4.15 mile run out into the desert. Using data from Runkeeper on my iPhone, I built the following Google Map.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of Week - Easy Music

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 Spring Training Day 3

Spring Training

Up early, I texted Wallen and we made plans to go for a run. I packed up the room at the Phoenix Airport Marriott and headed towards the Wallen Condos.

Wallen and I went out for a morning run. We covered 4.15 miles in 45:21. We are not as fast as we once were... I always enjoy running with Wallen. I used to say that one of the reasons I trained so hard was so I could keep up with him a couple of times a year. Hopefully, we can continue run together for years to come. A map of the run is here.

After getting cleaned up, the group headed to Harlows. Jenny found this restaurant in 2004 and we have made it a regular stop for breakfast ever since. Wallen rode with me and we listened to the Proper Gentlemen album.

After breakfast, we headed to Maryvale. Although there are a lot of new ballparks in the last ten years, I have always enjoyed Maryvale. The plan for the day was to watch the Milwaukee Brewers versus Los Angeles Dodgers. Moore and one of his friends (Tim?) joined us for the game.

Former Oakland Athletic Scott Kazmir started for the split-squad Dodgers and allowed one earned run and four hits in four innings. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Rymer Liriano was hit in the face by a pitch and was bleeding from his nose as he was carried off the field. The Brewers beat the Dodgers by the score of 3 to 1.

Spring Training

After the game, we wandered back to the Wallen Condos. The group, including Moore, spent an hour plus hanging out around the pool.

I made a questionable decision to fly out Sunday night. About 6 pm, I started to wind my way back to the airport. I dropped the rental car and took the shuttle to the airport. I caught a 8:35 pm flight from Phoenix to San Diego to Sacramento. Landing in Sacramento about 11:45 pm, it was about 12:30 am before I was in bed sleep.

It was a great weekend. I need to get back into the rhythm of going every year!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Spring Training Day 2

Up fairly early, I ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill at the hotel. After getting cleaned up, I headed towards the condo where the Wallens were staying. After initially renting a house in North Scottsdale that fell through, The Wallens rented a condo in Desert Ridge. This is about 25 minutes due north of Phoenix. Oddly, the condo had a Phoenix address.

Wallen made eggs and sausages for breakfast. After hanging out at the condo for a while, we took off for game. I rode with Jenny, CJ and Bob.

The plan for the day was to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Texas Rangers at Talking Stick. With Zack Grienke pitching six strong innings, the Diamondback jumped all over a Rangers split squad. The Diamondbacks won the game by the score of 11 to 1.

A log of spring training games I have seen over the years is here.

I really enjoyed having an opportunity to catch up with Wallen during the game. This year's group included Wallen and Jill, Bob, Jenny, CJ, Bill and Bill's son Marcus. Marcus from Wallen's office, Brandon and Aaron were also on the trip, but I frankly saw very little of them over the course of the two days.

After the game, we made a quick stop at the store and then headed back to the condos. We visited on the balcony for the rest of the afternoon.

Eventually, we wandered across the street to the Cowboys Saloon for dinner. The Cowboys Saloon was a giant western themed restaurant and bar that got busier as the night wore on. I had a burger...

I headed back to the my hotel fairly early. I crashed hard after two long days.

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Spring Training Day 1

After missing last year, I am heading back to Wallen Family and Friends Spring Training trip. This will mark the twelfh out of the last seventeen years that I have made a pilgrimage to Arizona in March for Spring Training. From 2006 to 2014, Jack went with me to spring training eight out of nine years. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get Drew and Jack to join me this year.

I caught a 7:45 pm Southwest flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Phoenix. It was a lot cheaper than a nonstop from Sacramento to Phoenix. I didn't have to change planes. I landed about 10:50 pm. By the time I got off the plane, rode out to rental car facility, picked up the rental car and wound my way to the hotel, it was almost midnight.

I am spending two nights at the Phoenix Airport Marriott. After texting a large group a picture and part of a George Thorough song, I finally crashed about 12:30 am.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mary Bajada

Mary and Larry Bajada were close friends of Sharon's family. They were at our wedding.

Loved and treasured by all who knew her, Mary passed into the arms of our Lord at the age of 91. Born in San Francisco to proud Maltese immigrants, Phillip & Nina Fenech, the family moved to Sacramento when she was 3 years old making her an almost life-long resident. She was pre-deceased by her devoted sister Jo and brother-in-law George McNeil and her high school sweetheart and loving husband of 57 years, Larry. She is survived by Rita and Rene Aufort, numerous nieces and nephews including Dan (Deb) McNeil, Renee Aufort, Rich (Fran) Aufort and her daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn and Mike Jones. Her life was enriched by 2 grandchildren, Jeff and Stephanie and their children, Alyssa and Riley. She shared many travel adventures in Kenya, Barbados, and Costa Rica with her family. She retired after 40 years of service at Mercy General Hospital and went on to be an avid gardener and seasoned traveler. A woman of great faith in her Lord, she was well known for her lemon pies and love of music. Starting as a child she became a professional vocalist and accordion player. She brightened many events and family celebrations with her talents. The family will be forever grateful for the loving care of the staff at Granite Bay Villas. In her honor, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Loaves & Fishes or Catholic Relief Services. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph Marello Parish, 7200 Auburn Folsom Rd., Granite Bay at 11:00 AM, Sat., March 12.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Furious 7

With Sharon at the retreat and Jack at his evening performance of Xanadu, I watched Furious 7 on Saturday night. This is the seventh installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise. I have not seen any of the six previous films.

The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, and Jason Statham. I was very surprised to see Kurt Russell in the film. Paul Walker died in a single car accident when the film was about half complete. Apparently, they used a number of approaches to finish the movie, including using his brothers. Except for a scene at the end of the movie, they were successful in completing the film and transparently completing Walker's scenes.

Some of the plot was a little disorienting since I have not seen any of the previous films. I enjoyed the film enough that I will probably go back and watch a couple of the first six films. I particularly enjoyed the sequences filmed on Pike's Peak.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

XANADU redux

With Sharon out of town at the retreat, I went to the matinee showing of Xanadu.

Sharon and I had gone to the gala opening of the show last Thursday.

Getting there early and entering as a patron, I was the first person into the theater. I got a great seat in the middle of the fourth row.

I really enjoyed the show. It was fun to see Jack perform. He is clearly enjoying the experience.

Kiki is doing a great job in the lead role!

Friday, March 11, 2016

El Retiro San Inigo 2016

Sharon, Janie and Tom are spending the weekend at El Retiro San Inigo, the Jesuit Retreat House of Los Altos. They are attending a silent retreat for members of the legal profession titled Where is God? - 33rd Annual Retreat for Members of the Legal Profession.

From 1994 to 2011, Sharon went to this retreat 17 out of 18 years, missing only the year after Jack was born. After missing 2012 and 2013, she got back on track in 2014. Sharon has now gone to this retreat twenty of the last twenty-three years!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Smugglers Cove

Sharon and I hiked pass this historical marker on our last day at Sea Ranch.

Smugglers Cove
Marker 18-21

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This site is located near the end of Mariners Drive, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch; this marker is not on this list. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 42' 13.1" N 123° 26' 48.3" W.

Smugglers Cove - Sea Ranch

From 1920 until 1933, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors was prohibited in the United States.  The law, however, didn't stop people from drinking thus creating a new, illegal industry: smuggling.  One method smugglers used was to ferry liquor ashore from ships anchored at sea. Remote areas, such as our stretch of the coast, were idea for this purpose.

Smugglers Cove - Sea Ranch

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: No Kin to Me

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

30 for 30 Shorts: No Kin to Me

Rudy Jacklin's jersey is hanging from the rafters at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and for good reason: He is the school's all-time leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. Macklin led the Tigers to the 1981 Final Four in Philadelphia, where an injured finger hampered him in a semifinal loss to Indiana. Back then, the NCAA Tournament included a third-place game, and that's where the trouble started for Macklin. Just before the consolation game against Virginia, President Ronald Reagan was shot, and after the loss, Macklin was asked if the news might have affected the team. His widely-reported response -- "He's no kin of mine" -- was so blown out of proportion that he feared for his life. In this documentary, directed by Marc Kinderman, Macklin talks about the fight to restore his honor.

You can find No Kin to Me on the ESPN web site at

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Spring IT Directors Workshop 2016 Day 2

I spent the day at the Spring IT Directors Workshop. The agenda included: Morning Inspiration; IT Customer Survey Results; The Sum of Many Little Things Done Well - "The IT Leadership Role in Customer Service" by Jim McKennan [Dr. Jim, the Service Doctor]; Customer Service - Next Steps; Employee Engagement Stories; VCO Update; Security Update; and, CIO Closing.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Swapperoo

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Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Swapperoo

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Spring IT Directors Workshop 2016 Day 1

I spent the day at the Spring IT Directors Workshop. The agenda included: Morning Inspiration; CIO Welcome; CTO Update; 20 minutes SnipIT rotations of SWAT, ERP and New Heat; Physician Servces Report; New Application Process; Quality; Enhancement Update; 20 minutes SnipIT rotations of SmartRoom/SmartHospital, TAP N GO, Independent Physician Offering and GE PACs Project/VNA; and, CEO overview. I presented a summary of the technical lessons learned as part of the SmartRoom/SmartHospital presentation.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Vol 3: Four Falls of Buffalo

Running on the treadmill at home on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, I watched Four Falls of Buffalo. This is the fifth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 Volume 3. An episode guide for Vol 3 is here.

The film follows the Buffalo Bills NFL football team from 1990 to 1993. During this period, the team went on an unprecedented run of AFC Championship victories. The Bills appeared in a record four straight Super Bowls. They lost each time.

In 1990, the Bills lost to lost the New York Giants by the score of 20 to 19. Buffalo missed a 44 yard field goal as time expired. In 1991, the Bills lost to the Washington Redskins by the score of 37 to 24. In 1992, the Bills were destroyed by the Dallas Cowboys; the score was 52 to 17. Dallas forced a Super Bowl record nine turnovers—four interceptions and five lost fumbles—en route to their win over Buffalo. In 1993, the Bills lost again to the Dallas Cowboys; the score was 30 to 13.

This is a very good film. It includes interviews with all of the principals, including players, coaches and the general manager. The attitude of the press during their third and fourth attempts to win the Super Bowl is interesting: "how are you going to deal with losing again." It is amazing how much perseverance it took it in the face of this attitude to make four straight Super Bowls. It is definitely a film worth looking for...

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Dinner with Timmy and Kathy

After Mass on Saturday night, Sharon and I went to dinner at Piatti with her brother Timmy and his wife Kathy. Sharon had the salmon, while I had a pork chop.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Sea Ranch Bike Ride

Using RunKeeper on my iPhone, I generated the following Google Map and view in Google Earth of our bike ride at Sea Ranch. We covered just a little over 17 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes.

Thursday, March 03, 2016


Sharon and I went to opening night Gala performance of Jesuit High School's winter musical production of XANADU!.

Jack is in the cast. I am very proud of him; he did a great job! I enjoyed the show; the performance was a lot of fun.

This Tony Award-nominated, hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you, rolls along to the original hit score composed by pop-rock legends Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Based on the Universal Pictures' cult classic movie of the same title, which starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, Xanadu is hilarity on wheels for adults, children and anyone who has ever wanted to feel inspired. Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time: the first ROLLER DISCO! (Hey, it's 1980!) But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation and chaos abounds. Xanadu is a moving, electrifying tale of endless fun that will keep you in stitches, while the original, legendary chart-topping tunes lift you out of your seat.

For tickets and schedule, visit…/fall-play-tickets-now-sale

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Del Mar Schoolhouse

We rode by this historical marker during our Sea Ranch bike ride.

Del Mar Schoolhouse

Marker 34A-13

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This site is located at 40425 Leeward Road, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 44'32.3" N 123° 29' 55.2" W.

Del Mar Schoolhouse

A schoolhouse for only a short period, it survived the years by serving other purposes: residence, bunkhouse for sheep shearers and storehouse for wool.  The building is now a proud memorial to the rich history of the community of Del Mar, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers.

Del Mar Schoolhouse

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: I Am Yup'ik

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

30 for 30 Shorts: I Am Yup'ik

Every year they gather from tiny subsistence villages on Alaska's Bering Sea Coast, traveling hundreds of miles on bush planes to compete on the biggest stage they will ever know - the All-Yup'ik District Basketball Tournament. The hope of Toksook Bay is Byron Nicholai, a 16-year-old Yup'ik Eskimo who is determined to lead his village to the championship. After his father left, Byron didn't learn how to hunt in the traditional Yupik way. For Byron, this tournament isn't just about basketball-it's a way to bring pride to his family and community.

You can find I Am Yup'ik on the ESPN web site at .

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus

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

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus

Code Expiration: May 24, 2016