Friday, April 29, 2016

Farewell Liturgy

Sharon to the farewell liturgy for Jack's class at Jesuit High School. It is hard to believe that Jack will graduate high school in less than a month!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

California Historical Landmark #392

Buena Vista Winery and Vineyards
California State Historical Landmark #392

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

This landmark is located at 18000 Old Winery Road, 2 miles northeast of Sonoma, California. There are 26 other California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 17' 58.0" N 122° 25' 21.7" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Marker #392

Founded in 1857, this is the birthplace of California wine. Its founder, Colonel Agoston Haraszthy, called the father of the state's wine industry, toured Europe in 1861 to gather grape vine cuttings, he also oversaw planting the vineyards and digging wine storage tunnels into the limestone rock of the hillsides.

California Historical Marker #392

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Nevada Historical Marker #259

On my way home from this year's Petersen Shootout, I stopped at six Nevada State Historical Markers, including Bliss Mansion [#70], Methodist Church of Carson City [#71], Orion Clemens' Home [#78], Stewart-Nye Residence [#175], Rinckel Mansion [#252] and The Governor's Mansion [#259].

The Governor's Mansion
Nevada Historical Marker #259

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

This marker is located at 606 Mountain Street, Carson City, Nevada. There are 25 other historical markers in Carson City County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 10.036 W 119° 46.379.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

Nevada State Historical Marker #259

Reno architect George A. Ferris designed this neo-classical mansion, which cost $22,700. It is the only home ever built for Nevada's highest elected official. In July 1909, Acting Governor Denver Dickerson and his wife Una became the first residents of the mansion. Two months later, June Dickerson was born here.

From 1909 to 1999, sixteen families have occupied the Mansion. In 2000, First Lady Dema Guinn began a revitalization of the grounds. Private funds supported many of the improvements, including this fence extension donated by Steel Engineers, Inc., Las Vegas and Blue Mountain Steel, Inc., Carson City.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1

After a dinner of barbecued hamburgers with Sharon and Morgan on Sunday night, Morgan and I watched the first episode of season six of Game of Thrones.

Monday night, I watched After the Thrones. This show is a production of Bill Simmons new media company.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Petersen Shootout Day 3

UntitledUp early, Larkin and I got packed up. We used our coupon to get breakfast for the second straight day at the small counter in the casino. Unlike Saturday morning, it was empty...

I pulled away from the hotel a little after 7:30 am. I spent some time tracking down half a dozen Nevada Historical markers on the west side of Carson City, including the Governor's Mansion.

I was on 395 northbound before 8 am and got home about 10:15 am. The early Sunday morning traffic on westbound 80 was very light and the weather was clear.

I enjoyed the trip. I was great to have a chance to spend some time with Larkin.

Next year, Rod is talking about moving the site to the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and I spent a weekend there in 1992(?). Larkin had recommended the suites there... It would be nice to get back to a venue where the group would have a hospitality suite.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2016 Petersen Shootout Day 2

Up fairly early, Larkin and I used a coupon to get breakfast at a counter in the casino. The restaurant is being remodeled. With a fairly early first tee time (10 am), almost everybody was up and moving and trying to get breakfast at the counter...

We rolled from the hotel before 9 am. The group was scheduled to play the Dayton Valley Country Club. Arnold Palmer is listed as the course architect. Since 1995, the course has hosted a PGA qualifying tournament every year.

Compared to the rain and wind on Friday, the weather was almost perfect. After hitting the range, Larkin, Borja, Kevin and I teed off about 10:20 am. We were playing a shamble format. Although we used three of my drives on the front nine, I struggled and ended up with a liberally scored 56.

I settled down quite a bit on the back nine. With everyone stopping for lunch, we had two and a half open holes in front of us on the 10th. We used two more of my drives. I had a birdie on a par three off with Borja's drive and my 20 plus foot putt. I also had my own par when we used my drive on the 15th. I carded a 46 on the back nine.

After everyone was done, we headed to a par three on the front nine. Borja ended up representing our group in a closest to the pin contest.

Rod had arranged dinner at J's Old Town Bistro in Dayton. I was pleasantly surprised. The bar was nice and the food was solid; I had lasagna. Larkin, Borja, Kevin and I ended up sitting at the table and talking long after everyone else split. I enjoyed having a chance to catch up with Borja.

Larkin and I finished the night watching the Clippers lose to Portland in the first round of the NBA playoffs in the room. At some point, Rod wandered in and slept on the bed for awhile!?!

Friday, April 22, 2016

2016 Petersen Shootout Day 1

For the fifth time in seven years, Larkin and I played in the Petersen Shootout [2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014]. We missed 2013 when Rod kept moving the date around and it finally landed on a weekend when Sharon, Jack and I were in H@waii. In 2015, Larkin wasn't available. I signed up with Borja as my wingman, but when he canceled at the last minute, I bailed.

Leaving Carmichael about 8:30 am, I made a quick stop for gas and supplies. It rained hard all the way to Kingvale. At Kingvale, I hit the chain controls. Snowing pretty hard, it was slow and very slick on the grade down into Truckee. I finally got to the Silver Oak Golf Course a little after 12:00 pm. Although it cleared up through Reno, it was raining steadily again.

I frankly thought that we wouldn't end up playing, but everyone started off. Although it was supposed to be a shotgun start, Martin, Rod, Larkin and I teed off on the first hole. I actually played pretty well on the front nine. It stopped raining for four or five holes. I had a couple of nice pars and was striking the ball pretty well. I ended up hitting the ball to within about 19 feet on the par three sixth hole and winning the closet to the pin. With no one in front of us, we played the front nine in about one hour and 45 minutes.

We stopped for a hot dog after the front nine. Unfortunately, everyone ended up getting bunched up. Larkin and I played the 10th by ourselves and then skipped the 11th to catch up with Rod, Scott and Martin. With the rain continuing, I struggled a lot on the back nine. The group ended up skipping the three more holes and finishing on the eighteenth.

I have no idea what I scored. The scorecard was so wet that we couldn't have kept score if we had wanted to... [Note to self], I made a tactical mistake. I have a very nice set of rain gear that I bought to take to New Ze@land. Unfortunately, I brought the jacket, but not the pants!

After finishing the golf, we headed to the Max Casino in Carson City. We have stayed at this hotel in 2010 and 2014. It is now a Wyndham Hotel.

Larkin and I got cleaned up and walked across the street for a late dinner at Red's Old 395 Grill. I had Cajun Chicken Pasta and Larkin had the Chicken Picatta. We ended up sitting and talking at the table for a long time.

Wandering back to the hotel, we caught back up with the group (Irish Car Bomb?!?). After listening to music for a while, we crashed in the room about 11:30 pm.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Decision

Jack will be taking his talents to Washington DC this fall. He has committed to Georgetown University and the McDonough School of Business.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

On the way back from Washington DC, I finished reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Looking for a book to give Jim Dunn for Christmas, I stumbled across this book. Additionally, I read McCullough's book about Truman years ago.

While everyone has heard of Kitty Hawk, I frankly didn't realize where it was. I also didn't realize how long the Wright Brothers spent there working on the glider before they even tried a powered flight. They eventually moved to a field near there home town of Dayton to continue their powered testing.

The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds.

With the American government largely ignoring them initially, I was surprised how much time that they had spent in France. Wilbur spent a long time in France working on and flying the plane in order to win a contract with a French syndicate.

I enjoyed this book a lot and recommend it. I have walked by the 1903 Wright flyer in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on a number of occasions. I need to go back and look at it again!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: When the King Held Court

ESPN Films has released the fiftieth film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.
30 for 30 Shorts: When the King Held Court

Elvis Presley was many things in America from rock and roll god to film star to cultural icon, but one thing most people didn't know about The King was how much he loved the game of racquetball and what lengths he went to keep it popular.

You can find When the King Held Court on the ESPN web site at

Monday, April 18, 2016


Sharon and I went to Evensong at the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. We only knew two of the nineteen boys in the Jesuit Chamber Choir: Marco and Devin.

Jesuit High School's Evensong is a meditation upon the Easter mysteries and draws inspiration from the centuries-old tradition of monastic prayer at day's end.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Georgetown GAAP Day 4

Up at 4:30 am, we took a cab to Reagan Airport and caught a 7:00 am American Airlines flight to Phoenix. From there, we boarded a 9:50 am flight to Sacramento. We were on the ground in Sacramento about noon. It took forever for them to unload the luggage. We eventually got home a little after 1:00 pm.

It was a great trip. The GAAP program was very worthwhile both for Jack as a student and Sharon and I as parents. I am very impressed with the school. Jack will be committing formally to Georgetown later this week.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Georgetown GAAP Day 3

Sleeping late, we grabbed a cab back to the Georgetown Campus. Sharon, Jack and I started the day with a Georgetown neighborhood tour. The campus extends farther to the south than we realized. The streets around the campus are gorgeous. It is a beautiful area.

After the tour, we had breakfast in the Leo O'Donovan dining hall. This is the only dining hall on campus. Walking behind the dining hall, there was a great view of the Potomac River with the Washington Monument in the distance.

An academic panel was next on the agenda. We got a chance to listen to four students from the business school talk about their academic, intern and campus experiences. This was a very worthwhile session.

We finished the formal part of the program with a tour of all four of the freshman dorms on campus. This included: Village C West; New South; Harbin Hall; and, Darnall Hall. The view from the New South dorm room of the Potomac River and the monuments on the Washington Mall was spectacular.

After the dorm tour, we went back to the bookstore. I bought a t-shirt, polo shirt and a hat. On the way to lunch, we wandered through the campus activities fair. There were a number of tables set up by the different campus clubs.

We had a very late lunch at The Tombs. From there, we walked back to the hotel.

While Jack and I watched the Warriors versus Rockets game in the room, Sharon took off to meet Mary Maloney. I eventually caught up with them at the Tabard Inn.

With an early flight on Sunday morning, Sharon and I wandered back to the hotel and crashed fairly early...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Georgetown GAAP Day 2

GeorgetownAfter breakfast in the concierge lounge at the Georgetown Marriott, we caught a taxi to the Georgetown Campus. Although the hotel's name is the Georgetown Marriott, it is south of the Rock Creek Parkway.

Sharon, Jack and I spent a long day in the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program (GAAP). After checking in at Healy Hall at 8:00 am, we took a campus tour. We then attended a welcome reception in historic Gaston Hall. Afterwards, Jack went to a student icebreaker, while Sharon and I went to a parent's college mingle. Connecting back up with Jack, we went to two campus spotlights: community service, advocacy and social justice; and introduction to career education. From there, we went to deans' academic information session for the McDonough School of Business in the Lohrfink Auditorium in the Hariri Building.

While Jack had lunch with other business school students, she and I had lunch at the Bulldog Tavern. We sat outside with a view of the Potomac River. After lunch, Sharon and I went to a campus resource panel for parent in Gaston Hall.

Catching back up with Jack, the three of us went to a faculty showcase titled "The Global Business Imperative" with Charles Skuba. This was essentially a sample class lecture...

We finished a long day with the convocation back in Gaston Hall. When it finished at 6:00 pm, Sharon and Jack headed to the bookstore, while I walked to meet Nooter and Barb at El Centro DF. It was great to see them. Sharon and Jack eventually joined us there.

Parting ways with the Nooters, we walked back to the hotel. Unfortunately, late in the afternoon, Southwest emailed Sharon that our flights on Saturday afternoon had been cancelled. Apparently, they were expecting some major weather in Denver. As a result, there was some running amok trying to figure out how to get home. Jack really wanted to be home Saturday night. The best option that I could find without paying an arm and a leg was an American Airlines flight through Phoenix on early Sunday morning.

Sharon and I ending getting something to eat in the hotel bar very, very late...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Georgetown GAAP Day 1

With Jack's college choice due by May 1, we decided to make a return visit to Georgetown. We are signed up for a two day Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program (GAAP). We visited Georgetown last summer at part of our college tour on the east coast.

Sharon, Jack and I caught a 9:15 am Southwest flight from Sacramento to Denver and then a 1:25 pm flight from Denver to Washington Dulles. We landed at Dulles at 6:45 pm. The luggage was already at the baggage claim when we got there. We caught a cab into Washington DC.

We are spending two nights at the Georgetown Marriott. After checking into the room, we finished the night with a late dinner at grillfish DC. I had swordfish, Jack had mahi mani and Sharon had local rockfish.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

73 Wins, 9 Losses

I have enjoyed watching the chase the Bulls record over the last few weeks. Winning 73 games is an amazing accomplishment!

In 2009, I read the Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. He said "I can't imagine anyone finishing a season with fewer than 10 losses."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts: Tiger Hood

ESPN Films has released the forty-ninth film in their 30 for 30 documentary short series.
30 for 30 Shorts: Tiger Hood

You won't find the name Patrick Q.F. Barr on any leaderboard. But he is a golfer worth knowing nonetheless. His course is lower Manhattan, his clubs are borrowed and his balls are ... well, they're milk cartons stuffed with newspapers. In this 30 for 30 Short directed by Christopher Andre' Marks, you'll hear the story of "Tiger Hood" in his own words, about how golf saved him from despair and helped people recognize his other talent, photography. Truer words were never spoken than when Patrick says, "Don't cry over spilled milk."

You can find Tiger Hood on the ESPN web site at

Monday, April 11, 2016

2015-2016 Sacramento Kings Season

During the 2015-2016 Sacramento Kings season, the Kings had 2 wins and 2 losses in games which I saw in person, including:


10/28/2015: Clippers-111, Kings-104 [0-1] - Larkin, Snipes, Keith, Craig
01/09/2016: Warriors-128, Kings-116 [0-2] - Larkin, Tomasin, Mikey, Snipes, Keith
02/19/2016: Kings-116, Nuggets-110 [1-2] - Sharon
04/09/2016: Kings-114, Thunder-112 [2-2] - Larkin, Snipes, Hunter

2011-2012 Season [3-2]
2010-2011 Season [3-6]
2009-2010 Season [4-7]
2008-2009 Season [2-7]
2007-2008 Season [7-7]
2006-2007 Season [5-9]
2005-2006 Season [8-8]

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cornflake Chicken

Sharon, Jack and I had Morgan and Kiki for dinner. Sharon made a great dinner of cornflake chicken, scalloped potatoes and asparagus.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Last Game at Sleep Train Arena (2016 Kings versus Thunder)

Last Game at Sleep Train Arena

With Jack dropping me off, Larkin and I went to the last game at Sleep Train [Arco] Arena. We met Snipes in the Fan Zone outside the arena before the game. Hunter eventually wandered up. Getting to the parking lot about an hour and a half before the game, I was amazed at the number of people that were tailgating.

The Sacramento Kings played the Oklahoma City Thunder. With the score close for most of the game, the Kings held on to win by the score of 114 to 112.

Darren Collison led the Kings with 27 points on 10 for 16 from the field, 4 for 6 from three point range and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. Collison added eight assists. Seth Curry made a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 20 points. DeMarcus Cousins fouled out with 3:26 remaining; he missed 17 of 24 shots.

Kevin Duran was the high scorer for the Thunder. He had 31 points on 11 for 29 from the field, 4 for 12 from three point range and 5 for 6 from the free throw line. Duran added six rebounds and eight assists.

Larkin and I moved down and sat behind Snipes and Hunter in the 4th quarter. After the game, Snipes, Hunter and I headed up to the Skyline Lounge. I got a ride downtown with Hunter where Jack scooped me up and took me home.

It was great to have an opportunity to have a chance to go to the last game at the arena!

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

The Kings haven't made the playoffs since Adelman was fired after the 2005-06 season. Adelman guided the Kings to a winning record in his eight seasons and the team hasn't had a winning record since.

Sleep Train Arena

Friday, April 08, 2016

Mile... Mile and a Half

Friday night, Sharon and I watched Mile... Mile and a Half as a HD rental on the AppleTV. She had heard about the documentary on one of the podcasts that she listens to.

The film follows five friends as they hike California's historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mount Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous United States). Filmed in the summer of 2011 after an epic snow year, the group faced a lot of snow and some very swollen creeks.

The film is definitely worth seeing. There is some absolutely amazing scenery! Sharon and I talked about how we never watch documentaries.

A full version of the documentary is actually available on line at

I started thinking over the last year about a physical challenge for 2017. I went through a period five or six years ago where I was reading about through hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada. I have started to toy with the idea of a week long hike somewhere along Pacific Crest Trail next year, potentially starting off of Highway 80 near Boreal and heading north to Chester.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Monday, April 04, 2016

2016 NCAA Basketball Championship Game

After watching the first half on the treadmill, Jack and I watched the second half of the NCAA basketball championship game. Trading 3s in the last eleven seconds, Villanova beat North Carolina by the score of 77 to 74.

Behind Ed Pinckney, Villanova last won the national championship in 1985. Pinckney played for the Sacramento Kings during the first two years that Larkin and I had season tickets (1987/1988 and 1988/1989).

Jack, Sharon and I walked the Villanova campus last summer.

Although Jack won't be going there, Villanova is one of the colleges where he applied and has been accepted.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Janie came over for a dinner of hanger steak and grilled vegetables. After dinner, Sharon, Janie and I watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Starting in 2007, Sharon, Jack and I worked our way through all of the James Bond films. With Sharon and Janie visiting Schilthorn last September as part of their European vacation, we wanted to watch it again. Schilthorn features prominently in the the film.

Released in late 1969, the film stars George Lazenby in his only appearance as James Bond, Diana Rigg and Telly Savannas. My previous summary of the movie is here.

While I remember most of the sequences filmed at Schilthorn, I had forgotten most of the first third of the movie that includes Lazenby and Riggs courtship. I need to go back and watch the Bond films again...

Friday, April 01, 2016

Zinfandel Grille

Sharon and I had a nice dinner at the Zinfandel Grille. She had salmon, while I had the Thai shrimp. We spent some time before dinner playing with Bitmoji.