Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve 2017

Phil's Birthday CakeWhile I have always counted New Year's Eve as my least favorite holiday, we had a nice evening. We went with the Sanborns to a New Year's Eve Celebration at the Catta Cerdera Country Club. It was a very nice dinner, including a first course of braised boneless short ribs over manchego polenta cake, fried leeks and pan jus, a second course of tomato basil, a third course of petite filet mignon & shrimp scampi with au grain potatoes and roasted carrots and a fourth course of grand mariner cake. I need to go on a diet.

We ended up heading back to the Sanborns' house about 11:00 pm. We celebrated the New Year in their hot tub!

Sharon had gotten Phil a birthday cake. We ended having a piece and celebrating Phil's birthday about 1:30 am. By the time we got to bed in their casita, it was almost 2 am... We stayed in their casita once before.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brun and Kim for dinner

With the house still decorated for Christmas, we had Brun and Kim over for dinner. We had a nice dinner of paleo hamburgers, fries and salad.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Darkest Hour

Starting to gear up on our annual march to see all of the Oscar nominated films, Sharon and I went to see Darkest Hour at the UA Arden. For the next several weeks, we will be guessing at which films are going to get nominations in the major categories.

The Darkest Hour is on some lists for best picture. Additionally, Gary Oldman's portrayal of Churchill tops most lists for best actor. Oldman has already been nominated for the Best Actor – Drama at the upcoming 75th Golden Globe Awards and for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.

Darkest Hour is a 2017 British biographical war drama film. The film stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill and follows his early days as Prime Minister. The movie actually covers the period from May 9 to May 28, 1940. The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James. Lily James was in Baby Driver.

I enjoyed the film more than Sharon did. I read a FDR book earlier this year. Churchill pops up a number of times in that book. Additionally, the Dunkirk retreat takes place during film. After seeing trailers for Dunkirk repeatedly last year, I need to see that movie as a bookend to this movie.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Kings versus Cavs

2017 Kings versus Cavs
Parking at the Plaza 555 garage across the street from the Golden 1 Center, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I went to dinner at House Kitchen & Bar. Snipes rolled up just as we were finishing dinner.

2017 Kings versus CavsFrom there, we went to the Sacramento Kings versus Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball game. Opening a lead in the fourth quarter, the Kings won the game by the score of 109 to 95.

We had seats 3, 4, 5 and 6 in row U of section 118. Sitting at the back of the lower deck, I was pleasantly surprised at the view from the seats.

Vince Carter was the Kings leading scorer. He had 24 points on 10 for 12 from the field and 4 for 5 from three. Carter had no free throw attempts?!? I continue to be impressed with Bogdan Bogdanovic; he had 16 points and was 3 for 6 from three.

The Cavs leading scorer was Kevin Love. He had 23 points on 7 for 12 from the field, 3 for 8 from three and 6 for 6 from the free throw line. LeBron James had a triple double: 16 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

We visited with Hunter and Snipes in the concourse at halftime.

It was a very enjoyable game and evening. Including preseason, the Kings now have 4 wins and 0 losses in games that I have see in person during the 2017-2018 season.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day 2017

With the boys sleeping late, we had a lazy morning. We exchanged gifts. I got Drew an Apple Watch and Santa brought Jack the new iPhone that he has been wanting. At Sharon's suggestion, we got everyone a 23andMe ancestry kit. I am going to be very interested to see all of our results. After presents, we had waffles, eggs and bacon for breakfast.

At noon, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I took Tiber for a leisurely three mile loop around Ancil Hoffman Park. I was surprised by the number of people on the trail.

Continuing our tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day, Sharon, Drew Jack and I went to the Century Arden 14 and XD for the 3:45 pm showing of The Last Jedi. Tom was supposed to join us for the movie and then dinner, but was sick. This is the ninth year in a row that we have seen a movie on Christmas Day. Drew and I both enjoyed The Last Jedi, while Sharon was more lukewarm.

After the movie, we headed to Buca di Beppo for dinner. Although we missed having Tom join us, it was nice to have just the four of us. We split a Mixed Green Salad, Spicy Chicken Rigatoni, Eggplant Parmigiana and Bianca Pizza.

When we got back to the house, Drew and I took Tiber for a long walk. We spent some time brainstorming strategies for one of the challenges that I am going to face in 2018.

I really enjoyed having Drew here this year for Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

Christmas Eve 2017
After spending the day getting the house spec'ed up, Drew, Jack and I took off for Mass about 3:10 pm. Tom was already there when we got there. The four of us worked on saving a row. The Rositanis joined us. Sharon rolled up a couple of minutes before Mass started; she had to park in the Bank of America parking lot. Although Eric and Ashley were supposed to join us, they never got there. If possible, it seemed like the church was fuller than previous years. There were a lot of people standing in the back...

For the second year in a row, Father Mike Moynahan gave a unique homily. The priest gathered all of the kids at the front to serve as his counselors to help him tell the story of the birth of Christ.

After Mass, we raced back home. The Christmas Eve group this year was 19, including Sharon's brother Tom, Eric, Eric's girlfriend Ashley, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Sharon's brother Tim, Kathy, Erin, Erin's boyfriend Cromac, Eileen, Eileen's boyfriend Will, Leah's parents Steve and Teri, Jim Dunn, Jack, Drew, Sharon and I. This ties the record for the number of people that we have hosted for a holiday dinner with Thanksgiving of 2014.

Sharon made a nice dinner of Osso Boco, risotto and green beans. I really enjoyed having a chance to sit with Drew and Jack at one end of the table.

Opening the presents was a little bit of a fiasco. Unlike previous years where we did a round robin, they tried a strategy of giving everyone a present at the same time. We need to rethink this in the future.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Back from Kansas City

Up at 4:00 am [2:00 am Pacific time], I caught a 6:40 am Southwest flight from Kansas City to Las Vegas. Boarding with A19, I was able to get one of the nice exit row seats on a newer 737. With a long layover, I had breakfast at the PGA Tour Grill.

I then caught what was supposed to be a 9:50 am Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Sacramento. It boarded about 9:40 am for a scheduled 10:05 am take-off. With A22, I got another exit row on an older 737. I ended up with exit row seats on all four flights this trip Once we boarded, they continued to work on a problem with the floor lighting for the rear exit. It was after 10:30 am before we finally took off. I was back in Sacramento just after noon.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

At Cerner

I spent the day in Kansas City at Cerner. The morning agenda included: Innovations Campus Tour; Video Wall Content; Video Wall hardware; Video Conferencing and Live Streaming Technology, and; Cafe Technology. We traveled to the Cerner World Headquarters in the afternoon to talk about the CareAware Smart Room and Hospital Operations Demonstration and Discussion and Remote Hosting Discussion.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

To Kansas City

Up at 3:30 am, I caught a 6:20 am Southwest flight from Sacramento to Phoenix. Boarding with A33, I was able to load from the rear of the plane and get one of the nice exit row seats on a newer 737. With a very short layover, I caught a 9:50 am Southwest flight from Phoenix to Kansas City. With A26, I got another exit row on an older 737. I was on the ground in Kansas City about 1:30 pm. I took an Uber to downtown Kansas City. I spending two nights at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott.

After checking in, with Sharon's urging, I took another Uber to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I spent about two hours wandering through the museum. The museum exceed my expectations. The collection includes a Caravaggio [John the Baptist], an Hieronymus Bosch, several Van Goghs and the largest public collection of Thomas Hart Benton. For years, Sharon had a Thomas Hart Benton poster hanging in the East View and Marina Point houses. There were two special exhibitions: Through the Eyes of Picasso and Dreams of Kings: A Jade Suite for Eternity. The Picasso exhibit was very good.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jack is Back!

Jack is back!Finishing up his finals in the afternoon, Jack took an Uber to Dulles.

He caught a 5:45 pm nonstop United flight from Dulles to Sacramento. Jack was on the ground in Sacramento just after 8:00 pm.

Sharon and I picked him up. It is great to have him home for Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Get Out

Saturday night [December 16], Sharon and I watched Get Out as an HD rental on the AppleTV. The film has been chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of 2017. At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Get Out received two nominations: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for Daniel Kaluuya.

Get Out is a 2017 horror film written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele. It stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a black man who visits the family of his white girlfriend.  All of the family's servants are black and act strangely. Allison Williams as the girlfriend and Bradley Whitford as the girlfriend's father costar.

Sharon liked the film more than I did; she gave it an "8." With what looks like a weaker field this year, it is going to be interesting to see if Get Out gets an Oscar nomination for best picture. I would probably bet that it doesn't...

mailing the Christmas Cards

Nineteen of the last twenty years, Sharon and I have sent out a Christmas Card. Dissatisfied with the quality of the photos on commercial cards like Shutterfly, I have built my own format and process. Unfortunately, this is a lot more work...

Every year, I promise myself that I will get it done earlier, but it always slips into a last minute rush. This year, I mailed about 70 cards on Sunday afternoon, December 17 and another 30 plus cards on Monday morning, December 18.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 Neighborhood Progressive Christmas Party

UntitledSharon and I went to the third annual [2015, 2016] progressive Christmas Party in the Deterring Ranch neighborhood. It was slightly different, less ambitious format than last year. The group included: Greg and Mitchell; Jim and Debi; Rod and Kathy; Dan and Debra; Mike and Jill; Tom and Judy; Glenn, and; Sharon and I.

The party started the evening at Greg and Mitchell's home for heavy hors d'oeuvre. The evening included an ugly ornament exchange. After the ornament exchange, the group moved to Dan and Debra's for dessert.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Cookies

Sharon, Tom, Eric, Ashley, Erin, Cromac, Leah and Lydia spent the afternoon making Christmas Cookies.
Christmas Cookies

Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Dinner

I took Sharon to Ruth Chris for her traditional holiday dinner and gift exchange with Janie. I was surprised how long they were there. I dropped her at 6:30 pm and picked her up at 11:20 pm!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dinner with the Sanborns, not!

Carpooling, Sharon and I headed to Paul Martin's after work. The plan was to meet the Sanborns for dinner. Unfortunately, it turned out that Sharon got the dates mixed up! We were supposed to meet them for dinner on the 18th rather than the 14th.

We ended up having a leisurely dinner. After a crab cake starter, Sharon had fish tacos and I had blacken pacific redfish.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

We rode the Mount Washington Cog Train on day four of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

Mount Washington Cog Train
New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

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This marker is located on Base Station Road, Jackson, New Hampshire. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 16' 04.6" N 71° 21' 14.4" W.

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

Completed in 1869 for $139,500. This unique railroad was built through the genius and enterprise of Herrick and Walter Aiken of Frankin and Sylvester Marsh of Campton. Over three miles long, the average grade to the 6,293 foot summit is one foot in four. Made safe by the toothed wheel and ratchet. It is the second steepest cog railroad in the world and the first of its type.

New Hampshire Historical Marker #45

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Rooster Bar

My book for December is The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 32st book by John Grisham that I have read in the last twenty-five years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of... It is the third of his books that I read this year!?!

I usually tear through a Grisham book as a light read. I labored through The Rooster Bar. It may be my least favorite Grisham book ever.

Grisham says in the Author's Note that the idea for the book came from an article in the September 2014 edition of The Atlantic titled "The Great School Scam." While the story looks at student loans and diploma mill law schools, the plot contains a mishmash of other subjects, including: mental illness; illegal aliens, ICE and deportation; practicing law without a license; a class action lawsuit; a medical malpractice lawsuit; off shore banking, and the African country of Senegal.

The book is a mess. I didn't enjoy it. I don't recommend it...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jack to Boston

Charlotte and Jack
Jack and Charlotte
Friday Afternoon [December 8], Jack caught an Uber from Georgetown to BWI airport. He took a 716 pm flight to Boston. Jack spent Friday and Saturday night in Boston.

On Saturday night, he took Charlotte to her sorority formal.

Sunday morning, Jack caught a 11 am flight back to Reagan and then an Uber back to campus. He has finals starting this week and then will be flying back to Sacramento for Christmas break on December 19.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Celebrating Jack Frame's 100th Birthday

Sharon and I went to her brother's Tim's house for a celebration of their father's 100th birthday. Jack Frame passed away in 2006. The group included Tom, Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Sharon and I.

Describing their father, Tim said that "Jack Frame was intelligent, honest, humorous, well liked and a good family man."

I have a photo album of pictures of her dad here.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Dinner with the Renterias

For the second Sunday of Advent, Sharon and I went to Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Clarksburg. I have always wanted to visit this church. I loved the building, but was disappointed in the older priest.

After Mass, we met the Renterias for dinner at the Press Bistro. We had dinner there once before with the Foys when Jack and Bridget went to the Jesuit Jr Prom. Sharon had salmon, while I had the seafood risotto. We ended up sitting and visiting for more than 3 1/2 hours...

Friday, December 08, 2017

Liz for Dinner

Liz came for dinner. Sharon served corn flake chicken. Liz is taking off for three weeks of traveling around California with a New Zealand woman that she met on the Camino.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Vermont State House

We walked to the Vermont State Capitol Building after breakfast on day three of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

State House
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

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This marker is located at 125 Street Street, Montpelier, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 15' 41.3" N 72° 34' 51.3" W.

Vermont State House

Montpelier became the Capital in 1808, when the first State House was built. Ammi B. Youngs 2nd State House, built in 1838 and destroyed by fire in 1857, was similar to this 3rd structure on the site, completed in 1859.

Vermont State House

Vermont State House

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Hunter and Snipes

Hunter, Snipes and II met Snipes and Hunter for a couple of beers and a burger at Broderick Midtown. I had a salad and a Bison Burger. It was great to catch up.

Intellectually, I have always enjoyed Snipes' company a great deal. He definitely raises the average IQ of the group whenever he is around!

Yule made brief cameo appearances just after Hunter got there and again right before I left.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2017 Christmas Tree

2017 Christmas Tree
In 2015 and 2016, we got Christmas trees at Able's on Sunrise. We were extremely happy with the trees that we got there. When that lot disappeared this year, we weren't sure what to do. Last Friday night on the way to the Gainsley's Christmas Party, we stopped at a lot at Cal Expo and then at Lamb's in Elk Grove. We bought trees at Lamb's from 2009 to 2014. We ended up buying a flocked tree at Lamb's.

I picked up the tree on Saturday morning (December 2). Sharon's nephew Eric came over and helped us get it into the house and up on the stand. We decorated the tree after dinner [December 5].

Sharon is not completely satisfied. Although it is a great looking tree, she thinks it is too small. [Note to self], let her pick out the tree next year!

Monday, December 04, 2017

2017 Jesuit High School Lessons & Carols

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.
For the second straight year [2016], Sharon and I went to Lessons & Carols, an evening of prayer and song presented by the Jesuit High School Chamber Singers, the Concert Choir of St. Francis High School and Jesuit Drama at the Chapel of the North American Martyrs. Sharon went by herself in 2015 while I was working in the Napa Valley.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

An Adventure plus Frame Family Dinner

With Fair Oaks Boulevard closed due to the California International Marathon, Sharon and I decided to walk to Mass at Our Lady of Assumption for the first Sunday of Advent. It was 5.25 miles round trip. On the way there, we walked up Palm to Fair Oaks to El Camino to Walnut. There were a lot of sections without sidewalks. On the way home, we headed east through a neighborhood. We walked up Fair Oaks against the marathon runners. While their were a lot of runners when we first got on Fair Oaks on the way home, the course was deserted by the time we got to Palm. Just as we got to Palm about 11:10 am, they opened the intersection. We talked about making it an annual tradition.

While Tom and Eric were hiking the Camino, Tom sent a group text saying that he wanted to start a monthly Sunday afternoon family dinner. He has been trying to do it the first Sunday of every month.

Sharon and I headed over to Tom's house about 4:00 pm. With Tim in New Orleans with Brun and Jim Ellis celebrating their birthdays, it was a smaller group [Tom, Eric, Ashley, Leah, Lydia, Sharon and I]. Tom served a lemon themed dinner, including lemon rice, broccoli and salmon.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

2017 F@rm Credit West Christmas Party

For the sixth time in the last seven years [2011, 2102, 2013, 2014, 2015], Sharon and I went to the F@rm Credit West Christmas Party. Last year, Sharon was feeling under the weather and we missed the party.

This year, it was held at the Cattlemens in Roseville. Due to the consolidation into their new office, it was a big group. There are fewer people every year that I knew when I worked for F@arm Credit. Intellectually, it was interesting just to cruise in Sharon's wake before dinner. We sat with Holly and Van and Chris Petersen and his wife at dinner.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Gainsley's Christmas Party

Over the years, we have had very little luck in making it to the Gainsley's Christmas Party. In the last few years, it seems like it always fell on the same date as Sharon's work Christmas Party. We finally made it this year.

After stops at Christmas tree lots at Cal Expo and in Elk Grove, we rolled up to their house about 7:30 pm. It is the first time that we have been to their new place. We had a nice evening, including visiting with a couple of people that I worked with at Sutter Health: June and Kendall and their husbands.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Senator William Upham

We walked by this historical marker on our way to the Vermont State Capitol Building during day three of our F@ll 2017 New England trip.

Senator William Upham
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

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This marker is located at 145 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 15' 44.8" N 72° 34' 20.8" W.

Senator William Upham

Senator William Upham

Slavery is a crime against humanity and a sore evil in the body politic.

William Upham resided here during the first half of the nineteenth century. He was an ardent abolitionist, voting against the Fugitive Slave Act and slavery in new states and territories. A member of the Whig Party, Upham represented Vermont as a U.S. Senator from 1843 to 1853. He supported the Canadian rebellions of 1837 and 1838 and vehemently opposed the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848. Senator William Seward eulogized him, saying, His national policy was the increase of industry, the cultivation of peace, and the patronage of improvement. Upham was interred at Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier.

Senator William Upham

Senator William Upham

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lady Bird

Starting our quest to see all of the 2017 Oscar nominated films, Sunday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I went to see Lady Bird at the UA Greenback. Over the last couple of years, we have tried to guess which films will be nominated. Lady Bird is on a number of lists as a possible Best Picture nominee.

Lady Bird is a 2017 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig. It stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe. Ronan was in last year's Oscar nominated Brooklyn.

Set in Sacramento, California, it is a coming-of-age story about a high-school senior and her turbulent relationship with her mother. The senior goes to a fictional all-girls Catholic high school whose uniforms mirror St. Francis.

The movie was largely filmed in Sacramento. Gerwig went to St. Francis high school and participated in Jesuit's Black Box. There are a lot of recognizable landmarks in the film.

Sharon has now seen the move three times: once with Mary Maloney; a second time with Liz and Laura, and; a third time with Jack and I. She described it as her this year's La La Land.

Obviously, Sharon likes the film a lot. I enjoyed it. I think that it does have a chance to be nominated for Best Picture. I think that Metcalfe could also be nominated for Supporting Actress.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jack back to school

Jack and SharonAfter spending the morning putting up some Christmas decorations in the house that required a ladder, Sharon, Jack and I went to see Lady Bird at the UA Greenback. This was the third time that Sharon has seen the movie! After getting some takeout Chinese food for dinner, we took Jack to the airport to wind his way back to school.

Jack convinced us to fly him home on a red-eye rather than on an early flight on Sunday. He caught a 9:10 pm American flight from Sacramento to Phoenix. After a 50 minutes layover, Jack boarded a 12:55 am flight from Phoenix to Reagan. He was on the ground in DC at 7:00 am. Jack caught an Uber at 7:20 am and was back on campus by 7:37 am.

It was great to have him home for a few days. In just a little over three weeks, Jack will be home for Christmas.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Decorating the house for Christmas

We have talked off and on about decorating the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but we never have... Friday afternoon, Sharon took down the fall decorations. Given our Fall New England Trip, we didn't make it to Davis Ranch this year and, as result, had very few pumpkins. I took the fall boxes back to the storage shed and started dragging the Christmas boxes back. We literally have at least five carloads of Christmas boxes.

We spent all day Saturday decorating the house. It took me all day to take down the fall lights and put up the Christmas lights. Although Sharon says otherwise, I don't remember it taking me so long to get everything put up outside!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Django Unchained

Friday night, Sharon took off to have dinner with Liz and Laura at Taro's at Arden Fair. Jack dropped her off. After dinner, they went to the UA Arden to see Lady Bird. This was Sharon's second viewing of Lady Bird; she saw it with Mary Maloney at the Tower. Laura brought Sharon home.

With Sharon out for the evening, I decided to watch Django Unchained. I have seen trailers for the movie for years, but had never taken the time to sit down and watch it.

Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It has a great cast, including Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Set in the Old West and Antebellum South, it is a highly stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns.

The American Film Institute named the film as one of their Top Ten Movies of the Year in December 2012. The film won two Oscars including Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay and Waltz for Best Supporting Actor.

I enjoyed the movie. Christoph Waltz is tremendous. At two hours and 45 minutes, it is very long!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Lydia and KevinAfter running the Run to Feed the Hungry, Sharon made spiced pumpkin souffl├ęs with bourbon and molasses sauce rather than pumpkin pies. She made these souffl├ęs for the 2009 fall dinner party. We took off for Sharon's brother Tim's house about 2:30 pm.

At seventeen, it was a big group this year, including: Tom, Eric, Ashley, Jim Dunn, Tim, Kathy, Eileen, Erin, Cromac, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Leah parent's Terri and Steve, Sharon, Jack and I. Tim and Kathy served a great Turducken that they got from the Nugget.

Kids TableAdults Table

2017 Run to Feed the Hungry

2017 Run to Feed the Hungry
For the thirteenth time in the last fourteen years [2016, 2015, 20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Jack and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry.  We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Sharon also missed last year when she was feeling under the weather.

For the sixth year in a row, we parked on University Avenue. For the second year, I parked closer to the H Street bridge rather than the Guy West Bridge. Although Sharon said that she missed walking through the campus, it is a little shorter walk to and from the car.

I have come to view this run as a referendum on my fitness. In that regard, last year was a disaster. Feeling under the weather much of last fall, I ended up running a 1:03:57 for an average pace of 10:18. I was frankly embarrassed.

This year went much better. My official chip time for the 10k was 59:10 with a 9:32 pace. I was 29:13 at the 5k with a pace of 9:25. Thinking I was going to take a more leisurely approach this year, I started further back from the starting line. As a result, it took me almost 50 seconds just to cross the starting line. My Runkeeper splits by mile were: 1 - 10:07; 2 - 9:09; 3 - 9:17; 4 - 9:33; 5 - 9:41; 6 - 9:30, and; last quarter mile - 9:37. Once I got going, I felt strong. I backed off a little in the fourth and fifth miles, but was able to speed up again in the last mile and a half.

I was very happy with the results. My time was not only faster than 2016, but also faster than 2015.

Jack walked the 5k with Emma and Jason. His chip time was 1:08:18 for an average pace of 21:59. Sharon ran the 10k, but cut the corner at McKinley Park.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Kings versus Lakers

2017 Kings versus Lakers
Sharon, Jack and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Los Angeles Lakers NBA Basketball game. I parked in the Wells Fargo building. We had seats 17, 18 and 19 in row D of section 101. The Kings took the lead late in the first quarter. Leading by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter, the Kings won the game by the score of 113 to 102.

Coming off the bench, Willie Cauley-Stein was the leading scorer for the Kings. He had 26 points on 10 for 14 from the field, 0 for 1 from three and 6 for 8 from the free throw line.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the Lakers' leading scorer. He had 20 points on 7 for 12 from the field, 4 for 6 from three and 2 for 2 from the free throw line.

I focused on either Fox or Lonzo Ball for most of the game. Fox started. He missed five of his first seven shots, including two airballs. In 23 minutes, Fox ended up with 13 points on 5 for 11 from the field, 2 for 2 from three and 1 for 2 from the free throw line. In 37 minutes, Ball had 11 points on 4 for 8 from the field, 3 for 5 from three and 0 for 2 from the free throw line. He added 7 rebounds and 11 assists. Ball has a very ugly shooting motion.

I was very impressed with Bogdan Bogdanovic. He looks like an NBA player.

Snipes had texted me on Tuesday night saying that Keith had bailed on him for a class reunion and wondering if Larkin was interested in going. Larkin ended up going with Snipes. We connected with them briefly before the game and then again at half-time. [Note to self], Snipes and I need to get together and catch up!

It was a very enjoyable game and evening. Including preseason, the Kings now have 3 wins and 0 losses in games that I have see in person during the 2017-2018 season.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jack is back!

Jack is home for Thanksgiving!
Carter and Jack
Up about 4:15 am, he caught an Uber from Georgetown to Reagan. Jack took a 6:00 am Southwest flight to Love Field in Dallas. From there, he boarded a 9:40 am Southwest flight to Sacramento. Jack was on the ground at 11:30 am in Sacramento. I picked him up and after a stop at In-N-Out Burger dropped him at home.

We are looking forward to having him home for a few days!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen

My second book for November is Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen. At Danny's Wedding in September and in San Jose in early November, Tomasin and I were talking about books and he mentioned Carl Hiaasen. Digging around on the web, Skinny Dip appeared to be one of Hiaasen's most popular novels.

Skinny Dip is a caper novel first published in 2004. Apparently, a caper story is a subgenera of crime fiction. The typical caper story involves one or more crimes perpetrated by the main characters in full view of the reader.

Set in South Florida, the story is about a woman, Joey Perrone, who takes revenge on her cheating husband after he has tried to murder her. It is also one of Hiaasen’s more topical novels, since the plot also revolves around the ongoing restoration of the Everglades to a natural habitat.

While I enjoyed the book, I am not going to grade it. I will read at least one more of Hiaasen's novels as a break from more ambitious books. I am just not sure how strongly I would recommend the book to someone else.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cibo 7

After spending the day tearing the treadmill apart, replacing the running deck and then putting it back together, Sharon and I went to dinner at Cibo 7. We used a very generous gift card that the Larkins gave us during the Sea Ranch Anniversary trip last year.

We split a Charcuterie & Cheese Board as a starter. I had Corn & Calabrian Chile Risotto [blackened prawns, portabella mushroom, caper sauce], while Sharon had Veal Saltimbocca [prosciutto, sage, Pt. Reyes coma, polenta, blooms dale spinach].

We wandered through a Barnes & Nobles after dinner. With the shift to Amazon and e-readers, it was a nostalgic experience...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Captain John Lonergan

I stumbled across this marker while exploring Burlington during the second day of our F@ll 2017 trip through New England.

Captain John Lonergan
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

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This marker is located at 115 St Paul Street, Burlington, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 28' 35.5" N 73° 12' 50.2" W.

Captain John Lonergan

Captain John Lonergan
Hero of Gettysburg

In this park on July 22, 1863, Vermonts only ethnic Civil War unit was welcomed home from the battle of Gettysburg. Lonergan commanded Co. A, 13th VT Regiment the Irish Company and he received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in the battle.

The five VT regiments on 9-months duty formed the 2nd VT Brigade on October 27, 1862. In late June of 1863, the brigade marched from Union Mills, VA, to Gettysburg in six days.

On July 2, 1863, the Irish Company helped recapture four cannons and took 83 rebel prisoners. The next day Lonergans men led the way when two VT regiments flanked Picketts forces assaulting Cemetery Ridge, causing heavy rebel losses.

The Irish battle cry:
Faugh a ballaghClear the way!

Captain John Lonergan

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mass of Remembrance for Rebecca Frame

Sharon and I went with her brother Tom to St. Ignatius for a Mass of Remembrance for Rebecca Frame. Becky passed away two years ago today.

Afterwards, Sharon, Tom and I went to dinner with the Rositanis (Larry, Robin and Christian) at Mana Japanese Restaurant Alta.  Mikuni's it is was not...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Unbelievable By Kathy Tur

My book for November is Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur. I saw Kathy Tur interviewed about the book on the 11th Hour with Brian Williams.

On somewhat of a fluke, Tur was assigned to cover Trump's initial press conference announcing that he was running for president. Although she was a London based correspondent for NBC, Tur just happened to be in New York and in the news room when they were looking for someone to send. The assignment stuck and she followed Trump through the course of the entire campaign.

The book is a blend of her life, the trials and tribulations of being a reporter following a presidential candidate and a look at the Trump campaign. The chapters alternate between the campaign and election night.

In respect to Trump, the book crystallized two things that I was talking to the Nooters' about last week. First, Trump is very thin-skinned. Second, he plays fast and loose with the truth. I have spent my life in leadership roles in large companies. Regardless of what you think of Trump's politics and policies, I don't believe that you can be an effective leader with these characteristics...

I was raised in a large corporate farming family in rural Northern California. I self identify as a conservative Republican. I enjoyed the book.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Washington DC - Day 3

Wallen, Nooter and I at The Wharf in Washington DC

Wallen had a 8:00 am flight from National. Up at 5:00 am, he had some trouble getting the Uber App to use his credit cards. After some running amok, Nooter ended up calling for an Uber using his account. Although I heard them walking around upstairs, I never woke up enough to get out of bed. I felt bad for Wallen. He spent all weekend getting over a cold.

I didn't roll out of bed until after 8:30 am. Although I had originally been thinking about going into Georgetown to have breakfast with Jack, there just wasn't enough time. Nooter made omelets for breakfast and he, Barb and I worked on solving the world's problems.

Nooter offered to take me to the airport. We rolled from their house about 11:50 am. He was thinking that I was taking off too early, but by the time we stopped for gas and fought our way through the traffic, it was 1:10 pm when we got to the airport.

I breezed through TSA Pre security and got to the gate about 1:25 pm. The plane started boarding about 1:45 pm. Holding an A29 boarding pass, I was able to score another exit row aisle. The flight pulled away from the gate about 2:15 pm. It was an uneventful flight. With the Wifi not working, I read most of the flight; I finished Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen about 30 minutes before we landed. I was back in Sacramento just before 5:00 pm and home in Carmichael by 5:50 pm.

Although it was a quick trip [I was on the ground on the East Coast almost exactly 48 hours], I really enjoyed having a chance to catch up with Nooter and Barb. They did a really nice job with the remodel of their house. Hopefully, Sharon and I can get together with them for dinner next time we are in Washington DC!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017 Washington DC - Day 2

Jack and IAfter a late night, it was a slow morning. Nooter eventually went out and got some bagels, cream cheese and lox for breakfast.

We got organized and headed to the Wharf DC. This is a newly developed area along the Potomac River south of Mall. We wandered around. Stopping at The Fish Market, Nooter, Barb and I shared a dozen oysters. We bought some crabs for dinner.

From there, we head to The Sovereign in Georgetown. This is a Belgium inspired bar and restaurant that Sharon and I found when we were there for the Family Weekend last year. Jack joined us for a couple of hours.

In the late afternoon, we headed back to the Nooters. With everything starting later on the East Coast, Wallen and I ended up watching Georgia (1) get beat by Auburn (10) by the score of 40 to 17.

While Rob was fixing dinner, the four of us watched the Alabama (2) versus Mississippi State (16) football game. Tomasin, David and Julie were in Starkville with Mikey for the game! It was a close game with Alabama winning by the score of 31 to 24.

We ate the crabs as hors d'oeuvres. Nooter made a shrimp creole for dinner.

It was another late night. Barb and I watched most of Saturday Night Live before I crashed after 12:30 am.

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Washington DC - Day 1

Although I have been to Washington three times so far in 2017 [Easter, Move in Weekend, Family Weekend], I haven't had a chance to visit with the Nooters since last fall. I decided in early October to use some airline miles and schedule a quick trip back primarily to see the Nooters with the added bonus of spending a little time with Jack.

Up at 4:00 am, I caught a 6:30 am Southwest flight direct from Sacramento to Baltimore. Boarding with A35, I was able to score a great aisle seat!

I worked on the wifi for most of the trip, including finishing up my weekly status report. iMessaging with Nooter and Jack, we set up the plans for the day. We landed about 25 minutes ahead of schedule at 2:00 pm. Nooter and Wallen picked up me at door 9.

We headed towards the Nooter's house. After a tour of the house, Wallen, Nooter, Barb and I spent the afternoon catching up. There are a number of things going on in with Nooter's job.

Jack took an Uber from Georgetown to the Nooter's house. He got to the Nooter's about 5:40 pm. Jack, Wes, Barb, Wallen, Nooter and I eventually had a very late dinner at the restaurant where Austin works: Crave

After dinner, Jack caught a Uber from the Nooters' back to Georgetown about 11:30 pm. Nooter and I ended up talking until after 1:00 am. Although I had originally planned to spend a night at a Courtyard Marriott in Rosslyn, I ended up staying at the Nooters.


Thursday, November 09, 2017

2017 Kings versus the 76ers

2017 Kings versus 76ersLarkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Philadelphia 76ers NBA Basketball game at the Golden One Center. It was a close game for four quarters. Falling behind in the last couple of minutes, the Kings rallied to win by score of 109 to 108.

Robert Covington was the high scorer for the 76ers. He had 24 points on 7 for 16 from the field, 6 for 12 from three and 4 for 5 from the free throw line.

Zack Randolph was the Kings leading scorer. He had 20 points on 7 for 14 from the field, 2 for 2 from three and 4 for 6 from the free throw line.

I spent most of the evening focusing on either Fox, Simmons or Embiid rather than following the ball. Although he hit the game winning shot, Fox had a horrible shooting night. In 30 minutes, he had 11 points on 4 for 13 from the field. Fox missed a number of lay-ups and floaters. Simmons got in foul trouble in the first half, but still ended up with 18 points (6 for 8) and 6 assists in 27 minutes.

Embiid looks out of sorts. Although he had 22 points (7 for 20) and 15 rebounds, he just didn't look like the dominant, mobile player I saw against Cousins last season. At one point, he tripped over his own feet.

At half-time, I ran into Sharon's nephew Kevin. He was at the game with his brother Eric; they are 76ers fans?!?.

Including preseason, the Kings have 2 wins and 0 losses in games that I have seen in the 2017-2018 season.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Mary Maloney

Mary Maloney is spending a few days with us. Sharon made a nice salmon dinner for the three of us.

Mary and Sharon are planning to spend Thursday in Napa with stops at Donum Estates and the Oxbow Market. Mary, Sharon and Janie are then planning to spend the weekend in San Francisco.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

2017 Silicon Valley Sevens - Day 2

Avaya Stadium
UntitledUp fairly early due to the time change (fall back), Tomasin, David and I eventually wandered to a Denny's for breakfast. I think that it was the same Denny's that we ate at with my sister and her husband three years ago... After breakfast, we headed back to the room and watched some of the Eagles versus Broncos NFL game.

We took off for the stadium about 10:45 am. After a number of consolation bracket and collegiate games, the USA played Fiji (@ 12:26 pm). They won by the score of 24 to 5 with Stephen Tomasin scoring a try.

I hung around for a couple more of the matches before heading home. I rolled back into Carmichael a little before 4:00 pm.

The USA team ended up playing Australia in the finals. Leading 12 to 0, the USA team ended up losing by the score of 15 to 12. Stephen Tomasin scored another try in the game.

I always enjoy Tomasin's company. My shock for the weekend was realizing at dinner on Saturday that David is 31 years old. It doesn't seem possible. Tomasin, Nooter, Swedberg and I spent the Columbus Day weekend in October of 1986 in New Orleans. Julie and a three month old David made an appearance.

I also told Tomasin that Stephen's participation in rugby is really a legacy of his life. Tomasin continued to competitive rugby much, much longer than the rest of us. He played on a Santa Rosa division two national championship team for two years in his late 30s. David, Mikey and Stephen all had a chance to watch Tomasin play when they were teenagers. Watching him play shaped their lives.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

2017 Silicon Valley Sevens - Day 1

TomasinsWith Sharon in Sedona, I took off in the late morning for San Jose. The plan for the day with to caught up with Tomasin and David at the Silicon Valley Sevens International Rugby Tournament. Tomasin's nephew Stephen plays for the USA team.

I got there in time to see the USA beat Tonga by the score of 29 to 7 (@12:50 pm). Stephen Tomasin scored four trys in the game!

It was a long day with lots of international and collegiate games. The USA beat New Zealand by the score of 24 to 12 (@4:28 pm) and then the USA beat Chile 29 to 7 (@8:00 pm) in the last day of the game. Stephen Tomasin scored another try in the game against Chile.

There was a busload of Tomasins at the game, including John, David, John's sister Kathy, John's mom Pat, John's brother Jim, Jim's wife, Stephen's brother Nick and a couple of Jim's wife's kids. We ran into Brain Lowe and Paul Cutter. Tomasin and I played rugby with them on the UCD team almost forty years ago!

Afterwards, Tomasin, David and I had a late barbecue dinner at Henry's World Famous Hi-Life. I had some pork spareribs and frankly wasn't that impressed with the food...

Fighting the crowds leaving the Sharks game, we crashed at the Courtyard San Jose Airport.

Silicon Valley Sevens

Friday, November 03, 2017


SedonaAfter spending a couple of days teaching training classes in Yuma and Phoenix, Sharon and Holly are off to Sedona for the weekend.

They are staying at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek. This is the view from Sharon's hotel room!

I had a chance to spend the afternoon in Sedona during one of the spring training trips. Sharon and I need to spend a long weekend there!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

First Unitarian Universalist Society Meeting House

I stumbled across this marker while exploring the Church Street Marketplace during the second day of our F@ll 2017 trip through New England.

First Unitarian Universalist Society Meeting House
Vermont Roadside Historical Marker

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This marker is located at 152 Pearl Street, Burlington, Vermont. The GPS coordinates for this location are 44° 28' 50.0" N 73° 12' 45.3" W.

First Unitarian Universalist Society Meeting House

Designed by noted architect Peter Banner of Boston, the Federal-style Meeting House was built in 1816 for the First Congregational Society (Unitarian) and is the oldest surviving place of worship in Burlington. Banners design features a projecting square tower with octagonal belfry in front of the two-story brick nave. It was renovated in 1845 to reflect the Greek Revival style, retaining the towers original design aesthetic. Its location and design have made the Meeting House one of the most recognized and significant historic landmarks in Burlington. In 1982, following a merger of the Unitarians and Universalists, the congregation voted to become the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington.

First Unitarian Universalist Society Meeting House