Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mercedes-Benz E 300

Mercedes-Benz E 300Almost three years ago, I did something that I had never done before. With Sharon wanting a new car at the time, we decided to lease a car for her and keep her old car for Jack to drive. I had always bought cars before and run them into the ground.

With the three year lease almost up, Sharon has started to consider what she wants next. Sunday afternoon, she drove Mercedes E and C class cars. Three years ago, she drove the C class, but not the E class. She is going to try and drive some newer BMWs later this week.

I am going to really interested in seeing the financial impact of closing out the lease on her current car...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Fate of the Furious

With Sharon out with Janie for the evening at BABs event, I watched The Fate of Furious. This is the eighth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Although Jack and I watched part of one at spring training, I have really only seen one other film in the series; I watched Furious 7 last March.

The film stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. The Fate of the Furious follows Dominic Loretto (Diesel) who has settled down with his wife Letty (Rodriguez). At the beginning of the film, they are on their honeymoon in Havana. Cyberterrorist Cipher (Theron) coerces him into working for her and turns him against his team, forcing them to find Dom and take down Cipher.

I really enjoyed two things about the film. First, the opening sequence was filmed in Havana. I have read a number of books related to Cuba and continue to be fascinated by the country.

Second, at one point, Cipher facilitates Dom's escape by hacking into all of the autonomous cars in the New York City and reprogramming them to auto-drive. At work, I say as part of my presentations that "we live in a dangerous electronic world." As we move towards connected self driving cars, this is going to be a whole new frontier. Rather than infecting your PC, the hackers will be infecting your car...

As mindless entertainment, I enjoyed the film. I am still not clear on all of the character back stories. I need to go back and watch the series from the beginning.

Friday, July 28, 2017

John Mayer Setlist

John Mayer Setlist
Search for Everything World Tour
Golden One Center - July 27, 2017

Full Band
- Moving On and Getting Over
- Something Like Olivia
- Helpless
- I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)
- Changing

- Emoji of a Wave
- Your Body Is a Wonderland
- Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead cover) (with Bob Weir)

- Every Day I Have the Blues (Pine Top cover)
- Crossroads (Robert Johnson cover)
- Vultures

Full Band (Reprise)
- Knocking' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover) (with Bob Weir)
- Waiting on the World to Change
- In the Blood
- The Beautiful Ones (Prince cover) (David Ryan Harris solo)
- Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
- Why Georgia

-Born and Raised

- You're Gonna Live Forever in Me

Thursday, July 27, 2017

John Mayer - Search for Everything World Tour


Sharon and I went to see John Mayer at the Golden One Center. Sharon got tickets for Suite 18 through her work. Although John Mayer is one of Sharon's favorite artists, we haven't seen him live in concert since 2003.

I really enjoyed the way that they broke up the sets. They started with the full band. John Mayer then played a three song acoustic set, including a song with Bob Weir (founding member of the Grateful Dead). They switched to the John Mayer Trio for a few songs and then back to the full band. After the encore, John Mayer played an epilogue solo on a piano. The setlist is here.

I was frankly amazed at John Mayer's guitar skills. I have always considered him a singer/songwriter.

The set was also interesting. It featured an LED wall and floor.

We had a great time. It was almost midnight by the time we wandered home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

My book for July was The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. After seeing her second book was nominated for a 2017 Hugo Award for best novel, I bought Chambers' debut novel. Chambers originally self-published her first book via a Kickstarter campaign.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet received a fair amount of acclaim. The book was included on Library Journal's Best SFF of 2016, the Barnes & Nobles Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Best Books of 2015, the Best Books of 2015, Reader’s Choice, as well as nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Kitschie, and the Bailey's Women's Prize.

Set in Chambers' fictional universe called the Galactic Commons, the story follows Rosemarie Harper. Fleeing her old life, she joins the multi-species crew of the Wayfarer as a file clerk and follows them on their various missions throughout the galaxy.

The book is worth reading for its characters and world building. The development of the alien characters and the relationships created between her human and non-human characters is imaginative.

I give the book a strong "B+" grade. I am definitely going to read the sequel titled A Closed and Common Orbit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nevada Historical Landmark #120

Wandering home from the Petersen Shootout, I made a circuit around the Carson Valley stopping at a number of Nevada Historical Markers, including: Luther Canyon (Fay Canyon) [#118]; Walley's Hot Springs [#120]; Pottsville [#121]; Sheridan [#122]; Boyd Toll Road [#124]; Gardnerville [#129]; Minden [#130], and; Dresslerville [#131].

Walley's Hot Springs
Nevada Historical Marker #120

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

This marker is located at 2001 Foothill Road, Genoa, Douglas County, Nevada. There are 17 other historical markers in Douglas County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 58' 50.6" N 119° 50' 00.6" W.

Nevada Historical Landmark #120

Like many Nevada hot springs, these dot a fault break along which the mountains rise.

In 1862, along this Carson branch of the Emigrant Trail, David and Harriet Walley developed a $100,000 spa with 11 baths, a ballroom, and gardens. The thermal waters 1136 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit became well known as a cure of "Rheumatism and Scrofulous affections.

It sold for a mere $5,000 in 1896, but functioned as a hotel until 1935 when it burned. Its cool cellar you see is still in use.

In 1962, trial hydro-thermal power holes were drilled here as deep as 1,250': maximum temperature 181 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nevada Historical Landmark #120

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stronger by Proper Gentlemen

I have listened to several Proper Gentlemen playlists for years [2016 and 2014 references]. I am glad to see some of the music starting to see the light of day!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tom for Dinner

We had Sharon's brother Tom over for dinner. Sharon made a great dinner of salmon, risotto and green beans. Tom and Sharon are kicking around the idea of a South African winery walking tour in Spring of 2018...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

California Historical Landmark #771

I stopped at this waymark after spending part of Tuesday working at the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital.

Dogtown Nugget Discovery Site
California State Historical Landmark #771

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

This landmark is located 0.3 miles north of Pentz-Magalia Road on Skyway, Magalia, California in Butte County. There are 10 other California State Historical Landmarks in Butte County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 39° 48' 14.6" N 121° 34' 43.2" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

California Historical Landmark #771

The Dogtown Nugget - This marker symbolizes the discovery of the first large gold nuggets in California. It was found across this canyon in Willard Gulch April 12, 1859. Weight 54 pounds.

California Historical Landmark #771

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

iPhone Purchase History

After posting on the ten year anniversary of buying my first iPhone, I did a deep dive into my email archive. I was able to figure which out iPhones I bought and when since 2009.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dinner with Pat and Bernard

Sharon and I met Pat and Bernard for dinner at Scott's Seafood on the River. Sharon had dinner with the two of them while I was working in Napa in January of 2015. Sharon also had dinner with Pat in New York in October of 2013. I am pretty sure that I haven't seen them since January of 2011.

I had Ahi Two Ways [sesame seared and soy marinated poke, sushi rice, spun cucumber, ponzu glaze, wasabi aioli]. Sharon had Grilled Atlantic Sapphire Salmon [smoked tomato cream, warm fingerling potato-bay kale salad, cauliflower puree walnut gremolata].

Monday, July 17, 2017

49.5 Miles

Pushing hard in July, I ran 49.5 miles last week. Since I started keeping my current records as I was winding up to run the American River 50 in 2007, I have only run further in a week four times, including 52.5 miles in December of 2005, 53.2 miles in April of 2007, 50.2 in September 2008 and 51.1 miles in August of 2010. It is going to be interesting to see how many miles I can log in the month of July...

With Wallen and Larkin getting me to try Hoka One Ones shoes, my legs feel solid. I have an odd spot in my right foot that has been bothering me for some time, but oddly it doesn't hurt when I am running.

148,052 Steps

Sunday, July 16, 2017

To SoCal and back plus a new cat

Ever since our last cat passed away last summer, Sharon been talking about getting another cat. In the last couple of months, she started to scour the internet for a new cat. After much hand wringing, Sharon finally settled on a kitten in Southern California that was half rag doll and half pixie bobtail.

Getting home after 10:00 pm from the airport Saturday night, we turned around and headed back to the airport at 7:45 am. We caught a 9:25 am Southwest flight to Ontario. Picking up a Hertz rental car, we drove south to the Wolf Creek Ranch in Lake Elsinore. The owner actually had a couple of wolves!

Wolf Creek Ranch

After picking up the kitten, we stopped at Rock & Brews in Corona and had lunch on the patio. Continuing north after lunch, we made a brief stop at a PetSmart before heading to the airport and returning the rental car.

Unfortunately, our Southwest flight home was delayed. Scheduled to leave at 5:35 pm, it was about half an hour late. We were back on the ground in Sacramento a little after 7:00 pm and got home just before 8:00 pm.

Sharon named the kitten Luna after a dolphin that they had swam with in Grand Cayman. I will post some better pictures of the cat over the next week.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

She's Home! [Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 9]

The ship docked at Port Canaveral overnight. This was a long travel day for Sharon. She had breakfast on the ship. Saying goodbye to Janie's family, Sharon took an hour van ride to the Orlando Airport.

Sharon had to wait almost three hours for her 2:00 pm flight from Orlando to Denver. Unfortunately, her flight from Denver to Sacramento was delayed by more than 2 hours.

Waiting for the flight, she had a great steak dinner at the Timberline Steaks and Grill. Sharon finally got back to Sacramento about 9:00 pm. It was after 10:00 pm by the time we got home.

Sharon had a great time! Sharon raved about the ship and the overall Disney experience.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 8

Docked at the Disney Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, ashore started at 8:30 am.

Sharon said that they got lots of sun. The snorkeling was lousy, but the Mojito class was fun!

They had to be back onboard by 4:45 pm. They started packing before dinner.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 7

Our mixology class is like going through a mini bartender course – but way more fun! You’ll learn to create popular cocktails, making them first hand and then, of course, tasting them. During this seminar, the bartender will discuss ingredients and details of preparing cocktails, tell you about the proper glasses, teach you how to use the equipment, and much more. Some of the drinks you’ll learn to create could include a muddled drink like a mojito, a build drink like a margarita, a martini, a layered shot and a frozen cocktail.

Sharon and Janie spent the day at sea sailing from Jamaica to the Bahamas.

After sleeping late and losing an hour to a time change, their day included working out, going to the rainforest spa, a late lunch, the water slide [so fun], a mixology class and a semi formal dinner.

Sharon noted the Thursday night they experienced the "roughest seas so far."

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 7
This is a picture of a anteater towel in their room. Apparently, the porter makes them towel animals every night...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 6

Take the Sky Explorer chairlift to the top and then plunge to the bottom, first by bobsled and then by treetop zipline.

On this adventure you will...
  • Board an air-conditioned minibus and travel approximately one hour to Mystic Mountain.
  • Ride the Sky Explorer chairlift through dense tropical forest overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. This 15-minute ride traverses the forest canopy, offering views of emerald treetops and the cliff-lined north shore.
  • Arrive at the top and explore Mystic Pavilion, featuring educational, interactive Jamaican history exhibits. Next, visit the mesmerizing hummingbird and butterfly gardens.
  • Relive the glory of the 1988 and 1992 Jamaican Olympic bobsled teams at the Bobsled Jamaica attraction, the crown jewel of Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain. Just a short walk away, this signature ride features a gravity-driven plunge through 3,280 feet of twists and turns on a specially designed sled. Control your own descent with an in-sled handbrake, allowing for either a leisurely tour through the forest or a pulse-quickening dive to the bottom of the mountain. Once your bobsled glides to a graceful stop, the ride will carry you back to the top of the mountain.
  • Receive your orientation, safety equipment and harness system for your flight through the canopy on a series of 5 cables and pulleys interconnected on both tree- and land-based platforms, a bridge and a vertical descent. The canopy tour ends at the chairlift mid-station, where you can catch a ride back to the top.
  • Savor a delicious Jamaican-inspired lunch at your leisure, included in the tour.
  • Enjoy approximately 45 minutes at the top to do as you please: admire panoramic views, swim in an infinity pool with waterslide or visit the restaurant and gift shop.
  • When it’s time to depart, simply ride the Sky Explorer chairlift back to the base of the mountain; then board your minibus for the return trip to Falmouth.
Docked in Falmouth, Jamaica, ashore started at 7:30 am.

The plan for the day was bobsledding and zip lining. Their Tranopy Adventure was scheduled to last from 7:15 am to 1:45 pm.

Sharon had some trepidation about the zip lining, but when I got a chance to talk to her at the end of the day, she was very excited about having done it. This is the last of the excursions that they are doing on the trip.

They got a chance to do some more shopping in Falmouth. Sharon bought a small David Yurman necklace. Due to the length of their excursion on Wednesday, she lamented that they only got about 20 minutes to shop in Grand Cayman.

They had to be back aboard by 4:45 pm.

After dinner, Sharon and Janie thought that they were going to finish the day with a bourbon tasting, but they got the day wrong...

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 6

This is a picture of a monkey towel in their room. Apparently, the porter makes them towel animals every night...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruse - Day 5

Dancing with Dolphins and Socializing with Stingrays

Make friends with stingrays and a dolphin in an adventure that combines 2 memorable animal interaction experiences.

On this adventure you will...
  • Take a short drive from Grand Cayman's capital, Georgetown, past the lovely white sands of Seven Mile Beach to Dolphin Cove.
  • At your leisure, watch dolphins play in their natural habitat, explore our gift shop or simply relax enjoying a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Follow a guide to our natural lagoon, where you will receive a brief orientation for your dolphin program. Walk into waist-deep water where dolphins can welcome you with some friendly splashes!
  • You can sing, touch and exchange kisses with these charming mammals—all from the safety of our submerged platform. All the special memories will by captured for you by a team of photographers, so you can relive the magic.
  • The fun will continue as you depart from Dolphin Cove's private dock on a motorized boat ride to world-famous Stingray City. Upon arrival, you can connect with the majestic stingrays that call these shallow waters home. Note: Exit and entry of the boat will be via a step ladder.
  • Return to Dolphin Cove and take some time to view your photos, enjoy some refreshments or browse for souvenirs before boarding transportation back to the port.

Docked in Grand Cayman, ashore started at 10:30 am. This is the only port where they had to use tenders to get ashore.

The plan for the day was swimming with dolphins and stingrays. Sharon and I spent our first anniversary in Grand Caymen. We actually dived with the stingrays on that trip. Their excursion was scheduled to last from 11:15 am to 4:15 pm.

The only response I got to my question about how the day went was "Great." She added that she "bought a fab David Yurman ring today."

They had to be back aboard by 5:30 pm.

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 5
This is a picture of a rhino towel in their room. Apparently, the porter makes them towel animals every night...

From Tehachapi

Adventist Health - Tehachapi Valley
With Sharon on the cruise, I spent the day in Tehachapi for a project kick-off followed by a tour of the new and old hospitals. Heading back to Burbank, I was scheduled to catch a 4:35 pm flight. Unfortunately, the flight didn't leave until about 5:55 pm. It was about 7:45 pm by the time I walked in the door at home.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 4

Mayan Village By Segway

Glide by the first Mayan settlement in Cozumel on a truly unique tour.

On this adventure you will…
  • Board a taxi for a 20-minute transfer to your Segway PT practice area. Put on your mandatory helmet, kneepads and elbow pads. Next, receive an introduction and lesson on your vehicle.
  • Once your training is complete and you are confident on your Segway, convoy with your experienced guides through the quaint Mayan village of El Cedral.
  • Enjoy the countryside scenery and local atmosphere while a guide shares interesting commentaries through a radio headset.
  • Visit a small Mayan vestige and the island's first church before heading to a local house dating to 70 years ago - home to descendants of one of the town's first inhabitants, Don Casimiro Cardenas. Here, taste the flavor of fresh authentic Mayan food with handmade tortillas. Stroll around the property's botanical gardens.
  • Continue to the tequila company for an explanation of how tequila is made and participation in a tequila tasting.
  • Board your motor coach and head back to your ship with wonderful memories of the day.

Docked in Cozumel, ashore started at 8:30 am. Sharon and Janie were scheduled to leave on their excursion at 8:45 am. They spent the day visiting a Mayan Village on Segaways. The excursion was scheduled to end at 12:45 pm with a Tequila tasting.

Sharon's quote of the day: "Tequila Testing, Yum, bought a great great bottle."

I got a quick chance to talk to Sharon on the phone at the end of the day. Ironically, I had more of a chance to talk to her when she and Janie were in Europe! She is very concerned about the phone charges...

She did say that they didn't get a chance to do any shopping :-).

They had to be back aboard by 4:30 pm.

To Tehachapi

With Sharon on the cruise, I caught a 5:25 pm Southwest flight from Sacramento to Burbank. I was surprised to find the flight only about 1/3 full.

Traveling with my boss and a peer, we picked up a rental car and drove to Tehachapi. We got to the hotel about 9:30 pm. I spending one night at the Marriott Fairfield and Suites in Tehachapi. Flying to Burbank and driving seems like an odd way to get to Tehachapi...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 3

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 3

Martini Tasting

In our Martini Tasting, you’ll sample a variety of gin- or vodka-based cocktails, each one with a unique taste and method of creation. In addition to the Classic Martini, we’ll introduce you to specialty cocktails with a modern twist, like the Cosmopolitan or Apple Martini, and dessert drinks, like the Toblerone Martini or Chocolate Martini.

After an introduction to the history of the Martini, the bartender will explain the secrets and curiosities that evolve around the world of Martinis. How did the martini become so famous? Gin or Vodka? Shaken or Stirred? Olive or Lemon?
Sharon and Janie spent the day at sea heading to Cozumel.

Sharon said that there was too much to do! She worked out and used the sauna and steam room. Afterwards, they went shopping before they heading to the Martini tasting.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 2

Sharon, Janie, Janie's brother Steve, his wife Kathy and their daughter Stacie drove from Orlando to Cape Canaveral. They boarded the Disney Cruise Ship Fantasy a little after noon. They are going to spend the next week cruising the Western Caribbean with stops in Cozumel, Grand Caymen, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 2

Sharon called me from the cabin after they boarded. Their cabins are on the back of the boat. After having a late lunch on the boat, they signed up for some mixology classes for the week.

The ship sailed at 3:45 pm. They had a late 8:15 pm seating for dinner.

Get Together for Jim Eymann

With Sharon on a cruise, I spent the couple of hours at her brother Tom's house. Tom hosted a late afternoon get together for his former Pacific Energetics business partner Jim Eymann. I spent part of the evening talking to a woman that I had met at Thanksgiving in 2012 and her new husband (Colleen Meyers Kiley and Shane Kiley). They are planning a honeymoon to Italy and Croatia.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Sharon and Janie's Caribbean Cruise - Day 1

Up before 4:30 am, I took Sharon to the airport at 5:30 am. She caught a 7:35 am flight from Sacramento to Phoenix and then from Phoenix to Orlando. Landing at 5:30 pm, It took her almost two hours to get her luggage and catch the Disney shuttle to the condo where Janie and her family are staying in Disney World. It turns out that the condo is right next to the hotel that Sharon, Jack and I stayed when we visited Disney World a long time ago.

After a dinner of pot roast in the condo, Sharon and Janie caught the bus to Disney Springs. By the time, they got back to the condo and called me it was after 1:00 am their time. Tomorrow, they are heading to Cape Canaveral to board a Disney Cruise of the Western Caribbean.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Guest and the Host - Remedy

I am very proud of Drew's music. Sharon, Tiber and I make a short cameo at the 2:00 mark. Tomasin and I solving the world's problems at Joy's retirement dinner show up at 2:26 and then again very briefly at 3:50.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, I bought my first iPhone. My experience activating and setting up my first iPhone is here. My observations after three months with the first iPhone are here.

In the ensuing 10 years, I am frankly not sure how many different iPhones I have had. My guess is probably seven [original, 3G, 4, 4S, 5, 6 and 7]. This works out to about 18 months an iPhone. I wish I had I kept track of all the different models. I got an iPhone 4 in June of 2010. I got an iPhone 4s in October of 2011.

I am currently carrying an iPhone 7 that I got September 23, 2016 when my previous model was having problems with the lightning connector.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

2017 Fourth of July

Over the last fifteen years, we have rarely ever been home at Fourth of July.
This year, with Sharon packing to take off on the cruise with Janie, we decided to stay close to home. Sharon and Marlene went to Mama Boot Camp in the morning, while I did a long run around the park. We stopped at Tom's house in the afternoon.

After a dinner of ribs, salad and corn, we finished the night watching fireworks off the master bedroom balcony. Jack and a number of friends, including Jason, Gabe, Emma, Charlotte and Kara joined us.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Top Golf plus Hawks

At Top Golf

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I met the Gainsleys and the Sanborns at Top Golf. This is the first time that any of us had been there. Jack went once in December. We played for about two hours. We started with the TopGolf game and finished with a shortened round of TopChip. The TopGolf scores are here. The TopChip scores are here. Phil finished strong to beat out Sharon for the TopGolf round, while Kevin won the TopChip contest. Everyone had a great time. We would definitely go back.

After TopGolf, we stopped at a nearby extended-stay hotel where the Sanborns are living while waiting for their new house to be available. We got cleaned up and changed clothes for dinner.

The six of us went to Hawks for dinner. While Sharon and Marlene had been there before a number of times, I have never been to this restaurant. I had a nice entree of short ribs, while Sharon had a burger.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Hoka One One plus Running Goal for July

Saturday morning, I ran seven and a half miles with new shoes. After running in Air Pegasus shoes for more than twenty years, Wallen and Larkin talked me into trying a pair of Hoka One Ones.

Feeling stronger, I am setting an aggressive running goal for July. July has five full weekends and a midweek holiday. Additionally, Sharon is going to be gone on a trip for more than a week. Taking advantage of this schedule, my mileage goal for July is 155 miles. This would be more miles than I have run in a month since December of 2011.