Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew

My book for August was Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew. I bought the book after hearing the author interviewed on a NPR podcast earlier this year. The book was the winner of the 2016 Costa Book Award for Biography.

The book is a biography of the author's father Tom Carew. Much of the book was researched and written after Tom already had dementia. His daugther worked to unravel her father's story based on news accounts, letters and interviews. What she found astonished her... The book is part family memoir and part military history.

Largely unbeknownst to his family, Tom Carew was part of Operation Jedburgh. This was a clandestine operation during World War II. Personnel of the British Special Operations Executive, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services and the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action were dropped by parachute into occupied Europe to conduct sabotage and guerrilla warfare. They led the local resistance forces in actions against the Germans. After serving behind enemy lines in France, Tom was dropped in Burma to organize Burmese resistance to the Japanese.

The early sections of the book covering Carew's time in France and Burma are very compelling. I found the second half of the book focusing on Carew's job and family struggles after the war to be less interesting. Nevertheless, I give the book a strong "B" grade.

Reading the book, I realized that while I understand the events of World War II in Europe, I don't have a clear picture of the events in Southeast Asia. [Note to self], I need to find a book that provides an overview of World War II in Southeast Asia.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2017 Georgetown Move In Weekend Day 3

55 hours...

Up at 4:00 am, Sharon and I caught a taxi to the airport at 4:30 am. We took a 6:00 am Southwest flight from Reagan airport to Midway. We had breakfast at the same place that we ate on the Easter trip, but it had changed from Harry Caray's Seventh Inning Stretch to the Go-Go White Sox Grill! The waitress said that it had changed owners. The restaurant is named after the nickname for the team’s 1959 American League championship club.

We boarded a 8:45 am flight from Midway to Sacramento. We were on the ground more than 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled 11:15 am, but it took for forever to get the bags. By the time we got the bags, walked to the car and drove home, it was just after 12:00 pm.

Door to door, we had only been gone 55 hours! Given how far we went and how much we got done, this is hard for me to believe.

I am very glad that I went.

Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 Georgetown Move In Weekend Day 2

Jack and IAfter a long day and a relatively late night, Sharon, Jack and I slept late. Sharon and I wandered down to the concierge lounge for breakfast.

Eventually, the three of us grabbed all of the bags and caught a cab to the campus. Dropped at the front gate at 37th and O Streets, we dragged the bags across the campus. Jack is in McCarthy Hall this year.

It was a very different experience than last year. With the freshman moving in over the weekend, there were only a few parents on campus.

We unpacked the bags. We then wandered down and picked up a cart. Sharon and Jack had stored three boxes last spring. We quickly got the boxes and dragged them back to the room in the cart.

After we got the boxes unpacked, we wandered up and explored the remodeled Leavy Center. Heading back to the room, we ran into Jack's new roommate Victor. Victor is older and a junior in International Relations. He has an interesting and very different background.

Grabbing the suitcases, we caught an Uber back to the hotel. While Jack took a nap, Sharon and I walked into Georgetown. Sharon did a little shopping and window shopping. Typically, we have made a stop at ENO, but it is closed on Monday. We ended up wandering up to Graham Georgetown Rooftop lounge and then down into The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speak-easy.

Walking back to the hotel, we got cleaned up for dinner. The three of us walked to dinner at Flavio. I had a Flavio pizza, Jack had Ricotta Gnocchi and Sharon had Bronzino. After dinner, we walked to the front of campus and said goodbye to Jack. We got an Uber back to the hotel and crashed.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

2017 Georgetown Move In Weekend Day 1

Over the summer, Sharon and I decided that both of us were going to go back with Jack to help him get moved in for his sophomore year at Georgetown.

Up at 4:20 am, Sharon, Jack and I were in the car by 5:00 am and on our way to the airport. We caught a 7:00 am Southwest Flight nonstop from Sacramento to Baltimore. Sharon and I have been arguing over the last few months about the merits of flying into Baltimore and then catching a cab to Washington DC. Although Jack did it once during the school year, this is the first time that we have tried it.

We landed at BWI a little after 3:00 pm. It took us almost 40 minutes to get off the plane and collect our luggage. We caught an Uber at 3:44 pm. We got to the Georgetown Marriot at 4:43 pm. It has taken almost an hour from Dulles [DCA] to the Georgetown Marriott.

Checking in and getting settled in the room, Sharon and I went down for a snack in the concierge lounge. We have stayed at this hotel a number of times. I really like the rooms and the lounge since the remodel.

We took a cab to dinner. Sharon made a reservation for dinner at Paleo. We ate there with Mary Maloney when we toured Washington DC in '11. More recently, Sharon ate there with Mary in May when she picked Jack up. I was surprised that she didn't pick somewhere new. We spilt some shrimp and rabbit tapas. Overall, I was very underwhelmed by the food and the wine recommendation.

Catching an Uber back to the hotel, we finished the night watching the finale of season 7 of Game of Thrones.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Madi Sipes delivers sultry blues in latest single "After Hours"

Madi played at Sharon's Picnic in Provenice in May.
Madi Sipes delivers some sultry blues in latest single "After Hours" [Premiere] - EARMARK

The San Francisco-based trio, Madi, Caleb, and Nick, recorded “After Hours” in the Hollywood Hills with producer Andrew Heringer at Mirror Wall Studios. Heringer has also worked with Milo Greene, Crywolf, and Damien Rice.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dylan Carlson

While a number of boys that Jack played baseball with and against went on to play in college, Dylan Carlson was drafted by the Cardinals and went straight into the minor leagues. Carlson was the Sacramento Bee's All-Metro player of the year in 2016. Jack played with Dylan on the Elk Grove Gunners team that went to Cooperstown in 2009.

Carlson is finishing up his second year in the minor league with the single A Peoria Chiefs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nevada Historical Landmark #121

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].

Nevada Historical Marker #121

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

This marker is located at 1277 Foothill Road, Gardnerville, Douglas County, Nevada. There are 17 other historical markers in Douglas County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 55' 52.1" N 119° 50' 24.2" W.

Nevada Historical Landmark #121

This is the site of the settlement on the Emigrant Trail known as Mottsville, where Hiram Mott and his son Israel settled in 1851. Their homestead was the scene of an impressive number of firsts in Carson County, Utah Territory:

1851: Israel Mott's wife, Eliza Ann Middaugh, was the first white woman settler.

1854: Mrs. Israel Mott opened the first school in her kitchen. The Mott's second child, Louisa Beatrice, was the first white girl child to be born.

1856: Judge W.W. Drummond held the first session of the United States District Court of the Third District of Utah Territory in the Mott barn built in 1855.

1857: The third child of the Motts died and was buried in the yard. This tiny grave was the first in what became the first cemetery. The cemetery, 300 feet east, is all that marks the site of Mottsville today.

Nevada Historical Landmark #121

Monday, August 21, 2017

Song for 2009

For more than twenty-five years, a group of the Davis Mafia families took an annual summer trip to Lake Almanor and Lake Shasta. I have a lot of great memories from those trips. One of those is Drew and Marlana playing February.

The song for 2009 is February by Dawson & Marie.

You can find the work in progress Soundtrack for My Life here!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Woman with a Hat - SFMoma
Late on Friday, Jack suggested that we go to the San Francisco Moma on Saturday. Leaving at 10:30 am after Sharon and I worked out, it took us almost three and a half hours to get into the city. The world is a parking lot... It was a little after 2 pm by the time we got into the museum.

The special exhibition was Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed. It included a number of self portraits at different ages. I had seen an extensive exhibit of Munch at the New York Moma a number of years ago.

The Sfmoma has expanded a lot since Sharon and I toured it with the Larkins more than ten years ago. I enjoyed the larger collection of Warhols and Lichtensteins as well as a couple of post World War II German paintings.

We finished the day in San Francisco with dinner at Anchor and Hope. The restaurant is located in a hundred year old warehouse. Sharon had sea bass and Jack had lobster rolls. While I rarely order it at a restaurant, I had salmon.

We had a couple of very nice glasses of MacPhail pinot noir. We are going to have to look for their tasting room the next time we go to Sea Ranch.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tom, Eric and Ashley for Dinner

We had purchased a pile of food for dinner with Pat, Bernard, Ryan and Brianna on Wednesday night, but they didn't make it to the West Coast. To use up the food, we invited Tom, Eric and Ashley for dinner. We barbecued a skirt steak.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 5

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 5

Drew said it was about 12:45 am by the time Jack and Jason got back to the Mirror Wall Studios from Disneyland. The plan for the day was seeing the San Francisco Giants play the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park. Leaving Southern California after 11 am, they rolled back to the Bay Area.

Jack and Jason saw the San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies by the score of 5 to 4. Jeff Samardzija struck out six over six innings to win for the fourth time in five starts. Buster Posey and Pence each hit RBI singles in the third to back Samardzija (8-12). Pence and Span scored moments apart on Jarrett Parker's two-run double in the fifth.

Playing left field, Jesuit High School 2011 graduate Rhys Hoskins went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored for the Phillies.

After the game, they headed back to Sacramento. Dropping Jason at home, it was after 1:00 am before he pulled up to the house.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 4

Spending the night at Drew's Mirror Wall Studio, Jack and Jason were up early and heading to Disneyland. Drew said that they left the house at 7:17 am... Before he left on the trip, Jack said that he was really looking forward to spending the day at Disneyland.
They will be heading back to the bay area on Thursday to see the Giants play the Phillies.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 3

After spending the night in San Diego, Jack and Jason headed back to Drew's Mirror Wall Studio. In the afternoon, the two of them hiked from Drew's house up to the Griffith Observatory. It is about six miles round trip.

The plan for the evening was seeing the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Chicago White Sox at Dodger Stadium. Although Jack said that he didn't remember it, Sharon, Morgan, Jack and I saw a game at Dodger Stadium in 2005. A picture is here.

With the game tied 1 to 1 in the bottom of the eighth, Joc Pederson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in a five-run eighth inning. Peterson was hit in the upper right thigh by a pitch from Jake Petricka, forcing home Yasmani Grandal with two outs and opening the floodgates for a Dodgers offense that had been stifled most of the game. By the end of the inning, Los Angeles had batted around in taking a 6-1 lead.

The Dodgers are 50 games over .500. They might challenge the record for the most wins in a season this year.

The boys headed back to Mirror Wall Studios after the game. The plan for Wednesday is Disneyland!

Rosary for Joseph Anthony Mellish

Sharon and I went to the Rosary for Laura's dad. Liz was also there.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 2

After spending the night at Drew's Mirror Wall Studio, Jack and Jason headed to San Diego. I called and talked to Drew while they were all at the studio. Their plan for the day was seeing the San Diego Padres play the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park.

Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit 2011) batted fourth and hit the first two home runs of this major league career. Hoskins' home runs went 402 and 400 feet, respectively. Texting Jack during the game, he said they went crazy when Rhys hit his first home run. In spite of his two home runs, the Padres beat the Phillies by the score of 7 to 4.

They were planning to spend the night at the apartment of a friend in San Diego. Jack and Jason are heading back to Los Angeles on Wednesday to see the Dodgers play the White Sox.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jack and Jason's 2017 Road Trip - Day 1

After getting up at 5:30 am to watch Tottenham beat Newcastle by the score of 2 to 0, Jack and Jason took off on a multiple day baseball and Disneyland road trip. The first stop was Oakland Coliseum. They saw the Baltimore Orioles play the Oakland Athletics.

Matt Chapman hit a tie breaking three-run homer in a five-run fourth inning. The Athletics overcame an early two-run deficit to win by the score of 9 to 3. I had to laugh; looking at the box score, I didn't recognize a A's single player!?!

After the game, they headed to Southern California. They spent the night at Drew's Mirror Wall Studio. On Monday, they are heading to San Diego to see the Padres and Phillies at Petco Park.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Morning Run to the Soundtrack of My Life

Ten years ago, I built a playlist called Soundtrack for My Life. Although the playlist has been on my phone ever since, I can't remember the last time that I listened or ran to it. Searching for something to listen during my morning run, I landed on the playlist.

I really enjoyed running with the playlist on shuffle. Almost every song has some strong set of memories associated with it.

As well as updating the My Life picture series this year, I am going to update the Soundtrack for My Life Playlist. The last ten years are going to have a lot of Drew's music...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Joseph Anthony Mellish

Sharon's grammar school and high school friend Laura's dad passed away.

Joe Mellish passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours on August 10, 2017 at the age of 84. Joe was born in Plymouth, PA on April 7, 1933. He graduated from Penn State University in 1955 with an Aeronautical Engineering Degree. He then served in the Air Force as a Navigation Officer from 1955-1958. Joe moved to Sacramento in 1958 and worked for 38 years at Aerojet. He met his wife Claire Nevins, while they both were working at Aerojet. They were married in 1960 and raised their 4 children in their current home. Joe was an avid Penn State Nittany Lion Fan and was often cheering on his team at Players in Fair Oaks with his fellow Penn State Alumni. Joe enjoyed watching sports, wine tasting, traveling the USA, and spending time with friends & family. Joe is survived by his wife of 57 years, Claire, children Laura, David (Kristi) and Steve (Valerie) and sister, Irene. He has 3 grandchildren, Daphne, Bryce and Brenna. He was preceded in death by his eldest son Mark. A visitation will be held on August 15th from 5-7pm with a Rosary at 7pm at Nicoletti, Culis & Herberger Funeral Home, 5401 Folsom Blvd. Sacramento, CA. Mass will be held on August 16th at 10:00 am at St. Mary's Church, 1333 58th St., Sacramento, CA. A private burial to follow. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Mary's Church Building Fund in Joe's memory.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Rombauer Wine Dinner

Sharon went with Tom and the Rositanis to the Rombauer Wine Dinner at Matteos. Our neighbors Rod and Kathy were also there.


Bruschetta with Grilled Fig, Whipped Brie, pecans
and balsamic date syrup

Spicy Wild Salmon
in sesame wonton cornet with flying fish caviar,
Ginger crème fraiche and chive

Pan Seared Foie Gras BLT
with lemon tarragon aioli, heirloom tomato 
and micro arugula on whole wheat walnut sourdough toast

Rombauer Chardonnay 2015, Carneros
Rombauer Chardonnay 2016, Carneros

Blistered Sweet Corn Soup in demitasse
with wild boar belly bacon shingle and harissa chili oil

Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Napa Valley

Grilled Leg of Lamb and Lamb shank Crisps on Baby Field Greens
with aged sheep’s milk Manchebo, macerated foothill stone fruit, toasted pistachio 
and plum mint vinaigrette

Rombauer Merlot 2014, Carneros

Grass Fed Wagyu Beef Burgers with Fried Green Tomato
house made Portobello bacon, garlic aioli and cave aged blue cheese on Brioche bun
Served with truffle asiago shoestring fries

Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley

Burnt Chocolate Pots du Crème
with blackberry guajillo chili salsa
Pernod whipped cream and Mexican wedding cookie

Rombauer Zinfandel 2015, Sierra Foothills/Northern California

Tuesday, August 08, 2017


Last Friday night, Janie, Sharon and I had dinner at the taco bar at Mesa Mercado in the Milagro Centre. Afterwards, Janie talked us into watching Somm on Netflix.

Somm is a 2013 documentary. It follows four sommeliers as they attempt to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam. The test has one of the lowest pass rates in the world; the pass rate is less than 1%. It is common for many Sommeliers to make five or more attempts before finally achieving success.

One part of the three part exam is a blind tasting of six different wines. I always laugh when I hear people describing all of the different flavors that they can taste in a wine. My taste buds are not particularly sensitive.

The film was surprisingly watchable. I give it a mild thumbs up.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Jack back from SoCal

After spending the weekend with Drew and Nicki in Southern California, Jack was scheduled to fly back from Burbank at 6:30 pm on Sunday. Over the course of the afternoon, the flight was pushed back later and later. It eventually took off about 10:10 pm; it was more than three and a half hours late.

Apparently, the plane had a mechanical problem in Phoenix. Southwest gave Jack a $100 voucher for the delay. He hung out at Drew's waiting for the flight, but said there were a lot of grumpy people waiting for the flight when he finally got to the airport.

I picked Jack up about 11:30 pm. It was after midnight on Monday morning by the time we got home...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sanborns plus Frame Family Dinner

Staying overnight at the Sanborns, Sharon and I slept fairly late. Eventually, we got the group rallied and went to breakfast at the Catta Verdera Country Club with the Sanborns and Gainsleys. After breakfast, we wandered home.

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 a little after 2:30 pm. It was a big group, including Tom, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Leah's mom Terry and dad Steve, Leah's niece Bella, Tim, Kathy, Erin, Erin's boyfriend Cormac, Eileen, Eileen's boyfriend Will, Sharon and I. Tom served an assortment of pasta and sauces.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Catta Verdera

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I met the Sanborns and the Gainsleys at the Catta Verdera Country Club. The Sanborns are members. The plan for the afternoon was to play nine holes of golf.

We started off as two threesomes. Marlene, Sharon and I were in one group, while Phil, Kevin and Donna were in another. With the course fairly empty, this collapsed down into one big group about the fifth hole.

I shot a liberally scored winter rules 58. I had a number of solid shoots, but really fell apart on the third and eighth holes.

After the golf, we headed to the Sanborns. They bought a house above the twelfth hole in early July. The house has some great views of the surrounding country club and down into the valley. We swam in their pool and had a late dinner off filet minion.

We finished the day playing Mexican Train until almost midnight. Sharon had played the game when she was out with Janie last weekend and then ordered a set from Amazon.

The Sanborns new house includes a Casita over the garage. Sharon and I crashed there, while the Gainsleys stayed in the guest bedroom.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Jack to SoCal

I took Jack to the airport. He caught a scheduled 5:00 pm (actual 5:16 pm) flight to Burbank. Jack took an Uber to Mirror Wall Studios. He is spending the weekend with Drew and Nicki in Southern California.

John Oliver's Warren G. Harding Movie

Shortly after I finished reading a biography of Warren Harding, John Oliver ran this video on Last Week Tonight.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Oakland Raiders Training Camp

Raiders Training CampI spent a large part of 2015 and 2016 working out of the Napa Valley and staying at the Marriott. Making a swing through a couple of our sites, I ended up at the Napa Valley Marriott again last night with the Oakland Raiders. My 2015 experiences are here, while the 2016 notes are here.
Fourth-year quarterback Derek Carr leads Oakland Raiders into Napa training camp |

This is the team’s 22nd consecutive summer in the Napa Valley. The complex has 2½ practice fields and a field house, and sits on a five-acre site, adjacent to the Marriott, where the team is headquartered during its four-week stay here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

200.3 Miles

Coming into July, I set a running goal of 155 miles for the month. With five full weekends, a mid-week holiday and Sharon gone for eight days on the cruise, it seemed like an opportunity to push up my mileage. Additionally, I felt out of sorts last fall and wanted to see if I could improve my fitness a notch or two.

I was so far ahead of the pace for my goal in the middle of the month when Sharon came back from the cruise that I decided to shoot for the moon. I ended up running 200.3 miles in July. This is just under 6.5 miles a day for 31 days. My records go back to the beginning of 2005 when I started to train for the American River 50. The most miles I have previously done in a month in the last twelve and a half years was 190. Additionally, I only reached 180 miles twice in that 150 month period.

I amazed at how good my body feels; my hips and knees feel great. I started the month with a pair of Hoka running shoes. I have run in Nike Air Pegasus for more than twenty years. Earlier this year, both Larkin and Wallen recommended Hokas and I decided to give them a try. I am very pleased. I give the Hokas partial credit for my ability to turn the 200 miles.

I can't carry the speed that I could ten years ago. I tend to warm up and cool down for extended periods on the treadmill. Outside, I walk and stretch in the middle of a run. As Jack said when we were running in Amsterdam last year, "you have one gear, but, damn, you just keep going." My motor is definitely a big diesel engine at this point.

I am ready for the Camino... Too bad we can't leave tomorrow.

698,093 Steps

698,093 Steps

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

July broke a record for Sacramento heat

First, we had record rainfall. Now, we have record heat.
July broke a record for Sacramento heat. How hot was it? - Sacramento Bee - July 31, 2017 4:12 PM

The heat wave that has the Sacramento Valley clenched in a sweaty grip broke a record Monday: Temperatures hit at least 90 degrees in downtown Sacramento every single day in July.

That’s never happened before in records dating back to 1877 for downtown Sacramento, according to the National Weather Service.

With another month to go, and a significant blast of hot weather coming this week, 2017 could challenge 2016 for the dubious distinction of the hottest summer ever recorded in California.

“It’s definitely going to be right up there,” said Michael Anderson, the state climatologist.

The National Centers for Environmental Information, a federal agency, said the statewide average temperature of 75.5 degrees last summer was the highest ever, and beat the average by 3.3 degrees. The statewide high temperature last summer was 90.6 degrees, or 3.4 degrees above average.

While Sacramento broke a record for 90-degree days in July, the city has actually seen fewer 100-degree days for the summer than it saw by this time in 2016.

So far this year, Sacramento has seen 20 days of 100-degree temperatures, said Idamis Del Valle, a meteorologist with the weather service. Last year the city had 22 days of 100-degree weather by the end of July, she said.