Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Foundation by Issac Asimov

My book for July was Foundation by Issac Asimov. I started reading it after one of the members of Sharon's book club suggested it for their August book. Although I remember very little about it, I read the book almost 40 years ago, probably sometime between 1979 and 1984.

Foundation is a cycle of five interrelated short stories. It was first published almost seventy years ago as a single book by Gnome Press in 1951. Four of the five stories were published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine between 1942 and 1944 under different titles. It is the first book in what was originally a trilogy.

In July 2012, io9 included the book on its list of "10 Science Fiction Novels You Pretend to Have Read". In 1966 the Foundation trilogy won the prestigious Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series. In 2018, the opening chapter "The Encyclopedists" won a retrospective 1943 Hugo Award for the Best Novelette of the preceding year.

Collectively, the stories tell the early history of the Foundation, an institute founded by psychohistorian Hari Seldon to preserve the best of galactic civilization after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. These early stories were inspired by Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

There are several anachronistic things about the book. Written at the dawn of the nuclear age, the book envisions personal nuclear powered devices, including household devices like stoves. Additionally, it seems like all of the characters smoke.

Foundation is not really a very good book; I don't recommend it. You should only read it as a historical curiosity or if you are trying to read all of Asimov's books...

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Former Sutter IT exec said management fired him for reporting patient care failures

I worked for Sutter Health for sixteen years from 1998 to 2014. Stuart James joined Sutter Health as a Regional CIO in February of 2013.
Former Sutter IT exec said management fired him for reporting patient care failures

A former Sutter Health IT executive said the company fired him because he told an investigator that management could have avoided a systemwide computer failure in May 2018 if they had taken his advice to install backup infrastructure for electronic medical records, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court.

Stuart James said that Sutter not only wrongfully terminated him in July 2018 but that the health provider also went on to defame him by naming him as one of three information technology executives terminated in the fallout from the outage. Others cited in the articles were Jonathan Manis, senior vice president and chief information officer, and Randy Davis, director of information services finance.

James said he “has not been able to secure commensurate and regular employment, as a result of his termination in connection to the outage incident.” He said he was working as a chief information officer for 1447-bed hospital system in North Carolina in 2013 when Sutter recruited him, luring him with a $10,000 sign-on bonus.

Lisa Page, Sutter’s vice president of communications, said Monday that James did leave the company in July 2018, along with two other IT leaders.

“We vigorously dispute Mr. James’ claims, which are completely unfounded,” Page said. “The Sutter Health Board was given an accurate and thorough briefing on the cause of the outage from independent investigators after a thorough outside review of the situation.”

Lawrance Bohm and Victoria Gutierrez, James’ attorneys, did not respond to a request for comment. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday.

Page said Sutter does not comment on personnel matters, particularly when litigation is pending, but company leaders value their diverse workforce and encourage their employees to share all safety concerns.

Page did not say whether Sutter had backup infrastructure in place at the time of the outage or whether the company now has such a system in place.

In the lawsuit, James said he gave Sutter’s chief technology officer a 124-page playbook that emphasized the need for a backup infrastructure for the company’s electronic medical records. The playbook, prepared by consultants James engaged, said access to all medical information would be lost in a catastrophic event.

That’s what happened, the complaint said, on May 14, 2018, when a fire suppression system activated and caused a total shutdown of Sutter’s data center. That meant the company could not access patient health information, medical documentation, specific medication lists, forcing Sutter hospitals and surgery centers to reschedule many procedures for 27 hours.

During a June 4, 2018, interview, James stated in court records, he told an independent investigator from PricewaterhouseCooper that the “operations side” failed to plan for and practice procedures necessary to ensure patient safety during a network outage, and he said the Information Services team had done the best job it could, given the funding limitations imposed by Sutter leadership.

James cited one conversation between Manis and Sutter Chief Executive Officer Sarah Krevans, in which she asked Manis: ‘What are we going to tell the board?”

“The truth,” Manis replied.

Krevans responded: “In that case, I can’t put you in front of the board.”

Of the three executives let go in the wake of the investigation, James was the only African American and the only one whom security escorted from the building, according to the lawsuit.

Following James’ departure, a company representative was quoted in articles announcing an interim chief information officer as “a highly qualified leader,” the complaint stated, implying that James was terminated because he was incompetent or unqualified.

In addition, James said in the complaint, Sutter’s human resources leader Cindy Jeter told staff that “Stuart did some shady stuff,” a description that had “a ripple effect” on his career.

James alleged that Sutter violated eight state laws in firing him, including California’s health and safety code encouraging health care workers to report unsafe patient care and hospital conditions, a labor code that does the same and race discrimination statutes. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, payment of his attorneys’ fees and civil penalties.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Neighborhood Homeowners Association Board Meeting

Sharon is now on the board of the neighborhood homeowners association. She spent the evening at a board meeting at Jim's house. Rod is the third board member. The agenda focused on three bids for the project to replace the wall on the east side of the pool.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day 273

I bought the Volvo nine months ago. I have driven 9,531 miles with an average fuel consumption of 61.6 miles per gallon. I am averaging 1,059 miles per month.

Working in Marysville, I have driven just under 2,000 miles in the last month. With a 100 mile round trip, I have been burning a lot more gas! It has given me an opportunity to use the adaptive cruise control and pilot assist. The adaptive cruise control speeds up and slows down to match traffic, while the pilot assist keeps you in the lane even around corners. Both features work very well.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Once upon a Time in Hollywood

After I spent the day working at the hospital in Marysville again, Sharon and I went to a 7:15 pm showing of Once upon a Time in Hollywood at the Country Club Cinema. Given how close it is, this new theater is going to be our destination of choice.

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. It is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie is set in Los Angeles in 1969. It portrays an alternate timeline where an aging television actor and his stunt double work to make a name for themselves in the Hollywood film industry.

DiCaprio plays actor Rick Dalton, while Pitt plays Cliff Booth as a war veteran and Rick's longtime stunt double and best friend. Dalton's relationship with Booth is based on that of actor Burt Reynolds and his long time stunt double Hal Needham. DiCaprio's character is modeled on actors like Tab Hunter, Fabian Forte, Ty Hardin and Vince Edwards, who started their career with handsome looks in Classical Hollywood, but had their careers falter in the 1960s after their type of leading men went out of fashion.

When the film finished, Sharon said "I don't know about that..." Without spoiling the plot, her problem with the movie is that the two fictional lead actors wind their way through a number of real life events and ultimately have a big impact on history. Personally, I am a believer in the butterfly effect: a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

I liked the movie more than I thought that I would. DiCaprio's performance is very good. I wouldn't be surprised to see him nominated for best actor at the 2020 Oscars. I think that the movie also has a chance to be a best picture nominee. At two hours and 40 minutes, the movie is long.

As a footnote, we ran into our neighbors Jill and Mike at the movie...

As a second footnote, the real life closing events of the movie occurred almost exactly 50 years ago.

Friday, July 26, 2019

At Catta Verdera

Sharon and Marlene played golf at Catta Verdura on Friday. After playing probably the best nine of her life earlier in the month, Sharon struggled. She ended up shooting a 123. After they finished the round, they lounged in the Sanborn's pool for a couple of hours.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Selected 2019 College Baseball Statistics

Over the last three years, [2017, 2018], I have been following how some of the boys that Jack played baseball with and against were doing in college. I updated the table for the 2019 season.

Matt ClarkeUniversity of Colorado524920145762026378160.378
Brian MorleyCSU Monterey57572083371151105632600.341
Nick SogardLoyola Marymount595922939718--1938440.309
Darren BakerCal52512043462411819310.304
Greg VaughnLIU Brooklyn534115123454242429360.298
Aaron WongChapman5656193395713212915200.295
Alex IsolaTCU544918728507053125460.267
Mychael GoudreauAzusa Pacific5555207435110163717310.246
Nick IwasaSacramento State6529521111200715110.212
Matthew CantelmeCSU East Bay50381141324311013210.211
Joe McNamaraWithrop University5715164312560.188
Joey MejiaUOP4955-------30.000
Jared AlamedaMissing in Action
Bret LittleMissing in Action
Niko DugayMissing in Action
Chris LoebMissing in action
Alex DaileyNot on Stevens Institute roster
Sam StitlnerNot on UOP roster
Trevor ZscheileNot on Simpson University roster
Tanner DodsonTampa Bay Rays Farm

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Back from Half Moon Bay

View from the Ritz Carlton Room

Up fairly early for the second day in a row, Sharon and I had breakfast downstairs in the hotel. Afterwards, we ended up walking south from the hotel through the golf course to the Cowell Ranch Beach. I had walked this direction on Friday afternoon. We covered four miles in just under one hour and 40 minutes.

Packing up the room, we rolled from the hotel about 11:30 am. Taking 93 to 280 to 101 to 80 to 50, we made a quick stop for gas and a cheeseburger at Cordelia. Even heading home in the middle of the day, we hit a lot of traffic in downtown San Francisco and in Fairfield. We stopped for groceries on the way back into Carmichael.

Sharon had a great time at the bridal shower. I enjoyed having the opportunity to hang out with Drew for the afternoon. We are both looking forward to the wedding in less than two months!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Shannon's Bridal Shower

Walk/Run from the Half Moon Bay Ritz CarltonUp fairly early, Sharon and I did something that we rarely do. We had room service.

After breakfast, we did a walk/run north from the Ritz Carlton. We covered 4.6 miles in about an hour and 23 minutes. One of the signs along the trail described the area as a coastal prairie.

When we got back to the run, Sharon worked on getting cleaned up and dressed for the day. She was going to Shannon's bridal shower.

I dropped Sharon before noon at the Vinoteca Wine Tasting and Shop for the bridal shower. She had some apprehension about going to the event which turned out to be unnecessary; someone cancelled at the last minute with an animal emergency...

I spent the afternoon at Shannon's parent house. I hung out with Drew, Shannon's dad and two of Drew's friends from college (Dan and Zep). The afternoon included beers, brats and music.

The girls showed up at Shannon's house about 3 pm. A larger group, including a couple neighbors, visited for a couple of hours before Sharon and I headed back to the hotel.

Sharon and I finished the day with a leisurely dinner at the Navio restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Sharon and I ate in the restaurant when we stayed at the hotel in 2005. We had the tasting menu with the wine pairing.

Friday, July 19, 2019

To Half Moon Bay

At Half Moon Bay

After her dentist appointment, Sharon and I rolled from Sacramento towards the coast. We will be spending the weekend in Half Moon Bay for Shannon's bridal shower on Saturday. With one stop to change drivers, it took us almost three hours (80 to 680 to 24 to 13 to 580 to 880 to 92).

We are spending two nights at the Ritz Carlton. Sharon and I stayed here for an anniversary trip in 2005. Surprisely, the room was ready! We have a nice view of the ocean and the new golf course.

After getting settled in the room, we had lunch in the hotel. We split a lamb burger and a cod sandwich.

Sharon took a nap after lunch. I went out for a walk about; I covered just over three miles round trip south from the hotel. A map of the walk is here. When I got back, I did a work conference call on the back lawn of the hotel.

Getting cleaned up, Sharon and I headed into Half Moon Bay to meet Drew and Shannon for dinner. We met them at It's Italia. In addition to Drew and Shannon, the group included Lindsey, Shannon maid of honor, and Shannon's sister-in-law. I had CAPRESE CALDO [warmed red cluster tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil drizzle] and a nice SEAFOOD RISOTTO [iger prawns, bay scallops, manila clams, garlic, shallots, roasted tomatoes, cream]. Sharon had a FARM GARDEN SALAD [baby lettuces, shaved rutabega, watermelon radish, baby carrots, toasted pepitas, honey mustard vinaigrette] and a sole special.

Sharon and I finished the day with a nightcap in the bar at the hotel.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Dylan Carlson

While a number of boys that Jack played baseball with and against went on to play in college [2019, 2018, 2017], 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 currently the #88 ranked MLB prospect and the Cardinals #2 prospect!?!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Augusta Stone Church

Sharon and I stopped at this church when we were wandering the Shenand0ah Valley.

Augusta Stone Church
Virginia State Historical Landmark A-118

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

This landmark is located at 1647 US-11, Fort Defiance in August County, Virginia. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 14' 17.8" N 78° 58' 26.1" W.

Augusta Stone Church

The Augusta Stone Church, Virginia's oldest Presbyterian church in continuous use west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, opened on 22 January 1749. It replaced a log meetinghouse build shortly after the congregation's founding in 1740. At the outbreak of the Seve Years' War, Pastor John Craig and members of the church fortified the structure with log palisades and watchtowers to defend against Indian attack. This defensive position inspired the name Fort Defiance adopted by the community that grew around the church. The building was enlarged and remodeled in 1921-22, and a new wing was added in 1956.

August Stone Church

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sunday, July 14, 2019


After I spent the day working at the hospital in Marysville, Sharon and I went to see Rocketman at the Country Club Cinema. This is a new theater in the old Country Club Mall that opened at the end of April.

Rocket man is a 2019 biographical musical film based on the life of musician Elton John. It stars Taron Egerton as John, with Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Eileen. We saw Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle.

The film follows John in his early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his musical partnership with Taupin. It is more of a fantasy-musical than a straightforward biopic.

I enjoyed the movie. Personally, I liked it more than last year's Bohemian Rhapsody. It will be interesting to see if the movie or Egerton get Oscar nominations.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lake Clementine Trail Hike

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I met the Larkins and Renterias at the confluence of the North and Middle forks of the American River. We hiked 4.5 miles in just under two hours on the Lake Clementine Trail to the dam and back. A map of the hike is here. It was warm; the temperature was approaching 100 degrees. The trail didn't have much shade.

Afterwards, we headed to the Larkins for dinner. We hung out in the pool house and eventually barbecued some steaks for dinner.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Coolidge: An America Enigma by Robert Sobel

My book for June was Coolidge: An America Enigma by Robert Sobel. It is part of my long term project to read books about all of the presidents. The book is on a list of the best Presidential biographies put together by the Washington Post.

Born in 1872 in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Calvin Coolidge's family had deep roots in New England. His earliest American ancestor emigrated from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, England, around 1630.

After graduating from Amherst, Coolidge moved to Northampton, Massachusetts to become a lawyer. With his savings and a small inheritance from his grandfather, Coolidge opened his own law office in Northampton in 1898. He started getting involved in local politics. In 1906, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. From there, he worked his way to a state senator and eventually president of the state senate.

In 1915, Coolidge was elected as the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. He became Governor in 1918. Coolidge gained national attention during the 1919 Boston Police Strike.

In a era before the primaries determined the candidates, the bosses eventually chose Warren G. Harding as the Republican candidate in 1920. A delegate from Oregon proposed Coolidge for vice president. The suggestion quickly caught on with the delegates starving for an act of independence from the absent bosses. Coolidge was unexpectedly nominated.

Coolidge became President when Harding passed away in San Francisco in August 1923. He was elected on his own merit in 1924. As President, his administration stressed tax reductions, tariffs and opposition to farm subsidies.

Coolidge was President during the roaring 20's. Wall Street crashed about six months after he left office in 1929 kicking off the great depression of the 30's. The book provides an interesting view of the 1929 market crash; it emphasizes the explosion of the amount of stocks bought on margin and the lack of any financial reporting requirements for companies...

Throughout his political career, Coolidge was known as a man of few words. He was nicknamed Silent Cal.

This is a fairly pedestrian book. It is not great, but it is not bad. I don't think I have ever read a book that included so much material from other sources. It includes a lot of material from Coolidge's biography and speeches, newspapers, other people's speeches and books and other sources.

As a footnote, one of the mantras for my life has been a quote by Coolidge about pperseverance and persistence. You can find it here.