Thursday, October 31, 2019

In the Matter of Scott Daniel Warren

After dinner at Bella Bru, Sharon and I went to the Jesuit Drama opening night gala and performance of In the Matter of Scott Daniel Warren {or, Scenes and Fragments from a Play about the Desert}. On January 17, 2018, Scott Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths, was arrested and charged with a felony for harboring migrants after Border Patrol allegedly witnessed him giving food and water to two migrants in the west desert near Cabeza Prieta.

Jesuit Drama - In the Matter of Scott Daniel Warren {or, Scenes and Fragments from a Play about the Desert}

Jesuit Drama productions that we have seen include: Terror Stories: A Post 9/11 Project (November 2015); Xanadu (March 2016); 44 Plays for 44 Presidents (November 2016); Spamalot (March 2017); and Willy Wonka (March 2018).

Monday, October 28, 2019

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day 365

I had owned the Volvo for one year. I have driven 12,998 miles. I am averaging 1,083 miles per month. I continue to be very happy with the vehicle.

After spending most of July and August working out of a cave in Marysville, I have been back to a more normal commute in September and October. Using the car chargers at work to top off every day, I am essentially commuting as an electric vehicle and making good use of the diamond lane stickers.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

My book for October was The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. This is the third book in her Broken Earth trilogy. It won the 2018 Hugo Award for best novel.

I read the second book--The Obelisk Gate--in February. It won the Hugo Award for best novel in 2017. I read the Fifth Season--the first book in the trilogy--last fall. The first book won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016.

The book continues the story of a mother and daughter who are magically talented. They find themselves on opposite sides of an eons long battle over the future of the planet.

As I said when I read the first two books in the trilogy, this is not a genre that I typically read. I read the books because they remarkably won the Hugo award three years in a row. After not enjoying the second book as much as the first, I found this book much more to my liking. I would rate it a strong "B."

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Annual Rebecca L. Frame Memorial Invitational Scottish Rules Bocce Ball Tournament

Sharon and I spent the afternoon at the 7th not-so-annual Bocce Ball tournament at Tom's house. I made it to the second round, but gave my spot to Eric. We were missing all of the Tim's.

Friday, October 25, 2019

2019 Kings versus Trail Blazers

2019 Kings versus Trail Blazers
After dinner at Foundation, Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Portland Trail Blazers NBA game. This marks the thirty-fifth year that the Kings have been in Sacramento. I think that Larkin and I have been to Kings game together in almost every one of those seasons.

With the score tied 57 to 57 at halftime, the Trail Blazers scored 10 unanswered points. The Kings never really got back into the game and lost by the score of 122 to 112. With 2:34 left in the game, Walton pulled all of the starters?!?

Damian Lillard was the leading scorer for the Trail Blazers. He had 35 points on 12 for 20 from the field, 3 for 7 from three and 8 for 8 from the free throw line.

De'Aaron Fox was the leading score for the Kings. He had 28 points on 7 for 18 from the field, 3 for 5 from three and 11 for 14 from the free throw line.

Both coaches used their challenges. The Kings lost a challenge on offensive basket inference call, while the Trail Blazers won a challenge on an offense foul called as Fox was driving to the basket.

It was a very disappointing game. I am flummoxed by the inconsistent foul calls and Walton's substitution patterns. More on my thoughts about the outlook for the season in a future post.

Hunter and Yuli were at the game. I wandered down and talked to Hunter briefly at halftime. The Sanborns were also at the game; I texted Marlene and was able to get their attention.

The Kings have one loss and no wins in games that I have seen in the 2019-2020 NBA season.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Neighborhood Book Club

Sharon is part of a neighbor book club that meets about every two months. Thursday night, they met at Jill's house to discuss Educated by Tara Westover.

Educated is a memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist Mormon family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. The book debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and was a finalist for a number of national awards.

Monday, October 21, 2019

David and Baby Lee

Lee Balthazar Huffling joined us on 10.21.19 at 5.10pm, about seven pounds and twenty inches long.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Drew and Shannon for Dinner

We had Drew and Shannon for dinner. Sharon made a great dinner of spatchcock chicken, rice and green salad.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Soil Born Farms

After a late night and with me feeling under the weather, we had lazy start to the morning. After a late breakfast, Drew, Shannon, Sharon and I went to Soil Born Farms. We wandered around, bought some vegetables and sampled a couple of things. Sharon and I need to come back and have lunch some day.

Afterwards, we wandered through Hagen Community Park. We meandered past a Sacramento Valley Live Steamers gathering and then down to the American River before heading home.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Celebrating Shannon's Birthday

Celebrating Shannon's Birthday!Drew and Shannon drove up from SoCal on Friday. We met them for dinner at Shangri-la. Sharon and I had dinner there in September.

The four of us split duck liver tostadas, aquachlies (ahi tuna), grilled flat iron and branzino. It was a very nice dinner. Sharon is planning to go back with Janie in the near future.

Heading back to the house, we celebrated Shannon's birthday with presents and cake. We got Shannon some Joe Malone perfume as a present. Although I was feeling under the weather, we ended up sitting and talking late. I took Tiber out for a neighborhood walk about 11:30 pm.

Drew and Shannon will be spending part of the weekend here. They are going to an Andrew Bird concert at the Monrovia Center on Monday night.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

2019 Fall Dinner Party Menu

Fall Dinner Party
October 12, 2019

London Bridge

Spiced Nuts

Scotch Eggs
2016 Domaine Pignard

Chesnut Veloute
with Duck Confit
2017 Sonoma-Loeb
Envoy Chardonnay

Green Tea and Lime
Palate Cleanser

Queen’s Rib Roast
Creamed Greens
2015 Argentina
Clos de los Siete

Roasted Pear and
Amaretto Trifle
Choice of Limoncello or
Bouchaine Bouch
D’or Chardonnay

Westminster Abbey

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Downton Abbey

Tuesday night, Sharon and Liz went to see Downton Abbey at the Country Club Cinema.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Celebrating our 23rd Wedding Anniversary - Day 2

Celebrating our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

Our original plan for Monday was a hike in the Napa area. As we were checking into the hotel on Sunday night, Sharon saw their bikes and suggested a bike ride instead.

After breakfast in the concierge lounge, we got bikes and helmets from the front desk. We rode on the Vine Trail towards Yountville. We did this ride once before when I was working in Napa.

We stopped in Yountville for coffee at Southside. Afterwards, we rode back to the Napa Valley Marriott. In total, we covered 13.6 miles in just over an hour and a half.

Checking out of the hotel, we got some sandwiches at the Safeway deli. The plan for the afternoon was wine tasting at Bouchaine Vineyards. Sharon has been a wine club member there since our first visit in 2010.

Bouchaine has built a new tasting room. We thought that it was going to be open, but it is still not being used for day to day tasting. We did get a chance to wander through the new building.

We had a nice tasting and a leisurely lunch. We rolled towards Carmichael after 2 pm. With one quick stop, we picked up Tiber about 3:45 pm.

It was a very nice get away...

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Celebrating our 23rd Wedding Anniversary - Day 1

At Donum EstatesMoving a little slow after a late night, we dropped Tiber at Best Friends just after 11 am. The plan for the next two days is to head to Napa to celebrate our 23rd Wedding Anniversary.

With the traffic fairly light, it took us just under an hour and a half to get to Donum Estates. There were a lot fewer people than the event in June. I was able to park at one of the two car chargers.

Sitting at a table having a bit to eat while Sharon wandered off to check out some other food, Sharon's old friend Noel came up. He then snuck up on Sharon. We ended up sitting with Noel and his friends (Mike and Laura?) for the rest of the afternoon. Noel is the one that originally turned us on to Donum.

Sharon and I eventually took a trolley up to visit the new wind chimes art installation and the heart. The event was supposed to end at 3:00 pm, but they opened some more wine. They eventually kicked us out just after 4:00 pm. Our group was literally the last to leave!
At Donum Estates
We made a quick stop at the outlet stores in Napa. Sharon wanted to shop at Cabi.

We checked into the Napa Valley Marriott for one night. Having spent almost all of 2015 and 2016 working in the Napa Valley and essentially living at the Napa Valley Marriott, it is always weird to go back there for a night.

We finished the day with a late dinner at Ca' Momi Osteria in downtown Napa. Walking a couple of blocks to the restaurant, we were both surprised how busy the downtown was. We split a Insalata Siciliana [blood oranges, organic fennel, red onion salad with olives & orange vinaigrette]. For entrees, Sharon had Rigatoni con Coda alla Vaccinara [pasta with braised organic bone-in oxtail, san marzano tomatoes, pine nuts, celery, organic raisins & parmigiano reggiano Lazio], while I had Risotto alla Milanese con Ossobuco [veal ossobuco served on arborio risotto with saffron organic bone marrow & parmigiano reggiano lombardia]. I was very disappointed in my meal; at best, I would grade it a "B-."

Saturday, October 12, 2019

2019 Fall Dinner Party

2019 Fall Dinner Party
Sharon and I have made it a tradition to host a fall dinner party [2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 20112010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]. This year, the group included the Gainsleys, Larkins, Renterias, Sanborns, Janie and Terra. After missing last year, I was very pleased to have the Larkins back at the table.

I am counting this as the twentieth year that we have given this party. The Larkins and Cindy's niece Barbie came to a dinner party in 2000. This was the first year we were in Elk Grove. I feel like that dinner was really the start of this tradition. I got to find some pictures from that dinner party. I have a strong memory of Larkin, Snipes and I wandering up to the bonus room to watch the Yankees in the World Series.

The theme this year was England. Sharon, Jack and I spent ten days in London in March. There was a wide range of costumes from the Spice Girls to Sherlock Holmes to knights of the roundtable.

We had a fantastic dinner including a scotch egg, chestnut soap, a great palate cleanser and prime rib. The menu is here. During dinner, we played the soundtrack from Downton Abbey.

After dinner, Sharon had a Lizzo dance party. Like last year, although I wasn't prepared for it, we ended up watching a version of Dinner for One that I could find on YouTube. [Note to self], I have got to better organize the videos that we have played over the last fifteen years!

With the Sanborns leaving first, the party wound down. Tiber and I walked the Gainsleys to the gate to catch an Uber about 11:30 pm. Janie and Terra helped with the dishes. By the time that they left, it was about 12:45 am.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Neighborhood Homeowners Association Meeting

Thursday night, Sharon and I went to a neighborhood homeowners association meeting at the pool. Sharon was elected to the board in January.

The group reviewed plans for the redoing the landscaping around the community pool. Most of the work will take place in our cul-de-sac.

I love our neighborhood.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Choking Dodgers in the 2010s

After watching last night’s exciting MLB playoff game, I thought that it would be fun to look back at the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last ten years.  The decade of the 2010s includes:

·       Dodgers finished 4th in the NL West
·       Giants win the World Series

·       Dodgers finished 3rd in the NL West

·       Dodgers finished 2nd in the NL West
·       Giants win the World Series

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the NLCS to the Cardinals

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the NLDS to the Cardinals
·       Giants win the World Series

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the NLDS to the Mets

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the NLCS to the Cubs

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the World Series to the Astros

·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the World Series to the Red Sox

·       Dodgers win a franchise record 106 games!
·       Dodgers finished 1st in the NL West
·       Dodgers lost the NLDS to the Nationals

31-year championship drought!

As Bill Simmons likes to say, it has been a disappointing decade for the Dodgers.

Have I mentioned, I hate the Dodgers...

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Jack's 2016 Fall Semester Classes

HIST 007-011 - Intro Early Hist: Europe I
The World I sections examine the history of the human experience from a global perspective. The bulk of the semester concerns societies and states from the time of ancient civilizations to about 1500 AD. The course pays particular attention to political, economic, and social changes, but also considers cultural, technological, and ecological history. The evolving relationship between human identities and their social and material environments forms one of the major points of analytical focus for this course. The overarching goal is to provide a general framework for the history of the world to help students understand the big picture, and to help them to contextualize what they will later study about history, politics, religion--in short, about the human experience. The Europe I sections offer an analysis of the major political, social, economic, diplomatic, religious, intellectual, and scientific developments in European Civilization to 1789.

PHIL 020 - Intro to Philosophy
An introduction to some of the central questions of philosophy through the writings of both traditional and contemporary authors. Questions addressed may include the relationship between mind and matter; between causation and free will; meaning, truth, and reality; knowledge, perception, belief, and thought.

ARTH 101 - Ancient to Medieval Art
Major monuments of western art from the prehistoric birth of representational art through the thirteenth century, with an emphasis on ancient and medieval civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

OPIM 170-06 - Computational Busn Model
The course has the following objectives: 1) Define Business Information Systems. 2) Introduce basic concepts related to Data and Model integration for decision making. 3) Cover the following introductory statistical concepts: a. Measures of Central Tendency (Mean, Median, Mode). b. Measures of Dispersion (Range, Variance, Standard Deviation). c. Measures of Shape (Symmetry, Skewness). d. Presenting Quantitative Data using Frequency Distribution Tables and Histograms. e. Summarizing Qualitative Data. f. Generating a Trend Line using the Method of Least Squares with Solver. 4) Provide a comprehensive Excel foundation for use in future MSB courses, such as: a. Creating, Formatting, Auditing and Managing Worksheets and Workbooks. b. Using Built-in Statistical, Financial, Logical & Date Functions. c. Creating and Formatting Charts. d. Manipulating Data, and using Data Tables & PivotTables/Pivot Charts. e. Tools for managing a complex worksheet, such as Grouping, and Documenting. f. Making Decisions with Goal Seek, Scenario Manager & Solver.

BADM 101-05 - Patterns in Global Commerce
This seminar examines the evolution of commerce between nations from geographical, historical, political, business, and ethical perspectives. It will focus on the dynamics of trade in scarce resources, food, minerals and fuels, armaments, legal and illegal drugs, human beings, intellectual property, and services. Students will explore historical dimensions and different current viewpoints regarding the patterns, benefits, and detriments of global commerce. Why and what do nations trade? How does East meet West and North meet South in international trade and investment? What trade-offs exist between economic and social interests? Can nations be open to trade and still “protect” their domestic economies? Is “free trade” a zero-sum game, or does it allow win-win situations? Can trade be “fair”? The readings and discussions provide students with an understanding of how critical issues in commerce have evolved over time to confront the global business community today.

FREN 101-05 - Advanced French I
A general survey of French civilization is integrated with continued work on mastery of all requisite language skills. Readings and compositions focus on material from the French media.

Fall 2016 Semester
Spring 2017 Semester
Fall 2017 Semester
Spring 2018 Semester
Fall 2018 Semester
Spring 2019 Semester
Fall 2019 Semester
Spring 2020 Semester

Monday, October 07, 2019

151,934 steps

For the ninth week in a row, I topped more than 140,000 steps last week. With some travel for the work this week, the fall dinner party this weekend and a getaway planned for Sunday, the streak probably stops this week.

151,934 steps

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Fleabag - Season 1

Sunday night, Sharon and I finished watching season one of Fleabag. We decided to watch season one after season two won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in September.

Fleabag is a British comedy-drama television show created and written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Waller-Bridge stars in the title role. It is based on Waller-Bridge's one-woman show first performed in 2013.

The series was originally produced by Two Brothers Pictures for digital channel BBC Three in a co-production agreement with Amazon Studios. It comprises only six twenty-five minute episodes.

Waller-Bridge plays Fleabag, an angry, confused, sexually voracious young woman living in London. Sian Clifford and Olivia Colman also star.

We were both initially lukewarm on the show, but it grew on us over the course of the first season. We will definitely watch season two.

Two side notes. First, Waller-Bridge hosted Saturday Night Live this week. Second, large parts of the last episode of season one were shot in and around the Tate Modern Museum in London. We visited this museum in March.

Saturday, October 05, 2019


Friday night, Sharon and I saw Judy at the Century 14 theater. We are starting our annual quest. From now until January 13 when the actual nominations are announced, we will be guessing which films, actors and actress might be included.

Judy is a biographical drama film about the life of American actress and singer Judy Garland. It takes place in 1969. Most of the film is set in London as she arrives for a run of sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town.

The film stars Renée Zellweger as Garland. It includes Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon in supporting roles.

Zellweger's performance is very, very good. While I don't think that the film will be nominated for Best Picture, I would be shocked if Renée is not nominated in the Best Actress Category. The early buzz is that she is the odds on favorite to win the award.

Friday, October 04, 2019


Sharon is part of a neighbor book club that meets about every two months. With some controversy over what they should read next, Jill organized a trip to Lynmar for lunch. Sharon and I have been there a couple of times [2014, 2016]

They rented a van from Enterprise and got the person who usually housesits for Jill to chauffeur them. The group included Jill, Sharon, Kathy, Judy and Debi.

Hitting the Friday afternoon traffic on the way back, it took them 4 1/2 hours to wind their way home! I spent almost two years going back and forth from Napa to Carmichael; I grew to despise the Friday afternoon traffic...