Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Eve 2020

I have said in the past that "I have always counted New Year's Eve as my least favorite holiday." This has changed in recent years. With Drew and Shannon and Morgan and Lee close by this year, it has been a very different holiday season.

I had originally proposed going to Rattlesnake bar for a hike. Sharon counter-proposed going to Bannister Park. Jack, Drew, Sharon, Tiber and I ended up hiking 4.2 miles from Bannister Park across the American River and up river to the Fair Oaks Bridge. We headed back across the river into old Fair Oaks. We stopped for a beer at the Fair Oaks Brew Pub. Afterwards, we wound our way back to the car. I will post a map of the week in the future.

Jack, Drew and I finished the afternoon playing Game of Thrones Catan. I think that Drew won.

In the early evening, we watched the end of the Kings verus Rockets basketball game. The Kings fell just short and lost by the score of 122 to 119.

Sharon made a great dinner of prime rib, baked potatoes and brussel sprouts. We had Tiramisu for dessert.

After dinner, we ended up watching Rounders. More on the movie in a future post.

We finished the night watching fireworks from the master bedroom balcony. I continue to be amazed at the number of fireworks shows spread around the valley.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Lewser! - More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump

My book for December is Lewser! - More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by Gary Trudeau. As I have said before, when I was working for the farm credit banks in Sacramento in the 1980s, I used to stop every morning and buy a San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle had Doonesbury, while the Sacramento Bee refused to publish it. One of my highlights every morning was reading the comic strip.

Trudeau started using Donald Trump as a character in his comic strip on September 14, 1987. Lewser! is a follow up to Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump that was published before the 2016 presidential election and #SAD!: Doonesbury in the Time of Trump that was released in 2018.

Lewser! tracks Trump through the dark heart of Trump's presidency and into 2020 election mania. It is organized into four sections: The Stable Genius; In Search of Trump's Brain; Lie 10,000; and, Cornering the Rat.

While I enjoyed it, this book is not as good as Yuge! Both Lewser! and #SAD feel thin compared to the first book.

A footnote. I am disappointed in the pace of my reading over the last year. The shelter-in-place and work from home shifts have changed a number of my rhythms. Additionally, in the past, I read a lot when we traveled; we obviously haven't traveled much in 2020. One of my goals for 2021 is to change my patterns and read more!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Dinner with Drew and Shannon plus Christmas Lights and Catan

Drew and Shannon stopped by for dinner. Sharon threw together a nice meal of tamales, chili verde and rice.

After dinner, Drew, Shannon, Jack and Sharon did a driving tour of the Christmas lights in the Fabulous 40s.  Feeling beat up after a long afternoon at the dentist, I stayed home.

Drew, Jack and I finished the night playing Catan. Drew won both games. Much to Jack's frustration, I still make too many mistakes in the game play.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Last Christmas

Over the last eleven years, we have gone to see a movie on Christmas Day and then out to dinner. Although Jack talked about going to a drive-in, with the pandemic raging, we decided to just stay home and watch a movie. Sharon is a huge George Michael fan and has talked about seeing Last Christmas since it was released in late 2019. After dinner on Christmas, Drew and Shannon, Sharon, Jack and I watched the movie.

Last Christmas is a romantic comedy directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson. It is based on the George Michael's song of the same name and inspired by his music.

The film stars Emilia Clarke [Game of Thrones] as a disillusioned Christmas store worker who forms a relationship with a mysterious man (Henry Golding-Crazy Rich Asians) and begins to fall for him. The cast includes Michelle Yeoh [Tomorrow Never Dies] and Emma Thompson.

Sharon liked the movie more than I did. It is fairly mindless entertainment. I give it a lukewarm thumbs up.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Tenet

Saturday night after Christmas, Sharon, Jack and I watched Tenet. Jack started talking about wanting to see the movie soon after he got here for the holidays.

Tenet is a action-thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. it stars John David Washington [BlacKkKlansman], Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

There are three things to know about the movie. First, it is science fiction. Second, the plot uses time travel as a key plot element. Third, the future is at war with the present due to the impact of climate change. The story follows a secret agent (Washington) as he manipulates the flow of time to prevent World War III.

I frankly enjoyed the movie more than I expected. I have heard so much about how it is difficult to follow the plot that I expected more of a trainwreck.

Nevertheless, as I have said before, I am just not a big fan of time travel stories in books and movies. The logic of the impact on the changes of current and future timelines just gets so messy. I give the movie a lukewarm recommendation because the plot plays with some interesting ideas and the special effects in the last half of the movie are visually stunning.

One footnote. The movie had a production budget of $200 million. Rather than using models and special effects, Nolan bought an actual 747 airplane to crash into a building as part of the film!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Sharon, Liz and Laura

Liz and Laura dropped by in the late morning. The three of them spent a couple of hours on the deck catching up and exchanging presents.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Day 2020

Christmas Eve and Day represented a very different experience this year. This is the first time that I have spent these holidays with both Drew and Morgan since at least 2002. Additionally, it has been more than twenty-six years since I haven't spent Christmas Eve with Sharon's family. With the first ripples dating back almost eighteen months, an enormous sea change has taken place. While the change has been favorable for Sharon and I, I honestly feel bad about the current impacts and future ramifications to Drew and Morgan.

Christmas Day morning, everyone was up and moving fairly early. We did the stockings. Afterwards, we made waffles, bacon and berries for breakfast. When we were done with breakfast, we shifted back to opening presents.

Drew and Jack spent some time in the morning flying Drew's drone. I was worried that the drone would end up in a tree, but they got some amazing footage. I will post a couple of the videos in the next couple of weeks.

Morgan, Lee and Daniel showed up a little after 10 am. Lee had lunch and then went down for his afternoon nap. Sharon and I did a Frame Family Christmas Zoom get together in the late morning.
Drew, Jack and I spent part of the afternoon playing a Game of Thrones branded version of Catan. This is not just a re-skinned version of the game. It is a substantial variation that includes a number of naunces. It actually started to make more sense as we moved through the first game. We took a break to walk Tiber. Jack ended up winning.

After Lee got up from his nap, we opened Morgan, Lee and Daniel's presents. Drew and Shannon gave Morgan a giant piano mat. I am fascinated by Drew and Morgan's musical ability. Jack is also developing some musical ability.

For dinner, Sharon served individual beef wellingtons and green beans. Morgan, Lee and Daniel took off shortly after dinner.

The rest of us finished the night watching Last Christmas. My notes about Last Christmas and our Christmas Day tradition of seeing a movie are here. After the movie, we had a nice dessert that Shannon made before everyone crashed.  Shannon and Drew spent a second night with us.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

Sharon and I spent a hectic day getting the house cleaned up.  With everyone getting tested for COVID this week, Sharon, Jack and I hosted Morgan, Daniel and Lee and Drew and Shannon for Christmas Eve. Sharon noted that it was the first time that she hasn't spent Christmas Eve with her family.

Before Drew and Shannon got there, we spent some time on the deck. We added a propane patio heater in the last week.

We had a very nice dinner of ham, lasagna and green salad. Shannon made the Lasagna.

Morgan, Lee and Daniel headed home a little after 7 pm. Sharon, Jack, Drew, Shannon and I had a relaxing evening catching up and opening a few presents. There are a lot of presents left to open on Christmas Day.

In an unexcepted surprise, Jack had built a Jeopardy game with questions based on posts in this blog!?! We finished the night playing Jeopardy. Being caught off guard and falling behind early, I rallied to beat Sharon, Drew and Shannon and win the game.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2020 Kings versus Nuggets {virtual}

As I said almost five months ago, I am not sure when we will be able to attend the Kings games in person again... With the team struggling and missing the playoffs over the last fourteen years, I have continued to go to home games, but I rarely sit and watch a whole Kings game on television. With the shelter in place and work from home still in force, I am going to watch a few complete games over the next couple of months.

Wednesday night, Sharon, Jack and I watched the Sacramento Kings versus Denver Nuggets NBA game. Buddy Hield tipped in a Harold Barnes miss at the buzzer in overtime. Kings won the game by the score of 124 to 122.

With 22 points, Hield was the high scorer for the Kings. He was 7 for 15 from the field, 5 for 11 from three and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. Fox and Barnes both added 21 points.

Nikola Jokic was the Nugget's leading scorer. He had 29 points on 11 for 18 from the field, 1 for 2 from three and 6 for 9 from the free throw line. Jokic added 15 rebounds and 14 assists for a triple double.

Jamal Murray killed the Nuggets. He was 1 for 9 from the field and 0 for 5 from three.

Watching a game on television is such a different experience than seeing a game in person. At times when I am in the arena, I like to follow individual players rather than the ball. Last night, I would have liked to watch Tyrese Haliburton. He ended up playing 30 minutes in his NBA debut. Additionally, in person, you get a better sense of the spacing and the flow of the offense.

A log of 2020-2021 Kings games that I saw in person or watched virtually is here.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Jack visiting for the holidays

Spending a couple of weeks in Jamaica, Jack caught a Delta flight from Montego Bay to Atlanta. After an hour and half layover, he caught another Delta flight to Sacramento. Jack was on the ground a little after 10 pm. Sharon and I picked him up.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

2020 Neighborhood Christmas Party

Sharon and I attended to the sixth annual [2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019] Deterding Ranch Christmas Party. With the pandemic raging, we did a Zoom get together rather than a progressive dinner.

The group included: Greg and Mitchell; Jim and Debi; Rod and Kathy; Mike and Jill; Brad, Heidi and Clark, and; Sharon and I. We did a secret Santa ornament exchange. Afterwards, the Jill led the group in a game of "who is most likely."

Friday, December 18, 2020

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Firday night, Sharon and I watched Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Netflix. This film is being talked about for several possible Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. Denzel Washington initially had a deal with the television network HBO to produce nine of the playwright August Wilson's plays into films. The first film was Fences. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is the second.

The play's title comes from Ma Rainey's song of the same name. Rainey was a well-known blues-singer in the 1920s.

The film stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman with Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo and Michael Potts in supporting roles. Boseman (Black Panther star) died during post-production.

The movie chronicles the 20th-century African-American experience. Set in Chicago in the 1920s, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom deals with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers.

When it was over, Sharon said "that was not good." While I liked it more than Sharon did, I don't recommend it. Boseman has several particularly powerful scenes. It will be interesting to see if he wins an Oscar.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The City Game: Basketball from the Garden to the Playgrounds

My book for November was The City Game: Basketball from the Garden to the Playgrounds The book is included on Bill Simmon's list of the best sports books.

The book follows the New York Knicks 1969-1970 season as the team winds it way to its first NBA Championship. The book includes chapters on the key players, including Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Cazzie Russell, Bill Bradley and Dave DeBusschere. The Knicks defeated the Lakers (Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain) in a tough seven game series. Game seven included the legendary story of Willis Reed dragging himself on to the court to play.

The book is more than a history of the Knicks' first championship. It explores what basketball means to New York City, including the young black men who spend their nights and weekends perfecting their skills on the concrete courts of the city’s parks.

This is a very readable book. I recommend it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Dinner with Morgan and Lee

Wednesday night, Sharon and I picked up curbside takeout from Siam Patio Thai Cuisine. We took the food to Morgan's apartment and had dinner with her and Lee. Our order included: Thai Dumpling; Pad Thai with chicken; Thai Fried Rice with no meat; Spicy Eggplant with pork and brown rice; Jade Green Curry with Mixed Vegetables, Mild and no rice; Broccoli Oyster Sauce with beef.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Jamaica

Jack is spending a couple of weeks staying with his girlfriend's family and working from remotely at the Rainbow Tree Villa in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Investigating practices by Sutter Health that led to higher California health care costs

From the middle of 1998 to early 2014, I worked for Sutter Health. The organization as it exists today really dates from the merger with CHS in 1996. It was interesting to be part of Sutter Health's drive to change from a set of affiliated hospitals to a tightly integrated delivery network. Sunday night's 60 Minutes segment paints a less than flattering picture of the impact on consumers of the end result.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Crown - Season Four

Friday night, Sharon and I finished watching season four of The Crown on Netflix. We finished watching season one in April of 2018, season two in May of 2018 and season three in February of 2020.

The fourth season spans 1977 to 1990. It is set during Margaret Thatcher's period as prime minister and also focuses on Lady Diana Spencer. Events depicted include Lord Mountbatten's funeral, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the births of Princes William and Harry, the Falklands War, Michael Fagan's break-in at Buckingham Palace, the Prince and Princess of Wales's 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Princess of Wales's appearance at the Barnardo's Champion Children Awards, and Thatcher's departure from office.

Olivia Colman stars as Elizabeth, along with main cast members Tobias Menzies [Prince Philip], Helena Bonham Carter [Princess Margret], Josh O'Connor [Prince Charles] and Erin Doherty [Princess Anne]. Season four adds Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Diana, Princess of Wales.

Personally, I think that this may be the best season of The Crown so far. Gillian Anderson's performance as Margaret Thatcher is astonishing. The season paints Charles as a spoiled, petulant child; he is not a sympathetic character. I really enjoyed this season and highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

At Lincoln Hills Orchard Course

Sharon and I played golf on Saturday afternoon with Holly and Van at Lincoln Hills on the Orchard Course. Originally, we were planning to plan on Sunday, but decide to switch to Saturday based on the forecast of rain on Sunday. I have never played this course before.  Teeing off at 1:15 pm, we are able to play fifteen holes before it got dark.

Like when played on the day before Thanksgiving, I feel solid at the driving range, but couldn't translate that to the course. I continue to play inconsistently. Surprisingly, my chipping wasn't the biggest problem... I had a par on a short par five. Additionally, I had three iron shots (a long pitching wedge, a nine iron and a seven iron) that were as good as I can hit a golf club; each dropped on the green with a deep divot. I struggled on a several of the more difficult holes (lots of tules!).

After golf, we had a socially distance dinner with outdoor heaters in Holly and Van's backyard. We got a Doordash delivery from Sienna. Van and I had stir fry (tofu and chicken, respectively), Sharon had a burger and Holly had short ribs.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Downton Abbey - Season Five

Monday night, Sharon and I finished watching season five of Downton Abbey. We finished season one in August, season two in early September, season three in late September and season four in October at Sea Ranch.

The fifth season comprises nine episodes. It originally aired from September 21, 2014 to November 9, 2014 with a December 25, 2014 special Christmas episode.

The show explores the lives of the fictional Crawley family, the hereditary Earls of Grantham, and their domestic servants. The storyline in season four runs from February to December of 1924. Historical events include the election of the MacDonald Labour government, the British Empire Exhibition, the Beer Hall Putsch and displaced Russian aristocrats.

I continue to enjoy and recommend the series.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

mailing the Christmas Cards

Twenty-two of the last twenty-three years, Sharon and I have sent out a Christmas Card. Dissatisfied with the quality of the photos on commercial cards like Shutterfly in the late 2000s, I built my own format and process. Unfortunately, this was a lot of work... Additionally, the number of cards that we send out has exploded to over 100 in the last fifteen years with the inclusion of people from SEAS, Outlaws, Jesuit High, Sutter Health, Adventist Health and Deterding Ranch.

This year, I decided to go back to a commercially printed greeting card. Everything went a lot quicker!  I dropped 119 Christmas Cards at the post office on Sunday night, December 6.  I have a few more that I want to get in the mail this weekend.

In 2019, I dropped 73 Christmas Cards at the post office on Tuesday night, December 17 and 33 more on Wednesday morning, December 18.

In 2018, I dropped 104 cards at the post office on Monday, December 17.

In 2017, I mailed about 70 cards on Sunday afternoon, December 17 and another 30 plus cards on Monday morning, December 18.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

More than 10,000 steps a day for 500 days

Over the last 500 days, I have taken more than 10,000 steps a day every day. Based on the Withings app, I have more than 9.5 million steps during that period and have averaged just over 19,000 steps a day.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

iPad Air

The first iPad was shipped in April of 2010. I purchased one in May of 2010. I used it for a number of years to score Jack's baseball and basketball games and decreasing as a kindle and internet browser when we traveled.

Although I have refreshed my iPhone, Apple watch and Apple TVs on a regular basis, I have several older Apple devices in addition to the iPad, including a Macbook Air (September 2011) and Mac Pro (early 2009) that have been work horses. In December, I am updating several devices and changing my approach to how I use the devices. The first update is the iPad. I replaced my first generation iPad with a iPad Air.

iPad Air

Monday, December 07, 2020

Mank

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Mank on Netflix. This film is being talked about for several possible Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

Mank is a biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the script for Citizen Kane (1941). Directed by David Fincher, it is based on a screenplay by his late father Jack Fincher.

The film stars Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Arliss Howard as Louis B. Mayer, Tom Burke as Orson Welles and Charles Dance as William Randolph Hearst. Many other Hollywood icons are portrayed, including: Greta Garbo; Joan Crawford; Charlie Chaplin; Bette Davis, and; Clark Gable.

Sharon did not like the movie. She said "that was terrible" when it was over. She rated it 2 on a scale of 10. Sharon had a hard time following the plot.

I enjoyed it much more than she did. I have a very different perspective. I liked the movie more than Moonlight (2017 Best Picture Winner) or The Shape of Water (2018 Best Picture Winner). It is very much an "Inside Baseball" kind of picture about the movie industry in the 1930s. Gary Oldman won the 2018 Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Darkest Hour. I think that he will get nominated for this film.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Fabian's plus Wallens

Saturday night, Sharon and I got curbside takeout from Fabians's Italian Bistro. Sharon had eaten there with Holly in November. I had Rigatoni Bolognese [angus beef & pork ragรบ, emma pecorino, romano cheese, whole leaf oregano], while Sharon had Pappardelle Scampi [shrimp, gilroy garlic confit, arugula, saffron tomato broth, calabrian chili, lemon, butter]. We split an order of Fried Brussels Sprouts [harissa, preserved lemon] and a bottle of Lyric Pinot Noir.

As we were pulling away from the restaurant, the Wallens called. We had a nice extended talk about grandkids. When things return to normal, we need to visit the house they are building in Todos Santos. Additionally, I would like the four of us to visit Vancouver and then bounce over to visit Lance and Barb. I am fascinated to see the house that Lance built on top of a giant rock!

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Del Mar Saloon and Store

Del Mar Saloon and Store
1904-1910

Marker 34B-8

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

This marker is located on the Saloon Trail near 41195 Deer Trail, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 44' 44.5" N 123° 30' 13.7" W.

Del Mar Saloon and Store

The saloon was sited straight ahead, close to the eastern edge of today's Highway 1. The Russian colony converted it to a school, since the Del Mar school house was too small for their number of children. Diagonally across the highway in a southernly direction is where the Del Mar Store stood.

Del Mar Saloon and Store

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Queen's Gambit

Saturday night, Sharon and I finished watching The Queen's Gambit miniseries on Netflix. I first heard about the series on one of Bill Simmons' podcast. Shortly afterwards, Morgan recommended it.

The Queen's Gambit is an American coming-of-age period drama miniseries based on Walter Tevis's 1983 novel of the same name. It was released on Netflix on October 23, 2020. In just over a month, it has become Netflix's most-watched scripted miniseries.

Beginning mid-1950s and proceeding into the 1960s, the story is about an orphaned chess prodigy. It follows her rise to becoming the world's greatest chess player while struggling with emotional problems and drug and alcohol dependency. It covers themes of adoption, feminism, chess, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Beth Harmon.

The Queen's Gambit is very, very good. Both Sharon and I enjoyed it. I recommend it. Three notes about the miniseries. First, the cars, clothes and sets do a fantastic job of creating the 1950s and 1960s. Second, the chess game sequences are amazing; who thought that you could capture chess as a sport. Third, Taylor-Joy's performance is remarkable.

I got a thrill out of the scenes of Moscow in the last episode. I had a chance to spend two weeks in Moscow with the Nooters in 1995.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Catan for Drew's Birthday

Saturday afternoon, Shannon, Drew, Jack and I played Catan for Drew's birthday. Shannon won both of the games.
Catan

Friday, November 27, 2020

Shopping for a Christmas Tree

Taking Tiber with us, we headed to Roseville in the late morning to shop for a Christmas Tree. For the third year in a row [2019, 2018}, we went to Bambi's Christmas Trees at Douglas and South Harding.

The last two years we went to Bambi's on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, rather than the Friday after Thanksgiving. Going on Friday was a mistake; the place was zoo. I was shocked at the number of people.

We ended up picking out a nice 10' to 11' foot tree. We are getting it flocked and delivered on Wednesday.

Afterwards, we had a lunch with Tiber outside at Eureka! Both of us had a Eureka! American Burger [American Swiss / grilled onion / butter lettuce /tomatoes / pickles / special sauce].

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

Lee
After a virtual Run to Feed the Hungry and Zoomsgiving get together, we finished the day with Morgan, Lee and Daniel for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a very nice turkey dinner that we had picked up from Whole Foods on Wednesday evening.

Although he hadn't taken a nap in the afternoon, Lee was very good during dinner.

Zoomsgiving

Thursday afternoon, we did a Zoom with Sharon's family. The group include Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Amelia, Eric, Ashley, Tom, Tim, Erin, Cromac, Sharon and I. Over the rest of the day, we facetimed with Jack, Drew and Shannon.

2020 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the sixteenth time in the last seventeen years [2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Sharon also missed four years ago when she was feeling under the weather.

With the pandemic raging, this year's event was virtual. Sharon, her brother and I walked a 10k in Arden Park and Sierra Oaks on Thursday morning.

It was disapponting not to be able to run the 10k. I use the race to test myself and measure my fitness. It is a marker that I can compare to previous years.

Using Runkeeper, I generated the map of our walk. Additionally, Runkeeper allowed you to upload your virtual results to the race results.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

At Ancil Hoffman

Sharon and I played golf with Larkin and Gainsley at Ancil Hoffman. It was an odd day. Hitting a few balls on the range before we started, I was hitting the ball as well as I have ever hit a golf ball. The results on the course were mixed.

My chipping continues to be a trainwreck. I carded a 9 and two 10s just due to my horrible chipping around the greens. Additionally, my putting was not good; I averaged 2.55 putts per green?!?

Nevertheless, the results weren't terrible. I ended up carding a 114. I felt like away from the greens that I was striking the ball pretty well.

It was a very nice day. I always enjoy Larkin and Gainsley's company. I feel like it has been forever since we have seen the Larkins.

After golf, Sharon and I headed to Whole Foods in Roseville to pick up a Thanksgiving dinner. We finished the day getting curbside takeout fish taco dinners from Paul Martin's.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

On the Rocks

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched On the Rocks on Apple TV+. This flim is listed as a possible Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay.

On the Rocks is a 2020 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. The film had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 22, 2020. It was released in a limited theatrical release on October 2, 2020 and followed by digital streaming on October 23, 2020, by Apple TV+.

The movie follows a father and daughter (Bill Murray and Rashida Jones) as they tail her suspicious husband (Marlon Wayans). It is a story about aging, marriage, and the tenuous bond between parents and grown children.

I enjoyed the Bill Murray and Rashida Jones characters in the movie. I would definitely watch more about their backstories. I almost always enjoy Bill Murray.

While I enjoyed the movie, I am not sure that I recommend it. It is a little slow and there are probably better choices. At the end of the day, I don't think that it will get any Oscar nominations.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Morgan and Lee for Dinner

We finished the Bataan Death March Christmas decorating weekend with Morgan and Lee coming for dinner. We got curbside takeout from Rey Aztec. Sharon had ENCHILADAS SUIZAS [Marinated Chicken, Refried Beans, Lime-Cilantro Rice], Morgan had PLATO DE CARNITAS [Refried Beans, Lime-Cilantro Rice, Flour Tortillas], while I had 2 Item Combo [Mexican style soft taco, Grilled chicken, Red Sauce Enchilada, Grilled chicken, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice]. I added one ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ House Margarita.

Lee is a joy to be around. He is a happy little guy!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Decorating the House for Christmas

For the second year in a row, we decorated the house for Christmas on the weekend before Thanksgiving rather the weekend after. Unfortunately, unlike last year, I didn't stage all of the boxes ahead of time. I spent the weekend shuttling boxes back and forth to the storage shed as well as working to decorate the house. As a result, it seemed like we didn't get quite as much done over the weekend as I would have liked. There is still some work to be done both inside and outside, particularly the back decks.

Decorating the weekend before Thanksgiving is going to be the new normal. [Note to self], I need to stage the Fall and Christmas boxes before the weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

2020 Work From Washington DC - Day 1 NOT!

Our original plan was to fly to DC today. We had reservations to stay for ten days at the AKA Whitehouse where we stayed in 2011. I was planning to work from DC on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Monday, November 30. This was part of our larger vision to work from home in a number of different places around the world.

With the corona virus infection numbers exploding over the last couple of weeks, we made a decision on Friday, November 13 to cancel the trip. We are both disappointed. We were looking forward to traveling, seeing Jack and celebrating Thanksgiving with him.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Another Ticket

Another Ticket. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, I got a chance to see a number of baseball games courtesy of IBM. In 1989, I got to see the San Francisco Giants play the New York Mets. The ticket from the game is here. A picture from the game is here.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day 753

On Thursday, I took the Volvo in for the 20,000 mile servicing. Since I started working from home in March, I have only driven 3,226 miles (17,554 miles on March 12 to 20,780 on November 19). This is roughly 390 miles a month and includes two trips to Sea Ranch.

I continue to very pleased with the vehicle! The distance and miles-per-gallon at the last two fill-ups are shown below. Essentially, I have used three and a half tanks of gas in the last nine months.

August 7, 2020
August 7, 2020 October 25, 2020
October 25, 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

2021 Oscars Nominations Predictions


Best Picture
    Nomadland [February 19, 2021]
   ✔ Mank
   ✔ The Trial of the Chicago 7
    One Night in Miami [December 25 on Amazon Prime January 15]
   ✔ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
    The Father [February 26, 2021]
    News of the World [December 25]
    Minari [December 11 limited => February 12, 2021 widespread]
    Soul [December 25 on Disney+]
    Da 5 Bloods [June 12, 2020]


Best Actress
   ✔ Viola Davis, Ma Rainey's, Black Bottom
    Frances McDormand, Nomadland
    Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
    Kate Winslet, Ammonite
    Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday [February 26, 2021]
    Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy


Best Actor
    Anthony Hopkins, The Father
   ✔ Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
   ✔ Gary Oldman. Mank
    Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
    Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami
    Steven Yeun, Minar


Best Supporting Actress
    Olivia Colman, The Father
   ✔ Amanda Seyfried, Mank
    Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
    Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman [December 30 => Netflix on January 7]
    Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
    Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite [Australia on 14 January 2021]


Best Supporting Actor
    Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami
   ✔ Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
   ✔ Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7
   ✔ Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7
   ✔ Charles Dance, Mank
   ✔ Bill Murray, On the Rocks
    David Strathairn, Nomadland


Best Adapted Screenplay
    Nomadland
    One Night in Miami
   ✔ Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
    The Father
    News of the World
    Hillbilly Elegy [November 11 => November 24 on Netflix]


Best Original Screenplay
   ✔ The Trial of the Chicago 7
   ✔ Mank
    Soul
    Minari
    Da 5 Bloods
   ✔ On the Rocks

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Del Mar Store Warehouse

Del Mar Store Warehouse
Circa 1904

Marker 35E-9

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

This marker is located behind the tennis courts at the Del Mar Recreation Center, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 44' 34.5" N 123° 30' 03.0" W.

Del Mar Store Warehouse Circa 1904

The warehouse in subsequent years appears to have been converted into a combination chicken coop and stalls for larger animals. The store would have been slightly North and much closer to where Highway 1 now runs.

Del Mar Store Warehouse Circa 1904

Monday, November 16, 2020

Allora

With the pandemic winding back up, I expect that it is going to be at least five months before we eat in a restaurant. Falling back on curbside takeout, we got dinner from Allora on Friday night. We got curbside takeout from there in September. We got the FRUTTI DI MARE dinner again. It included: 
  •  FRUTTI DI MARE [TOMATO RISOTTO, ARUGULA, SCALLOP, SHRIMP, DAILY FISH];
  •  GNOCCHI ALLA ROMANA [PANCETTA, PARSNIPS, RICOTTA SALATA, SMOKED CARROT];
  •  MIXED GREENS [SEASONAL FRESH & PICKLED VEGETABLES, BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE], and;
  • MIGLIACCIO SEMOLINA RICOTTA CHEESECAKE WITH SEASONAL FRUIT. 
We got a bottle of Leonaro Bussoletti “05035” Ciliegiolo di Narni IGT 2018 [100% Ciliegiolo. Light bodied, soft red wine with cherry and strawberry notes. Cola berry on the finish]. The food was very good, but I don't recommend the wine.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched the Trial of the Chicago 7 on Netflix. Every year, we try to guess which films are going to be nominated for an Oscar. We work our way through a number of potential Academy Award nominees until the list is actually released. Due to the pandemic, the schedule has slid. The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will honor the best films released between January 2020 and February 2021. The Oscar nominee announcements are scheduled for March 15. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on April 25, 2021. I am going to publish a working list of movies to see drawn from a couple of different sources in the next week.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a historical legal drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. It features an ensemble cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Flaherty, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Robbins, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, and Jeremy Strong. Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Abbie Hoffman, founding member of the Youth International Party (Yippies), while Eddie Redmayne is Tom Hayden, a leader and one time President of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The film follows the Chicago Seven, a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. As the film tells the story of the trial, it flashes back to the events that took place during the Convention. In a number of key flashback scenes, Sorkin interweaves actual footage from 1968; the effect is very powerful.

I think that we forget how tumultuous the 60s were. 1968 was a year of violence, political turbulence and civil unrest, particularly riots in more than 100 cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 5. The Democractic Convention was held in late August.

About a third of the way through the movie, Sharon was vocally negative about the film. As the story started to use more and more flashbacks, she warmed considerably. I give the film a thumbs up. Neither Sharon or I were thrilled with Mark Rylance's performance. I have held a grudge against him ever since he beat out Stallone for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2016.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

More Adventures with Lee

With Morgan in class, Sharon and I babysat Lee for the day. He is a very happy little guy! More Adventures with LeeMore Adventures with Lee

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tickets

Moving some stuff around in the storage shed, I found an envelope of old tickets.  The envelope got packed in a box when I left Sutter Health.  It looks like the tickets range from the late 1980s to the mid 2000s.  With the shift to electronic tickets, it is a little sad that these kinds of mementos wouldn't exist in the future...

I am going to start scanning them and adding them to the blog. The first ticket is from a 1997 Sharks versus Coyotes NHL game. Sharon had given me the tickets for our first anniversary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sheep Pens

Sharon and I came across this spot when we hiked the Monarch Glen Interpretive Trail at Sea Ranch.

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

This marker is located on the Monarch Glen Interpretive Trail, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 44' 01.7" N 123° 28' 51.3" W.

Monarch Glen Sheep Pens

This pattern of fields, fences, gates, pens, ramps and chutes is the only coherent remainder of the sheep industry that existed on the coastal acres of present Sea Ranch from 1916 to 1964

From pastures north (Unit 28) and south (Unit 24) sheep were herded into the west end of Monarch Glen on a mid-ranch road. Brought into this large holding field they were then selectively directed in smaller batches from one pen to another, into the dodge chute and lifted up onto the marking table. Here they were inspected, dosed, tails cropped and marked with colors.

Ewes were kept under surveillance in the ewe pens, as new lambs were a precious crop. Sheep were then directed back into adjacent pastures or up onto the loading chute to be moved to other destinations.


Monarch Glen Sheep Pens

Monday, November 09, 2020

The Mandolarian - Season One

Saturday night, Sharon and I finished season one of the The Mandolarian. Focusing on Downton Abbey, but it has taken us a while to finish the season.

Season one of The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ on November 12, 2019. It consists of eight episodes.

Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and the fall of the Empire, The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter. He is hired to retrieve "The Child." The Mandalorian has second thoughts about leaving it with the remnants of the fallen Galactic Empire that hired him and goes on the run to protect the infant.

I really enjoyed this series. The reveal that the child is "baby yoda" is very well done. The subsequent folding of baby yoda into the ongoing storyline is masterful. I am looking forward to watching season two.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

To Napa

With Janie moving to Oklahoma later this month, Sharon and Janie spent Saturday in Napa. They shopped at CAbi, went wine tasing at Cuvaison Winery and had a late lunch at Tarla Mediterranean Grill. Sharon said that it was the best gyro that she had ever had.

Sharon and I tasted at Cuvaison more than ten years ago.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Downton Abbey - Season Four

At Sea Ranch, Sharon and I finished watching season four of Downton Abbey. We finished season one in August, season two in early September and season three in late September.

The fourth season comprises nine episodes. It originally aired from September 22, 2013 to November 10, 2013 with a December 25, 2013 special Christmas episode.

The show explores the lives of the fictional Crawley family, the hereditary Earls of Grantham, and their domestic servants. The storyline in season four runs from February to August of 1922. Historical events include the Hitler's Brownshirts, the Teapot Dome Scandal and the Prince of Wales relationship with Freda Dudley Ward.

I continue to enjoy and recommend the series. I was shocked to realize that the Freda Dudley Ward was not the woman for which Edward VIII abdicated the throne. He had a fourteen relationship with the married Ward before he fell in love with Wallis Simpson.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

A Memory Called Empire

My book for October was A Memory called Empire by Arkady Martine. After reading a seventy year old science fiction book in September, I starting casting around for something more current.

The book caught my attention because it won a number of awards. It won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book was also a Locus and Nebula Award nominee for 2019.

It follows Mahit Dzmare, the ambassador from Lsel Station to the Teixcalaanli Empire, as she investigates the death of her predecessor and the instabilities that underpin the Teixcalaanli society. The story looks at language, grammar, and custom and how they are intertwined with the politics of conquest and the broader culture.

I enjoyed the book and recoommend it. The book is a nice balance of cyberpunk, space opera, and political thriller. I enjoy books that play with ideas about the future of technology.

Monday, November 02, 2020

7 Days to Vegas

Friday night at Sea Ranch, Sharon and I watched 7 Days to Vegas on Amazon Prime. Sharon had seen a tweet from Eileen Davidson about the movie.

The ensemble cast includes Vincent Van Patten, Ross McCall, Paul Walter Hauser, Eileen Davidson, James Van Patten, Willie Garson, Lucas Bryant, Don Stark, John O'Hurley, Chad Lowe, Jennifer Tilly, James Kyson, Danny Pardo, Christina Vidal, Aron Eisenberg, and Kara Weinraub. Vincent Van Patten co-wrote the flim along with Steve Alper.

Based on a true story, struggling actor Duke Madson [Vincent Van Patten] creates the biggest underground poker game in Hollywood. Celebrities and eccentric power players bet millions that Duke can't walk from LA to Vegas in seven days.

The film doesn't take itself too seriously. Sharon liked it more than I did. Apparently, Vincent Van Patten actually ran a high stakes poker game and walked to Vegas as part of a bet!

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Jack back to DC

Jack flew into Sacramento late on Tuesday, October 20 while we were at Sea Ranch. He spent a weekend and a half working remoting from our house.

During the weekend of October 24, Emily, Drew and Jack went hiking at Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe. Jack and Emily spent a day exploring San Francisco.

Saturday morning while I babysat Lee, Sharon took Jack to the airport. Catching a United Flight to Denver, he was back in Washington DC by 7 pm. He caught an Uber from Dulles to his apartment.

I was very nice to have Jack, Drew and Morgan here at the same time.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween 2020

Halloween 2020
Saturday morning, Morgan dropped Lee off for a couple of hours while she went to get a haircut. They ended up coming back in the late afternoon. Sharon made a nice dinner of salmon, baked brown rice and green beans.

After dinner, we took Lee trick-or-treating. After Ben and Anna came to our house, we followed them through the neighborhood. We visited five or six houses before calling it a night.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Hackers targeting U.S. hospitals with ransomware attacks

Federal agencies warn hackers targeting U.S. hospitals with ransomware attacks

The FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned Wednesday that cybercriminals were stepping up ransomware attacks on health sector groups as the organizations grappled with a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

"CISA, FBI, and HHS have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers," the agencies wrote in a joint alert.

The agencies warned that the cybercriminals behind the attacks were deploying Ryuk malware, a ransomware virus that was recently linked to an attack on a German hospital that crashed servers and led to the death of woman who was unable to receive life-saving care.

The virus was also involved in an attack on Pennsylvania-headquartered hospital chain Universal Health Services, with all 250 of its U.S. healthcare facilities negatively impacted by a ransomware attack earlier this month.

Multiple hospitals and healthcare groups in the U.S. have been targeted this week, including three hospitals in New York’s St. Lawrence County and Sky Lakes Medical Center in Oregon, which the medical center confirmed in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“Sky Lakes retail pharmacies and clinics are all open,” the medical center wrote in a Wednesday post. “With our computer system still compromised by the ransomware attack, business is functioning although slower.”

The three federal agencies noted Wednesday that they were "sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats."

Cybersecurity group FireEye released a report Wednesday night detailing the attacks, attributing them to an an Eastern European group known as "UNC1878."

“The operators conducting these campaigns have actively targeted hospitals, retirement communities and medical centers, even in the midst of a global health crisis, demonstrating a clear disregard for human life,” FireEye threat researchers wrote in the report.

Reuters reported that the FBI was probing the recent attacks, while CyberScoop reported that the FBI, HHS, and DHS held a call with private sector groups on Wednesday to discuss the new cyber threats to U.S. hospitals and healthcare groups.

HHS and CISA did not respond to The Hill's request for comment on the call, while a spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment beyond the joint alert.

Charles Carmakal, the senior vice president and chief technology officer of FireEye’s Mandiant Threat Intelligence, said in a statement provided to The Hill that the UNC1878 threat group is “one of the most brazen, heartless, and disruptive threat actors I’ve observed in my career.”

“Ransomware attacks on our healthcare system may be the most dangerous cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States,” Carmakal said. “UNC1878, an Eastern European criminal threat actor, is deliberately targeting and disrupting U.S. hospitals with ransomware, forcing them to divert patients to other healthcare providers. Patients may experience prolonged wait time to receive critical care.”

He noted that “multiple hospitals have already been significantly impacted by Ryuk ransomware and their networks have been taken offline. As hospital capacity becomes more strained by COVID-19, the danger posed by this actor will only increase.”

Ransomware attacks have become an increasing concern to hospitals worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, with hackers looking to take advantage of cyber vulnerabilities at a time when hospitals are particularly desperate to ensure systems remain up and running.

Carmakal said Wednesday that Mandiant was “releasing a significant amount of information about UNC1878 to help organizations defend their networks” and mitigate cyber threats to these critical groups.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Drew is off

After spending two weeks housesitting for us while we were at Sea Ranch, Drew took off for Half Moon Bay to do some recording before heading back to SoCal. He and Shannon are considering moving to the Placerville area.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Family Dinner

Morgan, Lee, Drew and Jack
With Drew and Jack still staying with us, we invited Morgan and Lee for dinner. Drew said that he thought that it was the first time that the three of them had all been together in this house.

Sharon made a great dinner of cornflake chicken, scalloped potatoes and aspargus. The weather was nice enough that we ate on the back deck.

After dinner, Drew, Jack, Sharon and I took Tiber for a walk looping in through the back gate in the dark. While I did the dishes, Sharon, Jack and Drew played Unstable Unicorns.

Sharon, Morgan, Lee, me, Draw and Jack