Thursday, July 30, 2020


Greyhound poster.jpegSaturday night, Sharon and I watched Greyhound.  The film has been advertised heavily on the AppleTV; a trailer for the movie has been running at the top of the home page.

Greyhound is a 2020 American war film directed by Aaron Schneider.  It stars and was written by Tom Hanks.  The film is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester.  It also stars Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue. 

The plot follows a US Navy Commander on his first war-time assignment in command of a multi-national escort group defending a merchant ship convoy under attack by submarines in early-1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic.  The plot focuses on the multiple day transit of the "Black Pit."  This is the Mid-Atlantic gap where they are out of range of protective air cover.

Greyhound was initially scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 12, 2020 by Sony Pictures, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution rights were then sold to Apple TV+, which released the film digitally on July 10, 2020.

I enjoyed the movie a lot.  I recommend it.  Like 1917, It would have been a nice movie to have seen in the theater with a large screen and a dolby sound system.  With a running of length of only 91 minutes, it is short.

Footnote: The only remaining Fletcher-class destroyer still in her World War II configuration is now a museum ship berthed on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The USS Kidd is a National Historic Landmark.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Brittany Runs A Marathon

Last Friday night, Sharon and I watched Brittany Runs A Marathon.  We discovered the movie while we were surfing through Amazon Prime on the AppleTV.

The film is a 2019 American comedy film written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo in his directorial debut. It stars Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, and Micah Stock.

Brittany Runs A Marathon follows an overweight woman in New York City who sets out to lose weight and train for the city's annual marathon. The story of Brittany was inspired by Colaizzo's roommate, Brittany O'Neill, who appears in photos before the end credits.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 28, 2019 and was released on August 23, 2019, by Amazon Studios. Principal photography began in October 2017 in New York City. The climactic scene was filmed during the 2017 New York City Marathon with three filming crews working simultaneously to cover race.

Last week, Sharon and I started watching Ozark again; we watched the first three episodes of season one last year, but got sidetracked. After watching Ozark, I needed something light and life affirming.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Facetime with Drew and Shannon

Sharon and I finished the day connecting with Drew and Shannon via Facetime.  We spent some time planning the upcoming vacation at Sea Ranch.  I am really looking forward to the trip.

More than twenty years ago in the summer of 1999, Sharon and I took Drew, Morgan and Jack to Sea Ranch.  Jack was less than a year old.  [Note to self], I need to find some pictures from that trip.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Survivor: Redemption Island (Season 22)

Last week, Sharon and I finished watching Survivor: Redemption Island. It is the twenty-second season of Survivor.

It premiered on February 16, 2011. Filming took place from August to September 2010. The season was filmed near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The show featured returning players Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano and 16 new players to Survivor.

Mariano was named the winner in the final episode on May 15, 2011, defeating Phillip Sheppard and Natalie Tenerelli in an 8–1–0 vote. In addition, Mariano won $100,000 as the "Sprint Player of the Season."

After seeing Boston Rob and Amber on the current season of Survivor (Winners at War), we watched them in season seven of the Amazing Race and season eight of Survivor [Amber won]. After watching these other seasons, I wanted to see Boston Rob win. I am pretty sure that I watched this season when it first aired; I remember Phillip...

Boston Rob also appeared in season four (Marquesas) and season twenty (Heroes vs. Villains) of survivor. Amber first appeared in season two (The Australian Outback) of survivor. They also appeared together on season eleven (All-Stars) of the Amazing Race. At some point, we will probably get around to watching these seasons.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

More than 10,000 steps a day for a year

Over the last year, I have taken more than 10,000 steps a day every day. Based on the Withings app, I have more than 7 million steps in the last year and have averaged about 19,300 steps a day.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Refreshing the Exercise Room

After a trip to home depot on Friday night, we spent a long day prepping and painting the exercise room.  We are completely refreshing the room.  In a addition to a new paint scheme, we are taking out the old bookcases and entertainment center, rotating the orientation of the room and installing a new entertainment center.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Majka Pizzeria and Bakery

After spending the afternoon visiting with her brother, Sharon picked up a curbside takeout pizza from Majka Pizzeria and Bakery.  It was sweet corn, zucchini, mozz, feta, evoo and cilantro+lime. The pizza was very good.  We found out about the restaurant from one of our neighbors.

After a trip to home depot to pick up painting supplies, we finished the day watching Brittany Runs a Marathon.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Last Dance

After finishing the first season of Saturday Night Live, I started watching The Last Dance while running on the treadmill.  The ten part series highlights the career of Michael Jordan with particular focus on his last season with the Chicago Bulls.  The documentary uses never-before aired footage from the 1997/98 Bulls season.

The episodes include: 
  • Episode I - Flashbacks chronicle Michael Jordan's college and early NBA days [drafted in 1984]. The Bulls make a preseason trip to Paris amid tension with GM Jerry Krause.
  • Episode II - Scottie Pippen [drafted in 1987] rises to become one of the NBA's best players. An injury early in Jordan's career shows distrust with Bulls management. Jordan broke his foot at the beginning of the 1985/86 season.
  • Episode III - Dennis Rodman's attitude and energy help the team win, but bring the drama off the court.  Rodman played for the Bulls 1995/96, 1996/97 and 1997/98 championship teams.  The Bulls struggle to overcome the Pistons in the late '80s.  The Bulls lost to the "Bad Boys" Pistons in the 1988/89 and 1989/90 Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Episode IV - Phil Jackson's unique philosophy and demeanor take the Bulls to the next level.  Jackson starting coaching the Bulls in the 1989/90 season.  The team finally gets past Detroit and earns a shot at an NBA title, which is a dream matchup against Magic Johnson, Rookie Vlade Divac and the Lakers.
  • Episode V - From Air Jordan and Be Like Mike to the 1992 NBA Finals and the Olympic dream team, Michael becomes a global cultural icon unlike any other.  Toni Kukoč plays for Croatia against the Dream Team.  Bulls beat the Trailbazers in the finals [Clyde Drexler, Ainge].
  • Episode VI - A revealing book--Jordan Rules--and scrutiny of his gambling put a dent in Michael's reputation, but he remains focused on winning a third straight title in 1993. Bulls beat Phoenix Suns [Barkley, Ainge, Kevin Johnson].
  • Episode VII - Crushed by the death of his father, a mentally exhausted Michael retires in 1993 – to play baseball. The Bulls move on with Scottie in the lead role.
  • Episode VIII - Michael's return energizes the Bulls, the city and the NBA, but a playoff loss in the second round to the Orlando Magic [Shaq, Hardaway, Horace Grant] in 1995 fuels him to work harder than ever to get back on top; this is rewarded with their fourth NBA championship over Seattle [Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp] in 1996, after a record-breaking 72-win season.
  • Episode IX - The Bulls face stiff challenges to their reign in 1997 against Utah and in 1998 versus Indiana. The Bulls beat Utah [Karl Malone, John Stockton] to five their fifth championship.  Role player Steve Kerr makes his mark on the dynasty.
  • Episode X - Battered and exhausted, the Bulls conclude their "Last Dance" with a sixth championship over the Jazz [Marlone, Stockton]. Michael, Phil, and others reflect on the end of their dynasty.
This documentary is very good.  I recommend it.  Recent interviews with the key people, including Jordan, make the film particularly powerful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wildwood Kitchen & Bar

Sharon and I had dinner on the patio at Wildwood Kitchen & Bar.  We split an order of hummus.  For entrees, Sharon had the happy hour fish tacos, while I had a seared ahi tuna sandwich [roasted poblano pepper, pickled jalapeño and onion, napa cabbage, toasted garlic bun, fries].

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Ancil Hoffman

Sharon played golf at Ancil Hoffman with Marlene late in the day.  We haven't seen Marlene and Phil since my birthday.

They finished playing 18, but it was getting very dark at the end.  While Sharon had four pars when we played last Friday, she said that she didn't play very well.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched The Spy Who Dumped Me on Amazon Prime on the AppleTV. Surfing through Amazon Prime the previous weekend, it was one of a couple of movie trailers we watched.

The Spy Who Dumped Me is a 2018 black comedy/spy thriller film directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written by Fogel and David Iserson. The film stars Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj and Gillian Anderson.

It follows two best friends who are chased by assassins through Europe after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA agent. I enjoyed the scenery; the movie includes several cities that I hope that we will be able to visit someday, including Vienna, Budapest and Berlin...

The film was released in the United States on August 3, 2018, by Lionsgate and grossed more than $75 million. It received mixed reviews from critics who questioned the film's intended genre and tone, but praised the performances.

The movie was mildly entertaining. I enjoyed it, but with so much streaming content available today, I don't recommend going out of your way to watch it.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Drew, Jack and I played two games of Catan late Sunday afternoon. We played one game of Seafarers. While I was able to get logged into my account this time, I came in last in both games...

Saturday, July 18, 2020

44 Plus Years of Cassette Tapes

We are cleaning out and reorganizing the exercise room.  Amongst the stuff was a box of cassette tapes that I have been dragging around for decades. The oldest of these were recorded in the fall of 1976 during the first quarter of my sophomore year in college. 

Through the 1980s and 1990s, I ran with a Sony Walkman and this collection of music.  I am going to add a few of these albums and songs back into to my running playlist. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Ancil Hoffman plus Matteo's

Sharon and I played golf with our neighbors Jim and Debi at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course.  We were originally going to play with Holly and Van, but Holly's back was acting up.

With a 8:44 am tee time, it took us about four hours and twenty minutes to play 18.  I struggled on two fronts.  My chipping digressed; I repeatedly skulled the ball across the green.  As I was starting to get into a groove, my left elbow starting acting up.  I had an MRI on my left elbow about two years ago.  I struggled on the back nine.

I ended up with a 118.  I feel like I should be able to do ten or fifteen strokes better...

After golf the four of us had lunch on the patio at Matteo's.  Sharon had a burger, while I had a shrimp and mango salad.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

2020 BMW 530i

Six years ago, we decided to lease a car for the first time. We passed Sharon's old car down to Jack.  Three years ago, we leased a second BMW for Sharon.  It was a very smooth transaction.

Last month, after toying with the idea of buying the car at the end of lease, Sharon turned that second car in and leased a new BMW for the third time!

2020 BMW 530i

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Facetime with the Wallens

Texting with Wallen over the last few days, he and Jill called on Facetime in the evening. We spend some time catching up. I really hope that Sharon and I can visit them in the first half of next year at the home they are building in Mexico!

Today was their 41st Wedding Anniversary. I was at their wedding in Redding in July of 1979. Additionally, Sharon and I attended their 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The King of Staten Island

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched the King of Staten Island on the AppleTV. Originally intended to be theatrically released, the film was released via video on demand on June 12.

The King of Staten Island is comedy-drama film directed by Judd Apatow. The screenplay was written by Apatow, Pete Davidson, and Dave Sirus. It stars Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow, and Steve Buscemi.

It follows a young man who must get his life together after his mom starts dating a new man who, like his deceased father, is a firefighter. The film has been called a "semi-biographical" take on the life of Davidson, who lost his firefighter father during the September 11 attacks and has had his own battles with depression.

When it ended, Sharon said "that exceeded my expectations." I was impressed with Davidson's performance. I recommend the film.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Catan Fail

Planning to play Catan with Drew and Jack on Sunday night, I spent almost an hour trying to get logged on to my account. After trying to reset the password and reload the software several times, I got very frustrated and gave up. Sharon ended up setting a new account on her laptop. Using "Tiber the Dog," I ended up playing one game with them. I was very distracted and made a mess of my gameplay...

One footnote to this struggle is that I really need to upgrade all of my personal Apple equipment. I have a Mac desktop, an AirBook and an iPad that are all 9 to 11 years old. They are all serviceable devices that I use everyday; they have been great devices. They just don't have enough horsepower.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Canon Curbside

We are slipping back into a shelter in place mode. After deciding over the long holiday weekend that I was going to starting work from home again, we restarted our recent traditional of getting curbside takeout on Saturday night.

We got curbside takeout from Canon. This has been one of Sharon's favorite restaurants over the last couple of years. Sharon and I split Summer Peaches [Buttermilk, Candied Pecans, Charred Endive, Spicy Honey], Roasted Summer Squash [Black Bean Stuffed Squash Blossom, Zucchini, Romesco, Relish, Chile Oil] and Half Roasted Duck [Blueberry Urfa Sauce, Sprouted Wild Rice, Charred Spring Onion, Sweet Corn]. The food was very good.

We finished the day watching The King of Staten Island.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Song for 2019

In late 1998, I bought a Diamond Media Rio MP3 player.   I downloaded a number of songs from the Internet and primarily used the Rio while I was running.

One of the songs that I downloaded was Old Dun Cow by Seamus Kennedy.  I realized last year that the MP3 had survived twenty years.  The song had made it's way from my IBM Thinkpad at the time through a series of PCs to iTunes and was on my iPhone.  It is featured on my current running playlist.

The song for 2019 is Old Dun Cow.

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

What is this?

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Hamilton (2020 Film)

Hamilton Disney+ poster 2020.jpgOn Saturday night, July 4th, Sharon and I watched Hamilton on Disney+. We saw the play on Broadway in 2018. The play was inspired by the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow; I read the book in 2017.

Hamilton was directed and produced by Thomas Kail and produced, written, and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda also stars as first Treasury Secretary and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The film is edited together from three performances of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in June 2016 with the original principal Broadway cast members.

Hamilton was originally planned for theatrical release on October 15, 2021. However, in response to the pandemic, it was moved up and released digitally worldwide on Disney+ on July 3, 2020.

Divided in two acts, the musical depicts the life and career of Alexander Hamilton, an orphaned immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis. The first act covers Hamilton's arrival in New York City in 1776, his work as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the American Revolution, and how he met and married Eliza Schuyler. The second act covers Hamilton's postwar work as the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States and his death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

I really enjoyed the film.  I highly recommend it.  I rarely see a film and think that I want to watch it again; I am going to watch Hamilton again (Sea Ranch?).

When we saw the performance on Broadway, Jack talked about how the actor playing Thomas Jefferson was very different than the performer in the original cast.  At the time, I said that I was disappointed in the casting of Jefferson.  I found the original cast member (Daveed Diggs) in the film very good.

I was thinking that the film could win several Oscars.  Unfortunately, by rule, filmed versions of theatrical performances are not eligible for the Oscars...

By Source, Fair use, Link

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Back to Work from Home

Over the last five weeks, I have been going into the office at least four days a week.  Following the data, including our own internal command center reports, I decided over the long holiday weekend that I was going to start working from home again.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Kayaking at Stumpy Meadows

For Father's Day, Sharon bought me a double inflatable kayak.  In early July, I dragged both of our hard shell kayaks out of the storage shed.  We sold them both in less than 18 hours.  I am going to use the funds to buy one or two inflatable single kayaks to go with the double.

Monday morning, Sharon and I headed up to the Larkins.  From there, we drove to Stumpy Meadows.  The Larkins have two Advanced Element single inflatable kayaks.  The four of us ended up kayaking for two hours from the boat ramp to the old Pilot Creek Bridge at the end of the lake and back.  I enjoyed the kayaking and the Larkins' company.

I am very pleased with the new kayak.  It is so much easier to load, unload and store than the 13' double gunboat that we sold.

The four of us finished the day with a late leisurely lunch on the patio at the Georgetown Hotel and Saloon.  Everyone had a burger.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Ancil Hoffman Neighborhood Golf Tournament

Sunday sfternoon, Sharon and I played in a small adhoc golf tournament with our neighbors.  Jill organized the group.  We played with Jim and Debi.

I didn't embarrass myself.  I was extremely happy with how I played.  In spite of a four putt on the third hole, I carded a 52 on the front nine.

It took us about two hours and twenty minutes for nine holes.  Playing best ball for the couple on each hole, we ended up tying Jim and Debi with a 49.

We finished the day with a social distancing dinner in Mike and Jill backyard.  We visited until almost eleven.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

2020 Fourth of July

It is an odd time. We probably would have spent the day at Tom's house. Sharon has an extended family in Sacramento; it feels like we haven't seen any of them in a long time.

After grocery shopping, cleaning the house and lounging in the pool, Sharon and I finished the day watching Hamilton.  My notes on Hamilton are here.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Ancil Hoffman with the Gainsleys

At Ancil HoffmanSharon and I played golf at Ancil Hoffman with the Gainsleys. We had a 8:36 am tee time.

I really struggled on the front nine. I was too much in my own head. I was standing over the ball for too long and for the life of me I can't keep my head still.  Although I was getting off the tee pretty well, I repeatedly chunked my fairway shots.  I was shocked at how hard and fast the greens were.

I settled down on the back nine. I bogeyed four of the last five holes.  Surprisingly, I played the whole round with one ball!  I ended up scoring a 116.  The 54 on the back nine is just about where I feel I should be able to score. It took us about four and a half hours to play the round.

The four of us had a late lunch on the patio at Matteos. Both Sharon and I had a burger.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Succession - Season Two

Sharon and I finished watching season two of Succession. We finished season one in the middle of June.

Season two originally aired from August 11, 2019 to October 13, 2019.  The series has been renewed for a third season.

The show centers on the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of Waystar Royco, a global media and hospitality empire.  Season two focuses on the family patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), fighting to maintain control of the company in the face of a hostile takeover bid.

I originally said that I was lukewarm on the show. It has grown on me over the course of twenty episodes. I have ungraded my rating to a strong "B." With the world more than a little in disarray, it will be interesting to see when season three airs...

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

My book for July was Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World by Chris Wallace. I saw Chris Wallace talk about the book on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Although not specifically a presidential biography, It fits into my long term project to read books about all of the presidents.

The book focuses on the timeframe from when Franklin Roosevelt died to when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The book weaves together four different storylines: Harry Truman becoming president; the pilots who flew the missions to drop the bombs; the scientists building the bombs; and, a Japanese girl living in Hiroshima.

Drinking with Sam Rayburn in his hideaway in the House when he gets the call to hurry back to the White House, Truman is a central character. The story follows Truman as he learns about the bomb and agonizes about using it. There is a section about the Potsdam Conference when he shares with Stalin and Churchill the existence of the bomb.

This is a compeling story. I recommend the book.