Monday, August 31, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Bolton has a long career of public service. Bolton served as a United States Assistant Attorney General for President Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1989. He served in the State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1989 to 1993 and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs from 2001 to 2005. Bolton was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006, as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush.
Bolton served as the National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019. This book explores his time in the Trump White House. I would describe it as "Inside Baseball." The book details the day to day mechanics of serving as the National Security Advisor.
Bolton spent a lot of time as National Security Advisor trying to apply some structure and process to the national security policies. Trump's lack of consistency, steadfastness, and resolve undercut Bolton's efforts.
I have noted before that Trump is very thin-skinned and that he plays fast and loose with the truth. It is also clear that Trump is very dogmatic about a number of his core beliefs...
This book highlights a fourth problem: Trump’s erratic behavior. Bolton notes that it is difficult to pursue complex policies in a contentious world when the policy is subject to instant modification based on the boss’s perception of inaccurate and often-already-outdated information.
There are parts of this book that I enjoyed. I found the day to day details of trying to implement national secuirty and foreign policies interesting. Nevertheless, I don't recommend the book. At almost 500 pages, it is a slog.
- Trump wanted to do what he wanted to do, based on what he knew and what he saw as his own best personal interests. - page 445
- I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations. - page 485
Thursday, August 27, 2020
I babysat Lee while Morgan did a Zoom class.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
The first season includes seven episodes. It initially aired almost ten years ago from September 26, 2010 to November 7, 2010.
The show explores the lives of the fictional Crawley family, the hereditary Earls of Grantham, and their domestic servants. The storyline centres on the fee tail or "entail" governing the titled elite which endows title and estate exclusively to male heirs. The timeline for season one stretches from the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April 1912 to the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914.
Downton Abbey received eleven nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. It won six, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special for Brian Percival, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special for Julian Fellowes, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Dame Maggie Smith.
Season one is very good. I enjoyed it and recommend it.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Eating dinner, we watched the last episode of season one of Downton Abby.
Friday, August 21, 2020
We head up hiking 5.7 miles in just over two and a half hours. I particularly enjoyed the San Andreas Fault Interpretive Trail.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps
This site is located on the Spring Meadow Trail at 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' 00.1" N 123° 28' 38.3" W.
Uphill to the Northeast lies what was the site of a U.S. Army Air Force's aircraft control and warning station. It covered 12.5 acres and had facilities for 150 men, 35 dogs and a vehicle mounted 75 MM gun used to patrol coastal beaches. The radar building stood on the hillside above. Less than 20 years after the base's closure, the Sea Ranch airport below was built for more peaceful purposes.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
The plan for the day was another trip to the beach. After a breakfast, Sharon and I hiked north along the bluffs. The kids were going to drive and park. We were all going to meet at the Walk On Beach. Sharon and I covered just over 4.5 miles in just under an hour and a half.
With some confusion about who was where, we ended up meeting the kids at a small beach just north of the Walk On Beach. After hanging out at the beach, we walked back to the cars and headed home.
We had a late lunch followed by the slowest afternoon of the week. While Morgan was working on a project for school, we hung out with Lee. It was very nice opportunity to interact with him.
Drew, Jack and I played a fog island version of Catan. For the first time in probably almost a dozen games against Jack and Drew, I won!
Everyone spent time in the hot tub. At some point, I sat on the bluff with Drew while he played trivia via Zoom with Kyle et al.
For dinner, Sharon and I drove into Gualala and got curbside take out from the Vue Kitchen. Sharon and I had a very nice dinner there when we were at Sea Ranch in January. I had Braised Short Ribs [Burgundy braised beef short ribs, garlic mash, bacon and seasonal vegetables], while Sharon had Tipsy Sardinian [fish, prawns served in spicy vodka sauce with sun dried tomatoes and saffron cream linguini].
We finished the night playing Unstable Unicorns. Shannon won the first game. I won the second game!
Almost every night we were at Sea Ranch, we didn't get to bed until 11:30 pm or later...
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Drew, Sharon and I started the day walking north along the bluffs. When they turned back, I started running. My goal was a historical marker that I had seen on a map. I crossed Highway 1 and climbed a hill near the equestrian center. Once I got to the historical marker, I decided to go a little farther to add some mileage. I ended up climbing Hugal's Ravine. Sharon and I hiked this area with the Sanborns. In total, I covered just over five miles. It was the first time that I have ever run on the east side of Highway 1.
The plan for the day was multi-faceted and complicated. Sharon planned a surprise birthday and graduation party for Jack. While Sharon and Shannon went to Point Arena to pick up a cake for the party, I took Jack and Drew to the driving range. The three of us hit a number of buckets of ball and then putted and chipped. I was very happy with how I hit the ball.
With everyone back at the house, I went into Gualala and picked up lunch from the Seafood Shack. I had a Tuna melt, while Sharon had fish and chips. We discovered this restaurant in January. I am glad to see that it is still in business.
After lunch, Sharon, Jack, Drew and I loaded up the kayaks and headed to the Gualala River. Once we got there, Sharon said that she had a w0rk emergency and headed back to the house to decorate for the party.
Drew, Jack and I took the kayaks up the Gualala River. We had to portage across three shallow areas. We had a great time. Jack ended up climbing up a tree in the river and jumping in the water just as we were turning around.
In a twist of fate, Drew poked a hole in the bottom of his kayak on a submerged tree. He was able to make it back to the car with just the air in the sides of the kayak. Jack noted that if we were taking bets that I would have probably bet that he would have been the one to poke a hole in the kayak!
I really enjoyed the afternoon kayaking with the two of them.
Afterwards, the three of us stopped at the Surf Market to buy steaks for dinner. When we got back to the house, Jack was initially miffed at the decorations. He settled down fairly quickly and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
After presents, I barbecued the steaks. We had a nice dinner of steaks, baked potatoes and salad. Unfortunately, I cooked the steaks a little much for Sharon's taste...
We finished the night watching the first half of Hamilton on Disney+. Drew and Morgan had never seen it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
I took an early morning run south along the bluffs. I ended up going all the way to a coastal access parking lot just north of the lodge. The lodge was closed when we were here in January and is still closed. On my back, I took the Sea Meadow trail and then went a mile beyond the house. In total, I ran just under six miles in an hour and fifteen miles.
We had a little bit of a lazy morning. As a nice surprise, sitting on the bluff, we could see whales.
The plan for the day was to take Lee to the beach. We loaded up everyone, except Jack, and headed to Black Point Beach. I ran by this beach during my morning run. We headed up spending about an hour and a half lounging and exploring the beach. Lee had a great time playing in the sand and trying to eat sea weed.
After a late lunch, Sharon and I took the bikes out. We rode north. We turned around after exploring Pelican Reach. We stayed at house on this street. In total, we covered more than eleven miles. Next week, I am going to pull together a Google map that shows all of the hiking, running and biking that we did on this trip.
We spent some time in the late afternoon enjoying the hot tub. Eventually, I wandered into town to the Surf Market and bought locally caught salmon for dinner.
Morgan cooked the salmon and pulled together a salad, while Shannon and Drew made risotto. It was very late by the time we ate dinner.
We finished the night playing Unstable Unicorns. I thought that I had won the game, but Sharon "super neighed" me. Jack won in the same round. It was almost midnight by the time we got to bed.
Monday, August 10, 2020
We took off for the golf course about 930 am. It was an odd round. We ended sending Jack, Drew and Shannon in a threesome with Sharon and I following as a twosome. We all got off to a rocky start on the first tee (a par five dogleg left).
The course was in horrible shape. The fairways were dead and hard as a tabletop. I struggled and took a number of mulligans. I had a lot of trouble reading the greens.
We caught up with the kids at the 8th tee and played with them on the last two holes. I hit a beautiful eight iron over the gulley to the back of the 8th green, but three putted...
I ended up shooting a very liberally scored 54. We will probably play again on Thursday.
Afterwards, we headed into Gualala and got takeout from Trinks. We took the food back to the house and had a late lunch on the back deck.
Everyone spent some time in the jacuzzi in the afternoon. There are a number of odd things about how this house is situated on the bluff, including where they put the jacuzzi. More on the house in a future post.
Working with Nooter, I scheduled a 6 pm Zoom cocktail hour with the Davis Mafia. The group included Nooter and Barb, Chabrier and Karen, Tomasin and Julie and Wallen and Jill. Drew, Jack, Sharon, Morgan and Lee made guest appearances on my end.
We had a late dinner. Shannon and Drew made a great pork shoulder Mexican meal.
With the kids playing guitars in the living room, I crashed hard a little after 11 pm.
Sunday, August 09, 2020
I started the day with a five mile run north from the house. As I have often said, Sea Ranch is probably my favorite place in the world to run. I came upon one historical marker that I hadn't seen before... I was surprised how few people there were on the trail.
The plan for the day was a hike to the Gualala River. It took a while to get everyone moving; with the larger group, I expect this is going to be a challenge all week.
With Shannon deciding to hang back, Drew, Jack, Sharon and I hiked from Pacific Ocean to the Gualala River. We stopped for lunch near the river and then explored the San Andreas Fault Interpretive Trail. We ended up hiking about 5.7 miles through a variety of terrain. A map is here.
When we got back to the house, the Tomasins were there. Tomasin had called me earlier in the day and asked about stopping by. We had a nice socially distanced visit and a couple of beers. Tomasin is closing down this medical practice and retiring at the end of August!
While the Tomasins were still here, Morgan and Lee showed up. I am looking forward to spending a some time with the two of them.
Sharon, Jack and Drew made a run into town to get the ingredients for dinner. Jack made vegetable quesadillas.
We finished the day playing Unstable Unicorns. Drew won.
Saturday, August 08, 2020
We spent a couple of hours getting packed up and loading the cars. We have an amazing array of stuff, including three inflatable kayaks, five sets of golf clubs and three bikes. Thankfully, both Drew and I have SUVs.
We rolled from the house about 9:40 am. Waze routed us through a part of Petaluma that we haven't been through before and on to Highway 101 north before turning west to Bodega Bay.
Sharon made a 12:30 pm reservation for a wine tasting at the Sonoma Coast Vineyard. Afterwards, we stopped at Tides Wharf Fish Market for some smoked salmon.
We hit Gulala about 3:30 pm. After doing some shopping for a few more things, we picked up the key and headed to the rental. We are spending the week at Sculpture Point. I will post some observations about the house in a future post.
After getting settled into the house, Sharon, Drew and I did a couple of mile walk along the bluffs south of the rental. The weather was beautiful.
Sharon brought a lasagna that she made earlier in the week for dinner. It was a nice dinner of pasta, bread and salad.
Jack, Drew and I finished the night playing an extended game of Catan. Drew won.
Friday, August 07, 2020
Drew and Shannon rolled in about 930 pm from Southern California. We are very excited to see them!
With Jack back on Thursday, the five of us are taking off on Saturday morning to spend the week at Sea Ranch. Morgan and Lee are planning to join us on Sunday. Morgan suggested a family vacation after we saw her in March.
Sharon and I haven't been to Sea Ranch in the summer in more than twenty years. In 1999, we took Jack, Drew and Morgan to Sea Ranch.