Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mas Taco plus First Trump Biden Presidental Debate

Sharon picked up curbside takeout from Mas Taco. We both had the Taco Tuesday special; I had lamb, while Sharon had carintas.

Eating dinner, we watched the first Trump Biden Presidental Debate. It was a shitshow. I am not sure how to process what I saw or what impact I think that the debate will have on the election.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Glass Fire

Almost two years ago, the company that I work for essentially lost a hospital in the Camp Fire. When I got back from Sea Ranch in August, I worked several long days supporting the evacuation of the St. Helena Hospital in the Napa Valley due to the LNU Lightning Complex Fire. The fire didn't reach the hospital and we ended up repopulating the hospital after about 10 days.

I am very familar with this site. I worked there for almost two years in 2015 and 2016.

Early Sunday morning, I got called by our IT incident commander. The Glass Fire was threatening the St. Helena Hospital again. The hospital ended up being evacuated. The site lost power Sunday afternoon. I ended up spending Sunday and Monday focused on restoring a number of IT services that were housed there.

The fire ended up reaching the site and burning the surrounding area. While it appears that the hospital has been saved, the extent of the damage to the campus is still largely unknown.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Downton Abbey - Season Three

Saturday night, Sharon and I finished watching season three of Downton Abbey. We finished season one in August and season two earlier in September.

The third season comprises nine episodes. It originally aired from September 16, 2012 to November 4, 2012 with a December 25, 2012 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 three runs from March of 1920 to November of 1921. Historical events include the Irish War of Independence leading to the formation of the Irish Free State.

While I enjoyed and recommend season three, the pace of killing off key characters reminds me of Games of Thrones. Sharon said that several key characters had only signed for three seasons. The series dealt with their departure by killing them off...

Saturday, September 26, 2020

New Neighbors

Last July after an extended struggle, one of our neighbors was evicted. The bank allowed him to come back in early August and collect his belongings.

It is an interesting backstory. Cook was a major Sacramento developer and part owner of the Kings and the Capitals (World Team Tennis).

The house has sat empty for more than a year. This summer, the bank actually tried to sell it on an auction web site, but it didn't reach the minimum reserve pice.

The house finally sold. It closed on Friday. It has been purchased by a couple (Brad and Heidi) that know several other families in the neighborhood.

The house sits at the end of our very small cul-de-sac. It needs a lot of work. The new owners are planning to replace the roof, redo the brick work in the front and eventually paint it.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Tom plus Allora

Obviously, it has been an odd six plus months. Sharon has a fairly large extended family in Sacramento. Over the course of a normal year, we would typically do a number of holidays and other events with her family. Although Sharon has had a few interactions with Tom, we haven't done anything with the group since last Christmas and I haven't seen Tom for months.

Friday night, I picked up curbside take-out from Allora. I met Sharon at Tom's house. The three of us had a nice dinner in the backyard and caught up.


We got two bottles of wine with the meal: Vie di Romans “Vie di Romans”, Friuli Isonzo DOC 2017 - 100% Chardonnay [Fresh yellow pair, golden apple and lemon peel, no oak, but creamy on the palate] and 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].

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Lovers by Philip José Farmer

My book for September was The Lovers by Philip José Farmer. Googling for something shorter and lighter to read after slogging through The Room Where It Happened, I stumbled across this book.

Published in 1953, The story won Philip José Farmer his first Hugo Award for the Most Promising New Talent. He went on to win two more Hugo Awards: the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Novella for Riders of the Purple Wage and the 1972 Hugo Award for Best Novel for To Your Scattered Bodies Go.

Set in the 31st Century, the plot includes a society based on religious tyranny, an expedition from Earth to a distant plant and a relationship between the main character and an alien. The alien race on the distant plant evolved from insects rather than mammals.

Written almost seventy years ago, the story is more of a historical curiosity. I read science fiction for forward looking technology ideas; this is not the strength of this book...

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Logging Techniques

While we were at Sea Ranch in August, Drew, Jack, Sharon and I hiked from the rental over the ridge to the Gualala River. A map of the hike is here.  This is one of two historical markers that we came upon.

Logging Techniques
Marker 25A-23

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

This marker is located at the end of River Beach Road, 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° 42' 23.0" N 123° 25' 28.2" W.

Logging Techniques

The Gualala River and its tributaries transported logs down to the river's mouth where the Gualala Mill was located. Logging trains followed the river's course and ran up the ravines to the tributaries, collecting logs and transporting them back down to the mill. A hike along the San Andreas Fault Interpretive Trail reveals a logging road, skid trails and large stumps featuring notches cut for the springboards of lumber jacks.

Logging Techniques

Monday, September 21, 2020


Jack, Drew and I played a couple of games of Catan on Sunday afternoon. Although I thought I had a chance to win the second game, Drew won. He won both games.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Morgan and Lee for dinner

We ended Saturday 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 [Small Burrito, Grilled chicken, Red Sauce Enchilada, Grilled chicken, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice]. We got sides of Refried Beans and Guacamole for Lee. I added one 🍸😍👌 House Margarita.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Davis Ranch

Saturday morning, Sharon and I made a pilgrimage to Davis Ranch to get fall decorations. We have gone there for a car load of stuff 15 of the last 17 years [2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019]. We didn't go to Davis Ranch in 2016 when the fall dinner party was held at Sea Ranch or in 2017 due to our fall trip to New England. One of my favorite pictures from those trips is here.
Davis Ranch 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020

Richard Tillson

Richard W. "Dick" Tillson Sr. MSW passed away on August 26th, 2020 due to Covid-19. He was 85. His wife and partner of 56 years, Susan Meier Tillson, was by his side at the hospital. He is also survived by his sister Myra Phillips, and his children Karen Tillson, Keith (Valerie) Gmeinder, and Donna (Kevin) Gainsley, along with 3 grandchildren Allison, Amanda, and Eric, and 1 great-grandchild Lucy, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother Eva, Leonard, and Lenny Hahn, and his son Richard Tillson Jr. Richard was born in Chicago, IL and attended school in Dayton and Wilberforce, Ohio earning a BA at Central State University, and an MA at Indiana University. He was also a Harvard Law Fellow in 1969-1970. He was a life-long advocate for at-risk youth and had a long and distinguished career with the California Youth Authority (CYA). After his retirement from the CYA as the Deputy Director for Institutions and Camps in 1997, he continued to consult with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency bringing his considerable experience and expertise to that organization. Richard was a great orator. In both his professional and personal life, he was the master of ceremonies for numerous events and he served on many community boards and committees. He loved to socialize with family and friends, and enjoyed traveling to many places worldwide. The family will hold a private service, with a celebration of life planned for the future. Remembrances can be made to the charity of your choice in Richard's name.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Knipp-Stengel Era

I went looking for this historical marker during one of my runs when we were in Sea Ranch in August.

Knipp-Stengel Era
Marker 40-20

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

This marker is located on the Longmeadow Trail near market #253, 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° 42' 57.7 N 123° 27' 10.9" W.

Knipp-Stengel Era

Uphill, just North of the Eucalyptus Grove, is where the first Europeans built their houses. Adam Knipp and Christian Stengel replaced these cabins with a one-and-a-half story white house in the 1870s. Knipp and Stengel operating a successful cattle ranch, and then a dairy

Knipp-Stengel Era

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Downton Abbey - Season Two

Last week, Sharon and I finished watching season two of Downton Abbey. We finished season one in August.

The second season comprises nine episodes. It originally aired from September 18, 2011 to November 6, 2011 with a December 25, 2011 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 two runs from the Battle of the Somme in 1916 to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. During the war, Downton Abbey is temporarily converted into an officers' convalescent hospital.

With the cornavirus pandemic underway, it was poignant to see the impact of the Spanish flu. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, the Spanish flu infected 500 million people. The death toll is typically estimated to have been somewhere between 17 million and 50 million.

Season two is very good. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

Monday, September 14, 2020


Saturday night August 29, Sharon, Morgan and I watched Downhill. Sharon and I had seen the movie highlighted on AppleTV over the last couple of months.

Downhill is a 2020 American black comedy drama film directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. The film is a remake of Force Majeure (2014) by Swedish director Ruben Östlund. It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell as a married couple going through a rough patch after a near-death encounter during a family ski outing.

Downhill had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2020. It was theatrically released on February 14, 2020. The film received mixed reviews from critics.

This is a very uneven film. There are a couple of good parts, but it moves in fits and starts. Talking to Morgan and Sharon in the last week, they both enjoyed it more than I did. I don't recommend it.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Zoom Call with Nooter

Friday night, I had a Zoom call with Nooter. We ended up talking for almost an hour. We caught up on our families and friends, talked a little politics and touched base on a developing situation.

Friday, September 11, 2020

To Napa

Sharon and Janie spent the day in Napa. They had lunch at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Deciding to cancel one tasting due to the smoke and the haze, they stopped at Bouchaine to pick up a wine club shipment and ended up doing a tasting there.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Binker Barns

Binker Barns
Marker 18-33

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

This marker is located near 37220 Albatross Reach, 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° 42' 42.3" N 123° 27' 10.7" W.

Binker Barns

These barn-like houses were named after early Sea Ranch realtor "Snap" Binker, who conceived the idea of providing lot owners with a stock plan usable for various Sea Ranch sites. With heavy timber framing and plank walls clad with redwood siding, they were built to resemble the ranch buildings along the coast. Each home's central, steeply-gabled volume is supplemented by more intimately-scaled bays and porches that slope outwards to the land. The 17 "Binkers," including the three in this neighborhood, all seem well settled, whether standing in forest of meadow.

Binker Barns

[Note to self], there is a Binker Barn at 35292 Timber Ridge Road officially listed in National Register of Historic places. I need to look for it in October.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Dan Young

I didn't know Dan Young very well. Tomasin and Wallen played rugby with him at UC Davis. I propped against him on a couple of occasions and had a number of opportunities to socialize with him through our mutual friends. He was definitely a member of the Davis Mafia.

Daniel Michael Young passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 9, 2020 in Georgetown, TX.. A time of visitation will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 6-7 pm with a rosary beginning at 7:00 at Ramsey Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 10:00 am at St. Helen Catholic Church in Georgetown.

He was born to Charlie and Ruth (Queenie) Young in San Rafael, California on February 27, 1954. He grew up in his family hometown of Larkspur, California and attended Redwood High School where he lettered in Wrestling, Track and Field, and Football. He went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree from UC Davis in 1976 and received an MBA in Finance from San Francisco State University in 1979. 

Dan (Youngster) was always known for his athletic prowess. He played football as a defensive tackle for UC Davis and transitioned into playing rugby, which became his favorite sport. After college he played rugby as a tight-head prop for Hastings Football Rugby Club in San Francisco. He had fond memories of his overseas rugby tour in 1983 to England, Ireland, and Scotland. Dan was strong and fierce on the pitch, but always a gentleman. His athletic achievements were recognized with his induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame for Marin County High Schools in 2001, as well as, an induction into the Redwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. He was admired and respected by his teammates and opponents alike. 

Dan met Victoria, his beloved wife, while working at Unocal in San Francisco and the two were married in November of 1985. Throughout his marriage to Victoria, he became a beloved member of the Minero family. He went on to have a long career in collection management. The two settled in Georgetown, TX in 1998 with their three children where Dan, a man devoted to his faith, became an active parishioner of St. Helen Catholic Church. He was a loving and dedicated family man, and was the happiest when surrounded by his family. 

He loved the Grateful Dead and Bay Area sports. He was a diehard 49er’s fan and was proud to have seen them play at Kezar Stadium and in Detroit at Super Bowl XVI with his father. 

Dan is preceded in death by his mother Queenie Young (1992), father Charles Young (2013), and sister Dorie Young (2020). 

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Victoria Minero Young; daughter, Elysia Vasquez and husband Jake; sons, Daniel and Dominic Young. 

Dan was admired, loved, and respected by everyone. We are all so blessed to have had him in our lives and he is deeply missed. May he rest in peace in the arms of Our Lord. 

Memorial contributions may be made in Dan's name to St Helen Catholic Church at 2700 E University Ave, Georgetown, Texas 78626

Monday, September 07, 2020

decorating for fall

While I worked to organize the garage and move some stuff back to the storage shed, Sharon started decorating for fall. This is her favorite season.

It is going to be an odd year. Typically, we are very focused for the next month on getting ready for the fall dinner party. It is likely that for the first time in almost twenty years we won't be doing a fall dinner party this year.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Walk The Line

Sunday night, Sharon and I watched Walk The Line as a rental on the AppleTV. We have been talking about this movie ever since we saw the Joker and Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar earlier this year.

Released in November of 2005, the movie is based on two autobiographies authored by singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, 1975's Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words and 1997's Cash: The Autobiography. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as Cash, Reese Witherspoon as Carter, Ginnifer Goodwin as Cash's first wife Vivian Liberto, and Robert Patrick as Cash's father.

The film follows Cash's early life, his romance with June Carter, and his ascent in the country music scene. I didn't know much about Cash's personal life; I didn't realize that he was addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates in the 60's.

The film was nominated for five Oscars at the 78th Academy Awards, including Best Actor (Phoenix), Best Actress (Witherspoon), and Best Costume Design (Arianne Phillips). Witherspoon won Best Actress.

I liked the film more than Sharon did. She thought it was slow in spots. I recommend it.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Scott's Seafood on the River

After spending the loin's share of the day dragging the fall boxes out of the storage shed and cleaning Jack's closet, we headed to Janie's house. We caught up and had an adult beverage and some hors d'oeuvres on Janie's patio.

From there, we headed to a late dinner at Scott's Seafood on the River. We had a nice meal on their back deck overlooking the Sacramento River. Janie and I both had Ahi Two Ways [sesame seared, soy marinated poke, sushi rice, spun cucumber, ponzu glaze, wasabi aioli, tobiko], while Sharon had a black cod special.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Ancil Hoffman with Holly and Van

At Ancil Hoffman
We had a very nice day playing golf with Holly and Van. I really appreciate the fact that Sharon is playing so much golf. It gives us a nice social activity that we can do with other couples.

I had a liberally scored 108. Despite the fact that I struggled on all four of the Par Fives, I was very happy with my game. I was striking the ball very well. My left elbow which has been brothering me again recently was never really an issue once we got going. I played the whole round with one golf ball that I picked up while walking Tiber on Thursday.

The four of us had a late lunch on the patio at Matteos. I had Penne Bolognese [Spicy Pork, Beef Ragu, Mushrooms, Asiago Cheese], while Sharon had a burger.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The Town

Last Friday night while Sharon was at Janie's house for a cabi party, I watched The Town. Cruising through the movie recommendations on the AppleTV, it caught my eye.

The Town is a 2010 American crime thriller film co-written, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. It is adapted from Chuck Hogan's 2004 novel Prince of Thieves.

The movie also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite, and Chris Cooper. The movie follows a group of Boston armored car and bank robbers.

The film was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2010. Renner was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Postlethwaite was posthumously nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

After I watched the movie, I listened to The Ringer's rewatchable podcast about the movie. For eight years following grad school, Bill Simmons lived in Charlestown. The characters in the movie were born, raised and live in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown.

I enjoyed the movie and recommend it. [Note of self], I need to watch The Hurt Locker; I didn't realize that Renner starred in that movie.

Movie Quote:

  • Doug MacRay (Affleck): I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, I wanna hurt some people.
  • James Coughlin (Renner): Who's car are we gunna take?

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

An Interesting Three Plus Weeks

Jack flew in from the east coast on Thursday, August 6.  Drew and Shannon drove up from SoCal on Friday, August 7.  The five of us took off for a week at Sea Ranch on Saturday, August 8.  Morgan and Lee got to Sea Ranch on Sunday afternoon August 9.

After a week at Sea Ranch, Jack flew back to Georgetown on Sunday, August 16. Drew and Shannon started winding their way back to Southern California on Tuesday, August 18. Morgan and Lee showed up here the same day.

With some help from Sharon, Morgan and Lee settled into an apartment in Fair Oaks over the last couple of days.  I am looking forward to being able to see more of both them!