Friday, April 30, 2021

To Carol and Paul's Rehearsal Dinner and back

I rolled from Carmichael just before 4 pm. Hitting some heavy traffic in Yuba City, I got to the Ranchaero Airport in Chico just before 6 pm. The event was Carol and Paul's rehearsal dinner.

I got a nice chance to visit with the Tomasins (John, Julie and Mikey) and the lots of Wallens (John, Jill, Nate et al). I spent some time talking to Jill about staying with them in Todos Santos at the end of the year. Dinner was a mexican buffet.

The event broke up about 8 pm. Not sure of my plans, I never made any hotel reservations for the weekend. I headed back home. Waze routed me through Oroville and Marysville, rather than Yuba City. [Note to self], I need to stop and see if the house that my parents built in the early 1960s is still there. With some drama surrounding my cell phone, I was home just before 10 pm.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Agency by William Gibson

My book for April was Agency by William Gibson. This is a second book is an eventual triology. I read the first book [The Peripheral] more than six years ago!?!

Like the first novel, the story bounces between two different timelines. The distance future is an environmental post-apocalyptic sparely populated world built and maintained by nanotechnology. The other timeline is a near future alternate history where Hillary Clinton bets Donald Trump for the Presidency. A third timeline from the first book plays a minor role. The characters use a vague technology (a server in China) which even they don't seem to understand to telepresence between the three timelines.

One of the main characters in the near future timeline is an artifical intelligence. I have read several interesting books about AIs including Origin by Dan Brown and Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie. Given the recent setbacks in self-driving cars, I am not optimistic that there will be a revolutionary breakthrough in AI in my lifetime...

As a rule, I am not fond of time travel stories. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book; it was an engaging story. I love science fiction that plays with technology in interesting ways. I grade the book an "A-". I can't give a time travel story an "A"... I am looking forward to seeing how Gibson ties of the storylines together into a third book.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Michael Patrick Comstock

Michael Patrick Comstock died unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 31, 2021. He was 72.

Born on July 27, 1948, in Oakland, to Louis Frederick and Melba Jean Comstock, Michael grew up in Lafayette with his younger sister, Mary. He went to Lafayette Elementary for kindergarten, and then Sacred Heart Grammar School in Oakland.

He attended St. Mary's High School in Berkeley, graduating in 1966. He went on to study at UC Davis and played defensive end on the football team. He graduated with an Economics degree in 1970, and later received his MBA from Golden Gate University. Michael was a career accountant, working for Bechtel, Kaiser, Polymer Technology Group, Frank & Grossman, and Exthera MedTech.

While at Davis, Michael first encountered what would become the two loves of his life: Kathleen Teresa Rooney and rugby. The couple dated for their remaining years at Davis, marrying in 1972.

Michael and Kathleen have three amazing sons - Christopher, Brian, and Kevin - two wonderful daughters-in-law Bree and Sarah, and five fantastic grandchildren: Haley, Keegan, Will, Andrew, and Finn. Always a loving parent and grandparent, Michael could always be counted on for words of wisdom or a silly joke.

Michael was asked if he wanted to play rugby during his junior year at Davis, and once he said yes, he began a journey that would profoundly affect his life and the lives of so many others. Over the next fifty plus years, he played for the Contra Costa Cowboys, San Francisco/Golden Gate, the Marin Reds, and any other club that needed a Prop.

Michael's rugby home away from home was the Polo Fields in San Francisco, and he would often arrive hours before kickoff to "tape up," but really to talk with teammates, opponents, and anyone else hanging around. As much as he loved playing the game, he loved the people even more. Whether he'd known you for twenty years or twenty seconds, Michael would be able to socialize and feel at ease, especially in a rugby setting. He formed friendships that lasted a lifetime, touring the world with Kathleen and dear friends on the Bald Eagles and Paclantic.

Because of the way Michael played on the pitch, and the great friend, husband, father and grandfather he was off it, he is and always will be a legend.

A celebration of the incredible life of Michael Patrick Comstock will be held when it is safe for all to gather and toast the man. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in his name to the charity of your choice.

Monday, April 26, 2021

New Clubs plus Driving range at Ancil Hoffman

Over the weekend, Sharon got a new set of golf clubs. She went to Hagen Oaks for a fitting and got a set of Cobra T-Rail Irons and Hybrids. Sharon replaced a set that she got just over seven years ago.

Before dinner, Sharon and I went to the driving range at Ancil Hoffman. We both hit a big bucket of balls. I worked a lot on my chipping. Overall, I was pretty happy with how I was striking the ball. I can't remember the last time that I went to the range and worked on my game! We will probably try to hit the range once more before we go to Sea Ranch for the Mother's Day Weekend.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

93th Academy Awards

Over the last few years, Sharon and I have enjoyed working our way through the Oscar nominated films and then watching the Academy Awards show. Hopefully, we will be able to host an Academy Awards party again some day!

This year, I ended up picking three of five major categories correctly, including Best Picture (Nomadland), Actor in a Supporting Role (Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah) and Actress in a Supporting Role (Yuh-jung Youn, Minari). I incorrectly bet on Chadwick Bosemen for Actor in a Leading Role and Andra Day for Actress in a Leading Role. Frankly, I thought that both Hopkins and Ahmed had stronger performances than Boseman, but I thought that they would award Boseman the trophy posthumously. Given that the shows producers moved the Best Actor category to the end, I think they also thought that Boseman was going to win! I knew the Best Actress category was a toss up, but thought that Day had a very strong performance.

Sharon was very unhappy with Frances McDormand's Best Actress win. When we watched the Nomadland, Sharon was very vocal about not liking the movie. She was apoplectic when McDormand won. As McDormand said during the show, I think that Sharon would have liked the movie more if we had seen it on a big screen.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

More Adventures with Lee

Sharon and I spent the loin's share of the day with Lee. While he was napping in the afternoon, we packed up the Easter decorations. I took a load of storage boxes to the shed. We now have about 4 1/2 months of ordinary time until we started to decorate the house in the fall!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Sound of Metal

Continuing our quest to watch all of the Oscar nominated films, Sharon and I watched The Sound of Metal on Friday night on the AppleTV. The film earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor. The Sound of Metal was namend one of the American Film Institute's top ten movies of 2020.

The film is directed and co-written by Darius Marder. It stars Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer who loses his hearing. The film also features Olivia Cooke and Paul Raci.

Riz Ahmed is nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role Oscar. This is a very good performance. If it wasn't for Boseman's death, I think that Ahmed would have a chance at winning Best Actor. Paul Raci plays a deafened Vietnam veteran and recovering alcoholic who runs a shelter for deaf recovering addicts. He is nominated for an Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar.

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie; it exceeded my expectations. Sharon and I have kind of avoided it thinking that it would be depressing. We have now seen all eight of the movies nominated for best picture.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Sharon and Holly

Sharon and Holly met for dinner at Hawks. They did some planning for our Mother's Day weekend trip to Sea Ranch. They both had BACON CHEESEBURGERS [AGED WHITE CHEDDAR, HOUSE GROUND WAGYU, BRIOCHE BUN, FRENCH FRIES]. Sharon was not pleased with her hamburger...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

April '21 Washington DC Trip Observations

Our recent trip to Washington DC was the first time that we have traveled in over fourteen months. My trip observations include:
  • Everyone in Washington DC wore masks constantly, including walking outside on the street.
  • It seemed like there were fewer cabs. Ubers were more expensive and took a lot longer to arrive.
  • I was dumbfounded by the number of bikes and scooters spread across the city and surrounding countryside!
  • I was shocked at the number of people in the Dulles D Concourse on Monday night when we got off the shuttle bus.
  • While working remotely from DC seemed like a good idea, it was awkward without my full desk setup and dealing with the three hour time difference.
    • When we worked remotely in October, I took my entire home set up with us.
    • I spend a good deal of my day in meetings and touching base with individuals and teams. Unless, I wanted to work until 8 pm, the time difference made this tricky with a narrow window for connecting with people. Standing meetings late in the day Pacific time were a particular struggle. As a result, I don't think that I would try to work remotely on the east coast for any length of time.
  • After drinks on Saturday night, Sophie, her mom and her sister went to dinner at DAS Ethiopia Cuisine. Sharon and I have walked by this restaurant more times than I can count. We really need to eat there in the future!
  • I often end up with a head cold on our longer trips to colder climates. On this trip, I started to feel under the weather on day seven, but by the last day of the trip was feeling stronger. The head cold didn't progress into a chest cold with a lingering cough. I have to figure out how to get out of this pattern.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Work from Home - Day 402 [2021 Washington DC - Day 11]

Getting coffee from Starbucks and having granola for breakfast in the room, Sharon and I spent the morning working remotely. We had originally planned to work from DC last November. I will post a few thoughts on working remotely from the east coast in the next couple of days. At noon, we checked out of the room and left our bags with the front desk.

We walked to meet Jack for lunch. The three of us had lunch at Sette Osteria Dupont Circle. Jack and I had Margherita Classica pizzas [San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil], while Sharon had Veal Piccata [Veal scaloppini, spinach, rosemary roasted potatoes, lemon caper sauce].

After lunch, we walked back to AKA White and picked up our the luggage and the car. Heading to the airport, we had a short adventure looking for a gas station...

Dropping the rental car and catching the shuttle to the terminal, we breezed through luggage check and security. In spite of the fact that we haven't traveled in the last fourteeen months, I have maintained our CLEAR accounts.

Once we took the bus to the terminal, I was shocked at the number of people milling around. We decided fairly quickly to use a couple of United Club passes that Sharon had. We spent a leisurely hour in the United lounge having a glass of wine.

When we booked the trip, we made a decision to travel first class both directions. Boarding at 5:30 pm and taking off a little after 6:00 am, we were on the ground about 8:45 pm in Sacramento. It was an easy, uneventful flight.

Drew picked up us up at the curb. We were home in Carmichael just before 10 pm.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 10

Sharon and I cooked breakfast at the hotel. One of the advantages of the AKA Whitehouse is that it is essentially a small apartment with a kitchen and living room.

After breakfast, Sharon and I took a power walk to the World War II Memorial on the Mall. We walked back around the back of the White House. It is sad how much fencing there is now around the White House.

We headed towards Jack's apartment in the middle of the day. We had some struggles finding a parking spot. Grabbing Jack, we walked to lunch at Sorellina. I had a LYNN [salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, house vinaigrette, sub roll], Jack had Eggs tacos [Scrambled organic eggs, red onion, jalapeño, salsa, queso fresco], and Sharon had Chicken tinga tacos [Shredded organic chicken, queso fresco, red onion, cilantro].

The plan for the afternoon was helping Jack organize his studio apartment. While I tried to take a long nap, Sharon worked on the kitchen and framed a couple of Jack's art posters. The two of them ordered a desk, work chair, bed frame and some screens online. Jack and I put together some storage cubes from Ikea.

From there, we walked to Sophia's house in Georgetown. Sharon wanted to see her new kitten.

Sharon, Jack and I had dinner at Bar Charley. For appetizers, we split crispy brussel sprouts [olive and caper relish, almonds, parmesan] and fried oysters [creole aioli, parsley, lemon]. For entrees, Sharon had a new york strip [12oz pained hills strip, cafe de paris, gilfeather turnips, asparagus], Jack had a charley burger [wagyu beef, cheddar, truffle aioli, caramelized onion, arugula, fries], and I had marinated skirt steak [bok choy and cucumber salad, sesame, peanut]. While not the best meal that we had during the trip, I enjoyed the food and the cocktails.

After dinner, we walked back to where I had parked the car earlier in the day. We dropped Jack at Sophia's place in Georgetown and then headed back to the hotel. We crashed a little after 11 pm.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 9

Just as it was a coincidence that the Nooters had a house on Chincoteague Island while we were on the trip, it was serendipity that Jack's girlfriend's mom and sister were in town for the weekend. We decided that we needed to take advantage of the opportunity and head back on Saturday morning to meet them for drinks in Georgetown Saturday night.

Still feeling under the weather, I was moving slowly on Saturday. Everyone slept fairly late. After a light breakfast, Sharon and I stripped the beds and started some laundry. Nooter's high school friends the Wheats and the Mesas were showing up on Saturday afternoon.

We were on the road back to Washington DC about 9:50 am. With a stop in Cambridge at Taco Bell, it was almost 2 pm before we were back at the AKA Whitehouse. We didn't check out, but kept the room while we were on the island with the Nooters.

After we got back to the hotel, we wandered down the steet to CVS for a couple things. I took a fairly long nap while Sharon got cleaned up.

The kids proposed meeting at the rooftop bar the Graham Hotel. We had been there in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Taking an Uber into Georgetown, we found a line of more than ten people waiting to get into the rooftop. When everyone got there, we decided to punt and head down to the Georgetown Waterfront.

We ended up at Nick's Riverside Grill. The group included Jack, Sophia, Sophia's mom Victoria and her sister Rosie, Sharon and I. We had a very nice visit. Victoria, Sophia and Rosie eventually wandered off for dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant on M Street. Sharon and I had dinner at Nick's. Sharon had a burger, while I had a crabcake sandwich.

Afterwards, Sharon, Jack and I took a cab back to the AKA Whitehouse. Jack and I finished the night watching the Warriors play the Celtics. In a very entertaining game, the Celtics won by the score of 119 to 114. Curry had 47 points, while Tatum had 44 points. It was after 11:30 pm before Jack left and I crawled into bed.

Friday, April 16, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 8 - Chincoteague Island

As I told Nooter earlier in the week, doing some research before the trip, Sharon became obsessed with the Chincoteague Island ponies. During the week, she booked a cruise for the four of us with Daisy's Island Cruises.

Everyone was lazy and moving slow on Friday morning. Sharon and I had talked about taking bikes back to Assateague Island, but didn't get going. After a light breakfast, the four of us walked to a Posiden’s Pantry to get some sandwiches. We packed an ice chest with the sandwiches and beer. After a quick side trip to buy some binoculars, we headed to the dock to meet the boat.

It was fairly windy. They had some challenges getting the boat fueled and everybody loaded. We ended up taking a two plus hour cruise with a nice view of the ponies at several points. There were three different mares with very young foals. The guide on the boat did a very nice job talking about the ponies and the annual events.

The only issue for me was the wind. I started to feel a little under the weather on Thursday; my typical travel head cold. Unfortunately, the wind and the cold took a notch out of me.

Back at the house after the cruise, Nooter took a nap. I went shopping with Sharon and Barb. I found a couple of nice Christmas ornaments to give Sharon.

I ended up taking a nap while Rob and Sharon went shopping for dinner. They stopped at a local fish market for some crab and the grocery store for some more ingredients.

Rob spent a couple of hours making a nice dinner of crab cakes, potatoes and corn. While the crab cakes were setting in the refrigator, we made nuisance facetime calls to Wallen, Tomasin and Snipes. We ended up connecting with Wallen in Puerto Vallarta and Julie with a guest appearance by Bachman.

After a very late dinner, I crashed hard. Nooter, Barb and Sharon staying up until midnight cleaning the kitchen and visiting.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 7 - Hiking on Assateague Island

Up at 7 am, Sharon and I packed up some of our stuff. Keeping the hotel room, we are heading out to Chincoteague Island to spend a couple of nights with the Nooters. They have rented the Inn at Poplar Corner for ten days. We were in the car and heading out about 9:20 am.

With a short stop for gas in Cambridge, we were on Chincoteague Island about 1:30 pm. Struggling to find somewhere for lunch, we ended up eating at AJs on the Creek. We both ended up having a flounder sandwich.

After lunch, we headed onto Assateague Island. We parked and walked on the beach. We hike on the Woodland Trail to the observation deck and along the Bivalve Trail to Tom's Cove. We saw the ponies in the distance from the observation deck. Before heading back into town, we drove around Snow Goose Pond.
We spent some time driving around town checking out a couple of restaurants. The Nooters rolled onto the island a little after 5 pm. We spent some time unloading the cars and getting settled in to the Inn.

Eventually, we walked into the historic downtown and had a late dinner at Don's Seafood Restaurant. The four of us split a dozen and a half of oysters. This was one of the worst meals that I ever had. I ordered a linguine and clams special. What I got was some microwave pasta with no sauce with some clams on top. I should have sent it back, but was tired, hungry and feeling under the weather.

Nooter and I finished the night visiting and playing cribbage. I won two out of three games. It was after 12:30 am before I wandered up to bed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 6

Sharon slept very late. The plan for the day was a bike ride. Walking to the Washington Mall, we got bikes from Capital Bikeshare. We picked up the Mount Vernon trail and rode into Old Town Alexandria. It started to rain lightly as we were getting close to the end of the ride. I was shocked by the number of Uber bikes and scooters spread out along the length of the trail. In the future, I would like to ride all the way to Mount Vernon.
After dropping the bikes, Sharon did some shoe shopping. I got a glass of 0regon Pinot Noir at Sonoma Cellars next door to the shoe store.

Afterwards, we wandered around looking for someplace to eat. With the rain starting to pick up, we struggled to find a place. We ended up eating at Landini Brotthers Italian Restaurant. Somewhat unfortunately, this is the only place we had eaten before. We ate there in 2011 with Jim Ellis. Sharon and I both had a special lobster and crab salad.

We caught an Uber back to the hotel. After a short nap, we drove to Whole Foods to pick up supplies for the weekend.

We took an Uber to meet Jack for an early dinner at the Iron Gate. As Sharon said, we got upsold on the amount of food. We ordered a Cher's Family Table for Sharon and I. We added orders of OAK GRILLED HAPPY OYSTERS [goat’s milk butter, calabrian chili, pickled shallots], TRUMPET MUSHROOM RISOTTO [rosemary, hazelnuts, truffled marscapone] and LAMB NECK OSSO BUCCO [crispy sweet potatoes, pomegranate, chili, minted yogurt]. It was a lot of food. It was good, but not as good as the Rooster & Owl.

We took an Uber back to the hotel. Using a few Ubers over the last couple of days, I am finding that it takes a while for one to arrive and they are more expensive.

I finished the night watching the 76ers beat the shorthanded Nets.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Work from Home - Day 396 [2021 Washington DC - Day 5]

Sharon and I reserved the workout room in the hotel for an hour in the morning. I ran 5.60 miles on the treadmill in an hour and ten minutes. The hotel cleaned the room while we were in the workout room.

We both worked from the hotel room for the day. It got more than a little chaotic with both of us trying to be on calls and in meetings over the course of the day.

We took a late lunch. Sharon ordered lunch from the Sweet Greens in Foggy Bottom. I got a buffalo chicken bowl. We walked to pick up the food and then headed to Jack's apartment. After lunch, we walked back to the hotel.

We had an early dinner at the Rooster & Owl. This was the best meal that we have had so far on the trip. It was a four course meal with four choices in each of the course.

We started with HAMACHI TATAKI [green mango | serrano | leche de tigre] and FOIE GRAS TERRINE [hazelnut | black grape | pullman]. The second course was SHIITAKE LARB [Thai curry | honeycrisp | little gem] and NAPA CABBAGE [Camembert | pepitas breadcrumb].

For entrees, we spilt DUCK CONFIT [cassoulet | Tuscan kale | red cabbage] and “BEET QUAILLINGTON” [prosciutto | oyster mushroom | curry]. The dessert was PEAR CLAFOUTIS [almond | rosemary caramel | pear sorbet] and BLACK FOREST CAKE [cherries | coffee | balsamic vinegar].

I rarely say this, but this is a restaurant that I would recommend. The only odd thing was that we ate outside on a sidewalk along a busy street. It quieted down over the course of the meal, but initially was very loud. We were literally sitting near a bus stop!

We took an Uber to dinner and then back to the hotel after dinner. We finished the day watching an episode of Treehouse Masters on the Discovery channel.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Work from Home - Day 395 [2021 Washington DC - Day 4]

I took an early morning run. I headed to mall, looped around the Washington Monument, past the World War II Memorial and up to the Lincoln Memorial. From there, I ran along the Tidal Basin through the FDR Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial. Looping back, I ran through the MLK Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial before heading back to the hotel. There were very few people out and about; unlike Saturday morning, the Mall was empty.

Our plan for this trip is to work from the hotel on Monday and Tuesday. We had planned to work from DC in November, but cancelled that trip at the last minute as the pandemic spirled upward. The three hour time shift made things more than a little odd. Although I imagine that you get used to it, I never really appreciated how awkward the time difference can make things.

We finished the day with dinner with Jack at Kellari. We split starters of Kalamari [pan fried], Keftedes [lamb meatballs, feta-tomato sauce] and Spanakopita [spinach, feta phyllo pie]. For entrees, Jack and I had Paidakia [grilled lamb chops, roast lemon potato], while Sharon had Whole Lavraki [Mediterranean Sea bass, kale sautee]. We were going to sit outside, but the giant restaurant was empty so we ate inside.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 3

The plan for the day was to go hiking at Harpers Ferry. Moving slowly, I made sausage and fried eggs for breakfast.

We picked Jack up a little after 10 am. We were at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park before 11:30 am. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really realize that Harpers Ferry was a town. Like the Washington DC Mall on Saturday, I was frankly shocked at the number of people wandering around. Getting lucky finding a parking spot near the center of town, we parked and Sharon asked someone for directions to the information center. Picking up some maps, we decided to head out on the Maryland Heights hike.

We ended up hiking almost 4.5 miles in just over two and a half hours. We hiked from Lower Town to the Maryland Heights Overlook. It was a great view and a nice spot for lunch. After the hike, we had a beer at The Rabbit Hole.

As we came back into Washington DC, we picked up fried chicken curbside from Founding Fathers. We finished the day watching Hideki Matsuyama win the Masters.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 2

Moving slowly from the time change, Sharon and I wandered around looking for coffee and some breakfast. She wanted to go to Compass Coffee, but we couldn't find one open. We ended up at Starbucks.

After breakfast, Sharon and I did a 3.5 mile walk and run from the hotel. We looped up to Lafayette Park, pass Old Ebbitt Grill, around the Washington Monument, pass the World War II Memorial, along the Reflecting Pond and up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. From there we headed back to the hotel.

The plan for the afternoon was shopping. Picking up Jack, the three of us headed to Trader Joe's to buy groceries for the week. After dropping the food at Jack's place and our hotel, we headed to Target. Sharon and Jack bought a bunch of stuff in Bed Bath and Beyond and Target for Jack's apartment.

Heading back to Jack's apartment, we actually found a parking spot on the street. The three of us carried a load up to his studio apartment.

Scrambling back to the hotel to get cleaned up, Sharon and I caught an Uber to meet Jack and Sophia for dinner at The Imperial. We split some appetizers of lobster deviled eggs and oysters. For entrees, Sharon and Jack had Beef Wellington [roasted fingerling potatoes, black truffle jus], Sophia had Lobster Risotto [arborio rice, lobster emulsion, tarragon creme fraiche] and I had Pan Seared Atlantic Scallops [charred baby carrots, celeriac purée, pepita pistou]. Neither Sharon, Jack or I were very enhaused about the restaurant.

Jack came back to the hotel with us, while Sophia headed home. Jack and I ended up watching the Sacramento Kings versus Utah Jazz game on my laptop until almost midnight. The Jazz ran away from the King in the fourth quarter and won by the score of 128 to 112.

With some very noisy neighbors, it was a long night...

Friday, April 09, 2021

2021 Washington DC - Day 1

We are flying for the first time in fourteen months. The last time we flew was early February of 2020 for the Georgetown Senior Parent Weekend. Since we got fully vaccinated, Sharon has been on a mission to get to Washington DC to see Jack.

Drew took us to the airport. We caught a 8:30 am United flight from Sacramento to Washington DC. When we booked the flights, we made a decision to upgrade to first class. Except for Sharon's struggles with the wifi, it was an easy uneventful flight. We were on the ground at Dulles about 15 minutes early at 4:15 pm.

Our luggage was at the baggage claim when we got there. We took an the shuttle bus to the Hertz rental car lot. There was a small kerfuffle getting the car; my Gold account had expired.

It was an extremely easy drive from Dulles into Washington DC. We are staying ten nights at the AKA Whitehouse. We stayed at this hotel for a week almost ten years ago.

After getting settled into the room, we walked to Boqueria for a late dinner. We met Jack there! The three of us split DÁTILES CON BEICON [Dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeón blue cheese, wrapped in bacon], PINTXOS MORUNOS [Seared Colorado lamb skewers, pickled shallots, salsa verde] Grilled 12oz hanger steak [confit piquillo peppers, pimentón butter] and PAELLA DE MARISCOS [bomba rice, monkfish, sepia, squid, shrimp, clams, mussels, saffron, salsa verde]. Unfortunately, the paella wasn't very good. Whenever we have paella, Sharon and I compare it to the paella we had in the Barcelona harbor.

After dinner, the three of us walked back to the hotel and visited. Eventually, Jack headed home and Sharon and I crashed.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Dylan Carlson

Jack played baseball with Dylan Carlson in Cooperstown as 10 year olds.
The 2021 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

14. St. Louis Cardinals

It’s pretty wild how the Red Sox gave Mookie Betts away for nothing a year ago and every superstar return since has arguably been worse. First was Lindor, and then Nolan Arenado, whom the Cardinals liberated from Colorado for next to nothing. We know Arenado’s going to be great this year; unless something truly bizarre happens, he’ll be the Cardinals’ best position player. But the key for St. Louis this year will be Dylan Carlson.

The 22-year-old Carlson struggled in a 35-game MLB cameo last season (.200/.252/.364), but he’s a good hitter with power from both sides of the plate and enough athleticism that he might be able to handle center field. We’ll find out for sure as he takes over there for the injured Harrison Bader. Any short list of NL Rookie of the Year favorites should include Carlson, and if he plays up to his potential, he could be the extra impact bat the Cardinals need to stay ahead of Milwaukee.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

You Can't Lose Them All: Tales of a Degenerate Gambler and His Ridiculous Friends

My book for March was You Can't Lose Them All: Tales of a Degenerate Gambler and His Ridiculous Friends by Sal Iacono. I have listened to Sal (Cousin Sal) on podcasts with Bill Simmons for more than fourteen years. Starting last fall, they promoted the book on their Guess the Lines podcast. Looking for something short to read before digging back into presidential biographies, I bought the kindle version.

The book is a series of short chapters that highlight Sal's gambling escapades. The book also explores his family. Interestingly, at least to me, Sal doesn't drink.

Over the years, I have read several books promoted on Bill Simmon's pocasts, including Got to Give the People What They Want by Jalen Rose and Fantasy Life by Matthew Berry. I also read and thoroughly enjoyed Bill Simmon's Book of Basketball. Unfortunately, this book does not compare favorably to these other books.

I don't recommend the book. It is not very good. Its only value is as curiousity if you are a major Sal Iacono fan or fond of his podcasts with Bill Simmons.

I have talked increasingly over the last couple of years about writing a book about 1991 when I retire. I think that I can write a more interesting book...

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah

Continuing our quest to watch all of the Oscar nominated films, Sharon and I watched Judas and the Black Messiah on Friday night on the AppleTV. The film earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

Oddly, both Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya [Get Out] were nominated for Best Supporting Actor. For his performance, Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The film is a biographical drama about the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya) at the hands of William O'Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield). Hampton was chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s, while O'Neal was an FBI informant. Martin Sheen has a small role as J. Edgar Hoover. The film is directed and produced by Shaka King who wrote the screenplay with Will Berson.

Although it is a little slow in a spots, the movie is worth seeing. As a true story, it drives home the racial struggles of the 1960s. I don't think that it will win best picture, but I am going to bet that Kaluuya wins Best Supporting Actor.

Two footnotes. First, we watched Kaluuya host Saturday Night Live this past weekend. He was very good. Second, I have got to find a biography of J. Edgar Hoover...

Monday, April 05, 2021

Gongaza versus Baylor

As I mentioned last week, Sharon's family has some deep connections with Gonzaga. As a result, She and I watched all of the Gongaza versus Baylor NCAA basketball championship game. Gonzaga came into the game with a record of 31 wins and 0 losses!

Falling behind 9 to 0 in the first few minutes of the game and trailing by 19 points in the first half, Gonzaga went on to lose to Baylor by the score of 86 to 70. It felt like Gongaza was never really in the game.

Jared Bulter was the high scorer for Baylor. He had 22 points on 6 for 14 from the field, 4 for 9 from three and 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

Jalen Suggs was the high scorer for Gonzaga. He had 22 points on 8 for 15 from the field, 2 for 5 from three and 4 for 6 from the free throw line.

Baylor was quicker and more athletic than Gonzaga. I kept hearing about how the Zags had four NBA players on the team. While I was impressed with Suggs, I am not particularly impressed with Timme or Kispert. I am not sure that I think that either of them has an NBA body or game. Kispert reminds me too much of Jimmer...

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Easter 2021

Last Easter, I said that it was odd not to be either on a trip or attending a Frame Family function. I also noted that had been a long time since we haven't gone to Mass on Easter. Unfortuanately, not much as changed in the last year. Over the last twenty-five years, I have grown to appreciate the large Frame family holiday functions. I for one miss them.

Sharon and I spent the morning cleaning up the house and the deck. Sharon's brother Tom showed up after 2 pm. With the weather in the 70s, the three of us had a nice visit on the deck.

Sharon had picked up a take-and-bake Easter dinner from Obo' Italian Table and Bar on Saturday. It included an artichoke appetizer, a salad, ham, potatoes and a cake for desert.

Drew rolled up at the end of the day. He is here this week to lend Morgan a hand.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Ancil Hoffman Neighborhood Golf Tournament

For the second year in a row, Sharon and I played in a neighborhood golf tournament on Saturday afternoon. The group included Mike and Jill, Jim and Debi and John and Jan. We played with Jim and Debi.

I had a horrible outing. I just couldn't chip. I probably used a dozen strokes flaying around the greens. Getting frustrated, the struggles bleed over into the rest of my game. To add injury to insult, my elbow started to brother me.

In an odd twist of fate, I ended up with the men's longest drive. I hit my tee shot on the par 5 2nd hole down the right hand side.

We finished the day with dinner in Mike and Jill's backyard. We had a nice dinner of pulled pork. Sharon made cole slaw.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Transition of Adventist Health Chief Information Officers

It has been an interesting journey at Adventist Health. The CIO that hired me into my current role as Chief Technology officer passed away in early 2017. This transition marks the fourth CIO in the last five years: Alan, Karl, Matt and now Tyler.
As we continue to align our leadership structure to our 2030 strategic vision, we are focusing more attention on IT strategy and operations. To achieve top decile in experience, we must continue to tirelessly focus on our clinicians’ experience while also transforming our consumers’ digital interactions at every stage of their healthcare journey. It is critical that our IT systems and tools transform in service to this objective while also supporting operations with excellence and innovation, functioning as one team.

To direct this transformation, Chief Business Officer John Beaman has asked Tyler Whetstine, who was leading our Cerner IT Works team as CIO, to join Adventist Health as system chief information officer (CIO), leading our IT team in addition to overseeing our Cerner IT relationship. With this change, Tyler will lead IT strategy and growth, and Matt Fink will lead operations as IT operations executive, reporting to Tyler. “I am deeply grateful to Matt for his leadership and service the past four years as CIO,” John said. “With more than 20 years of IT leadership experience, he is brilliant at IT operations, and I look forward to seeing all that he and Tyler will accomplish together.”

Tyler, a Certified Healthcare CIO, previously served as a Cerner vice president for nearly 17 years and with Adventist Health for the past three. “Tyler is a visionary leader, and his familiarity with our mission, culture, teams and systems will be a tremendous help to him in his new role,” John said. “We’re grateful to have him on our team.”

Tyler’s previous leadership experience with Cerner included supporting the company’s largest healthcare systems in the eastern half of the United States through consultancy services as well as physician strategies and solutions. He earned his BS in health information administration from the University of Kansas and a certificate in healthcare leadership at University of Missouri – Kansas City.

“I love waking up at the intersection of healthcare and technology every day, and I believe that we will see more positive change in healthcare over the next decade than we have seen in the last 100 years,” Tyler said. “I’m excited about the opportunity we have every day to create revolutionary innovations for providers, patients and consumers in an ever-changing healthcare environment. I am especially excited about supporting the mission of Adventist Health focused on well-being across all of our communities”

Tyler, his wife, Sarah, and their three young sons live and attend church in the Rocklin area. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time in Lake Tahoe, skiing, golfing, hunting, fishing, ranching and following Kansas University Jayhawks basketball, Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs.</ blockquote>

Thursday, April 01, 2021

A gorgeous day golfing at Winchester Country Club

Sharon on the par 3 15th hole Van on the par 5 18th hole Kevin on the par 3 3rd hole Larkin on the par 3 11th hole