Monday, May 31, 2021

Lee's First Overnight - Day 2 plus Memorial Day Barbecue


Lee went down to sleep after 7 pm on Sunday night and slept all the way through to 630 am. He woke up a happy little guy.

We fed him breakfast. Morgan scooped him up just before 9 am.

Sharon and I finished the day at her brother Tom's house. We barbecued burgers for dinner. With the temperature at 102, we swam and lounged in the pool.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Lee's First Overnight - Day 1

Sharon and I kept Lee overnight so that Daniel and Morgan could have a date day/night. It was the first time that Lee had spent a night away from Morgan. They dropped Lee off just before 9 am. It was a very easy day, including:
  • we took Lee grocery shopping in the morning;
  • while Lee took his nap in the afternoon, I ran almost 7 miles around Ancil Hoffman park in the 80 degree heat;
  • we took Lee to the community pool for a dip;
  • Lee sat on my lap while I played Catan with Drew and Jack; and,
  • after Lee went to bed, Sharon and I watched Wall Street.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dinner with Jim and Debi

After spending most of the day getting the house and deck in shape, we had our neighbors Jim and Debi over for dinner on Saturday night. Sharon envisions a series of dinner with couples in our neighborhood over the next few months.

We served negronis as a before-dinner cocktail using the recipe with foam from the 2019 fall dinner party. Sharon made a great dinner of chicken cordon bleu, rice and green beans. For dessert, she made individual baked alaskas.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Lee and Amelia

Sharon babysat Lee while Morgan went to the DMV. Sharon and Lee visited with Tom and Amelia.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Shangri-La

With a four day weekend looming, Sharon and I finished the short hectic work week with dinner at Shangri-la in old Fair Oaks. We had a nice table in the shade outside.

We started with cocktail; Sharon had an AVIATION [gin, maraschino liquor, creme de violette, lemon], while I had a SOUTHSIDE [vodka, mojito tea syrup, aromatic bitters, lime]. For snacks, we split Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Deviled Eggs. For entrees, we split a CAESAR SALAD [little gem lettuces, anchovy dressing, parmesan, crouton] and a BURGER [aged white cheddar, pickled onion, tomato, gem lettuce, shang sauce, local bun, hand cut fries].

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Lockkeeper's House, C & O Extension

We passed this building multiple times during our trip to DC in April.

Lockkeeper's House
C & O Extension

National Register of Historic Places #1973000218

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

This church is located at southwest corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 53' 31.1" N 77° 02' 23.3" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Lockkeeper's House
The Lockkeeper's House is the only remnant of the C & O Canal Extension. The building was constructed as the house for the Lockkeeper of the Canal, who collected the tolls and kept records of commerce on the canal. The C & O Extension was built between 1832 and 1833 to connect the Washington City Canal with the C & O Canal. The Washington City Canal was first proposed by Pierre L'Enfant in his 1791 plan for the Capital and was opened in 1815. It served as the major thoroughfare until railroads became the dominant form of transportation in the 19th century. Furthermore, the local, Washington City Canal, was beset by problems of poor maintenance.

After the Civil War there were numerous proposals to revitalize the Washington City Canal, but in the 1870s the long process of filling the canal began. During the development of Potomac Park in the early 1900's, the Lockkeeper's House was given to the United States and functioned for a while as the Park Police headquarters. By 1940 Federal Office buildings began to appear along Constitution Avenue near the Lockkeeper's House. That year, the first floor of the building was converted to use as a public comfort station. Presently the building is used for park maintenance storage.

Lockkeeper's House Untitled

Sunday, May 23, 2021

2021 PGA Championship

Staying close to home after a busy month and a half, Sharon and I focused on the house and watched large parts of the 2021 PGA Championship. Playing Brooks Koepka on Sunday, Phil Mickelson become the oldest major champion in golf history.

We have been a big fan of Phil Mickelson ever since we crossed paths with him at the 2004 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

I can't imagine playing the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. From the championship tees, the course stretches to 7,876 yards. It was named the toughest course in America in 2010 by Golf Digest.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Total Recall

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Total Recall. Two weeks ago, we watched Sharon Stone is Basic Instinct. Listening to the Bill Simmons podcast with Sharon Stone, she talked about training for her role in Total Recall.

The movie is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.

The film is loosely based on the 1966 Philip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". With a budget of $50–60 million, Total Recall was one of the most expensive films made at the time of its release.

The film tells the story of a construction worker [Schwarzenegger] who suddenly finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars. He is unable to determine if the experiences are real or the result of memory implants.

This is a good example of a science fiction film that didn't age well. The vehicles, furniture, CRT screens and video phones all look very dated rather than futuristic. While I enjoyed Basic Instinct, I didn't find this film rewatchable!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Brahma Bar and Grill

Sharon and I finished the week with dinner at Brahma Bar and Grill in Old Fair Oaks. We split an order of SHRIMP CEVICHE [tomato, cucumber, avocado, onion, jalapeƱo, cilantro, fresh lime, chips]. For entrees, Sharon had STEAK N’ FRITES [flank steak, french fries, chili-gorgonzola aioli], while I had PORK TENDERLOIN [yukon mashed potatoes, tomato-arugula salad, gremolata]. The food was solid, but the menu was fairly limited.

It was odd to see some of the wait staff with masks and some without. The change in the CDC's mask guidance last week has created a lot of variation in what people are doing...

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Lewis and Clark

We stumbled upon this West Virginia Historical Marker while we were visiting Harpers Ferry. I read Undaunted Courage in 2014.

Lewis and Clark
West Virginia Historical Marker

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

This marker is located at 112 Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 57.053 W 075° 09.590.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis arrived March 16, 1803. Oversaw building of collapsible iron framed, skin-clad boar and acquired supplies, tomahawks, and rifles. Left for Pennsylvania on April 18; returned July 7 to gather materials and left next day for Pittsburgh. Followed Ohio to Falls; met William Clark for trip to explore and study land, waterways, animal life, natural features and resources of West.

Lewis and Clark

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sea Ranch Hike

When we were in Sea Ranch in May, Holly, Van, Sharon and I hiked just over six miles in two hours and forty minutes. This included a section in Gualala Point Regional Park that we had never explored before. Using data from Runkeeper on my iPhone, I generated this map.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Hectic Six Weeks

After staying close to home and doing nothing for almost thirteen months, Sharon and I have been on the move since we got fully vaccinated. The last six weeks included:

Sunday, May 16, 2021

2021 Petersen Shootout - Day 3

Moving a little slow, Larkin and I packed up the room. We drove to Pegs Ham N Eggs for breakfast (omelettes). Just as we were leaving, Colin and Art wandered in; Kevin and Rick had rolled back to the valley very early.

Looking at Waze during breakfast, it wanted to route me on Highway 50 through South Shore to get home. After some internal debate, I ended up heading back through Reno to Highway 80. On the road about 8:50 am, I was home in Carmichael just about 11:30 am.

I enjoyed the weekend. I always enjoy Larkin's company.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

2021 Petersen Shootout - Day 2

Larkin and I were both up and moving pretty early. As we were trying to figure out where to have breakfast, Kevin texted me that they were heading to Pegs Ham n Eggs. We walked there and had pancakes and eggs.

After breakfast, we wandered to a Big 5. With the weather forecast predicting thunderstorms and rain for the afternoon, I bought a rain jacket.

As we were walking back to the hotel, we ran into Rod in the parking lot. He was taking off to Chico for Cooper's graduation. I only saw Rod twice very briefly over course of the two days.

About 10:30 am, we headed to the Dayton Valley Country Club for a 12 pm start time. We played this course once before in 2016. We were supposed to play with Brian and Hiroaki. They jumped over to play with a couple of other guys and we ended up with Manuel and Mario. They were cousins, but I am still not sure how they are connected to the group (Rueben?).

I was pretty happy with how I played. Using a shamble format, I ended up with a 99. The scorecard is here. We used my drive on four of the first five holes. Thankfully, although it was windy, we never got any rain. It got warmer and less windy over the last four or five holes.

After taking a quick shower, Larkin and I wandered over to the Casino Fandago. The group dinner was held in one of the large buffet areas. We ended up sitting with Kevin, Rick, Art and Colin. I had mahi mahi for dinner. There was mass confusion over the scoring and the closet to the pin winners.

I finished the night playing poker with Kevin et al for about an hour and a half in Art and Colin's room. Larkin wandered off fairly early, while Rick dropped out of the game after about an hour. It was after 11:30 pm by the time I crashed.

Friday, May 14, 2021

2021 Petersen Shootout - Day 1

For the ninth time in twelve years, Larkin and I played in the Petersen Shootout [2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 20162017, 2018 and 2019]. We missed 2013 when Rod kept moving the date around and it finally landed on a weekend when Sharon, Jack and I were in H@waii. In 2015, Larkin wasn't available. I signed up with Borja as my wingman, but when he canceled at the last minute, I bailed. In 2020, the original dates for the tournament were cancelled due to the pandemic. Rod ended up having a taking a smaller group in late July, but both Larkin and I were uncomfortable with the idea.
Leaving the house about 8:30 am, I rolled up to the Eagle Valley West Course about 11:30 am. I skipped Rod's chipping contest and spent some time on the driving range. I actually felt like it was the best that I had ever hit balls on the driving range!

Teeing off at 1 pm, Larkin and I ended up playing by ourselves. The guys that we were supposed to play with (Kenny and Bob) jumped over to play with a couple of other guys. We had Kevin, Rick, Art and Colin in the foursome behind us... Larkin has played this course a lot with his buddy Myers.

I was pretty happy with how well I played. I ended up with a 107. Par fives continue to be a struggle; I had eights on all four of the par fives. My focus suffered over the last four or five holes.

After the golf, Larkin and I headed to the Courtyard Marriott in Carson City. We are spending two nights there. Somehow, Larkin and I ended up in a suite. We walked over the to the Casino Fandango and used one of our drink coupons before taking a shower.

After getting cleaned up, we ended up walking to an Olive Garden about a block away. We both had spaghetti. We ended up crashing in the hotel room just before 11 pm. We never tried to figure out where Rod, the suite and everyone else were.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Basic Instinct

Sharon and I watched Basic Instinct. Earlier this year, Sharon had read Sharon Stone's biography (The Beauty of Living Twice). After reading the book, she wanted to watch the movie.

Basic Instinct is a 1992 erotic thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas. The film follows San Francisco police detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), who is investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy rock star. During the investigation Curran becomes involved in a torrid and intense relationship with the prime suspect, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), an enigmatic writer.

I think that I saw the movie in the 90s, but frankly didn't remember any of the details of the plot. It is definitely rewatchable!

Four other related notes:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

393 Day Streak

I use five different applications as part of my ongoing fitness routines. These include Apple Activity, Peloton, RunKeeper, Pedometer++ and Withings.

Just before we left for our trip to Washington DC in April, with my Move Goal set at 910 calories in the Apple Activity app on my AppleWatch, I reached the goal 393 days in a row. That is my longest streak ever. I smashed my record of 155 days that I set just before I went to the Army/Navy game in December of 2019.

This streak was largely possible due to the fact that we weren't traveling during the pandemic. I doubt that I will ever be able to break this record.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Third Degree: The Triple Murder That Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice

My book for May was The Third Degree: The Triple Murder That Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice by Scott D. Seligman. Holly mentioned the book while we were having dinner after playing golf in February. One of the people murdered (T.P. Wong) was her Great Grandfather.

The book is part murder mystery, part courtroom drama and part landmark legal case. It is the true story of a young man’s abuse by the Washington DC police and a seven-year journey through the legal system. The ordeal culminated in a sweeping Supreme Court ruling penned by Justice Louis Brandeis that set the stage for the Miranda warning many years later.

The author argues that the importance of the case hinges not on the defendant’s guilt or innocence but on the imperative that a system that presumes one is innocent until proven guilty provides protections against coerced confessions.

This is an interesting little book; I give it a "B" or B-". Frankly, it was more of a curiosity given that one of the victims was Holly's great grandfather. Talking to her at Sea Ranch, I got the impression that she started it, but hadn't finished it yet. Part of the book is set in the Kalorama area near where Jack lives in DC.

Monday, May 10, 2021

2021 Sea Ranch - Day 5

Up early, Van and I rode the bikes south inside Sea Ranch. There is a marked trail so that you can ride your bike from one end to the other without going out on Highway 1. We rode just under eleven miles in an hour and eleven minutes. I would still like to ride from one end to the other.

Back at the house, we packed up the cars. Sitting and enjoying the deck for a while, we finally rolled towards home about 10:50 am.

We planned to have lunch at Cornerstone Sonoma where we stopped last August. Unfortunately, it was closed.

We ended up backtracking and getting sandwiches at the Carneros Deli. We stopped there with the Sanborns on the way back from Sea Ranch in 2018. Waze routed us down to Highway 37 and across to Highway 80. I don't think that I have ever driven this section of Highway 121.

Picking up Tiber from the kennel as we came into Carmichael, we were home about 4 pm. This is fourth trip we have made to Sea Ranch in the last eighteen months [January 2020, August 2020 and October 2020]!

Sunday, May 09, 2021

2021 Sea Ranch - Day 4

On the San Andreas Intrepetive Trail
Everyone was moving very slow on Sunday morning. I eventually made a late breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon.

After breakfast, Sharon, Holly and I walked south along the bluffs to the Walk On Beach. We walked across the beach before looping back to the house.

Holly, Van and Sharon decided to head to the driving range to hit a couple of buckets of balls. Afterwards, they went to the Surf Market to get steaks and oysters for dinner. I went out for a run. I covered 4.75 miles in just over an hour. Staying away from the bluffs to get out of the wind, I ran through the meadows and up to Deerfield. Looping back, I ran through the Monarch Glenn Intrepetive Trail.

We spent the afternoon exploring Sea Ranch. We stopped at the Chapel. From there, we drove by the house that we are renting for Father's Day and the house that Holly and Van are renting in September. Our last stop was the San Andreas Fault Intrepetive Trail. I really enjoy this short hike; it is the third time we have walked the trail in the last year. After the short hike, we swung by lodge and the condominiums.

Van and I made a Mother's Day dinner. I barbecued oysters and baked potatoes. Van cooked the streaks sous vide. Sharon spent some time on the phone with both Drew and Jack, while Holly had calls from all three of her children.

We finished the day watching Saturday Night Live hosted by Elon Musk and then Bill Marr on the AppleTV. It was almost 11:30 pm by the time we crashed...

Saturday, May 08, 2021

2021 Sea Ranch - Day 3

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I have been hitting a golf ball for almost 50 years. I have always considered it a social activity more than a competiton. Get together with friends, have a cocktail or a beer and as Robin Williams would say knock a ball in a gopher hole with a fucked up stick.

With the plan for the day to play at the Sea Ranch Golf Links, I decided to try and take it more seriously. I wanted to see what I could do if I really tried to focus.

Unfortunately, I continue to struggle with Par 5s. The first hole at Sea Ranch is a damn Par 5. I got off to a horrible start. I was able to right the ship and actually parred the 4th hole. Hitting over the ravine on the Par 3 Eighth, I chipped up on to the green, but then three putted. On the ninth hole, I had trouble chipping. I felt like I gave away four strokes just on those two holes.

I was starting to get in a groove on the back nine. I had a par and five bogeys, but fell apart chipping on the fifteenth and the eighteenth. I gave away another four or five strokes on those two holes.

I ended up with a liberally scored 108. Given that I gave away more than eight strokes and had at least three putts lip out, I was pretty happy with the score.
Unfortunately, Sharon struggled. Using her new clubs, she had a rough outing.

After the golf, Sharon, Holly and I hit the hot tub. Over the course of the weekend, we ended using the hot tub only once.

Van and Holly made dinner: pork tenderloin, risotto and a kale salad. We finished the night playing a couple of games of Unstable Unicorns.

Friday, May 07, 2021

2021 Sea Ranch - Day 2

As I have said over the years, Sea Ranch is my favorite place in the world to run. I went out for an early morning run north along the bluffs. Running to the Gualala Point Regional Park and back, I covered 5.5 miles in an hour and six minutes.

After a leisurely breakfast, we got organized for a hike. Heading north from the house along the bluffs, we went up Salad Creek through the golf course. We hiked along the north edge of the golf course in the regional park. I have never hiked along this section before. We came across a large visitor's center that we didn't know existed. We looped back on the bluff trail. In total, we covered six miles in just over two hours and forty minutes. It was very windy on the way back to the house, but at least the wind was mostly at our back. A map of the hike is here.

After lunch, Van and I went to the driving range to hit some golf balls. Sharon and Holly went into to Gualala to explore.

Getting cleaned up, the four of us went to an early dinner at the Vue. For starters, Van had a beet salad, Sharon and Holly had a crab dim sum and I had calm chowder. All four of us had a sea bass special for the entrees. This is the fifth time that we have eaten at this restaurant in the last eighteen months!

We finished the night playing Codenames. It was after 11:30 pm whe we all crashed.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

2021 Sea Ranch - Day 1

After our planned Sea Ranch trip in January was cancelled due to Sonoma County Coronavirus restrictions, we booked a house for the Mother's Day weekend. Having dinner with Holly and Van after golf in February, we invited them to join us.

Rolling from Carmichael about 9:15 am, we met the Wongs at Donum for a wine tasting. We did the Explore tasting. We did this tasting with Jack in November of 2019. It is a fabulous experience that includes an ATV tour of the art collection and a tasting in a small building along a pond. We have talked about bringing some other couples like the Gainsleys and the Larkins for the same tasting.

From there we headed to the Tides Market in Bogeta Bay. We had sandwiches on the picnic tables. Sharon had made muffaletta sandwiches. It has become somewhat of a tradition for Sharon to make these sandwiches to eat on the way to Sea Ranch. After lunch, Sharon bought some smoked salmon.

We rolled into Gualala just after 4:30 pm to pick up the key. Meeting the Wongs at the house, we spent some time unloading the vehicles and getting settled. We are spending four nights at Sea Haven. While we have never stayed at this house before, Graham View is two properties to the North, while Crestview is three properties to the south.

After getting settled in to the house, the four of us walked south along the bluffs past the Sea Pine and Walk On Beaches. We ended up hiking 3.7 miles in just over an hour and a half.

We finished the day with a late dinner of lasagna and salad. Sharon making a lsasnga for the first night dinner at Sea Ranch has also become a tradition. We finished the day talking and visiting until almost midnight.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Birthday Dinner for Morgan

Sunday night, Sharon and I had Drew, Morgan and Lee for dinner to celebrate Morgan's birthday. Sharon made a great dinner of beet salad, snap beans, roasted potatoes and leg of lamb. We had a tiramisu cake for dessert.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Back from Chico

Up about 7 am, I had coffee and visited with the Tomasins in their room. With a birthday dinner planned for Morgan that evening, I rolled from the Doubletree Hotel before 830 am.

I made a stop at Ettore's Bakery to pick up a Tiramisu birthday cake for Morgan. I was home before 11 am.

Although it was too abbreviated, I enjoyed the weekend. As I have told a number of people, Tomasin is probably one of most unique people I have ever known in a my life: a blue collar orthopedic surgeon. He and I have had some amazing adventures in the last forty plus years.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Carol and Paul's Wedding

After grocery shopping and working out in the morning, I headed towards Chico just after 12:30 pm. Stopping at the Doubletree Hilton, I spent some time visiting in the Tomasin's room. David and Lo came up early on Saturday. The Snipes and Drew rolled up just before 3 pm. Drew checked into a room and then I threw my stuff in there.

About 3:30 pm, the group headed to the Ranchaero Airport for Carol and Paul's Wedding. I was kind of surprised at how many people were there. I think that someone said that they had 250 chairs set out.

It was an interesting wedding. Paul's mother's family is Scottish. There was a bagpiper, many of the men in the wedding wore kilts and there was a handfasting (cord?) ceremony.

Drew played the first dance. A video is here.

I enjoyed the evening. The table for dinner included the Tomasins, Snipes, David and Lo, Drew and I. Wallen wandered over to visit for a while.

Drew, David, Lo and I wandered back to the hotel about 10:45 pm. After a hectic couple of days, including a very late night on Thursday, I crashed hard.