Sunday, August 29, 2021

2021 Carmel Valley - Day 3

After breakfast, we packed up the cars. With some discussion over breakfast, we decided to head into Carmel, rather than hike in Garland Regional Park.

Finding a parking space on Ocean Avenue, the four of us walked the Carmel Beach City Park Trail. A map is here. In total, we covered 2.4 miles in about 59 minutes.

Sharon and Holly had made reservations for lunch at the Catch Restaurant for noon. Getting there a little early, we got a nice table on the sidewalk. I got some osyters as an appetizer. Sharon and I both had crab louies salads. This was frankly the best meal that we had during the weekend.

We rolled from Carmel about 1:40 pm. With two short stops, we were back in Carmichael by 5:40 pm, almost exactly four hours. Unlike the fiasco on Friday, I let Waze lead the way [1 to 156 to 101 to 156 to 5 to 50].

Holly and Van stopped in Watsonville and played 14 more holes of golf on Sunday afternoon!

A couple of general observations, it is a long ways to go for less than 48 hours. We were there less than 45 hours. with nine hours of driving, it makes more sense to do it for three nights, rather than just two nights.

I don't recommend the Henderson Treehouse as a Carmel VRBO. It is a long way up the Carmel Valley and almost two miles off the main road. It is very rustic and secluded; not what I am looking for when I travel to Carmel.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

2021 Carmel Valley - Day 2

After breakfast, we walked down the road to the Kahn Ranch Parking lot. This is an addition to the Garland Regional Park. From there, while the girls walked back to the house on the road, Van and I hiked up the Hitchcock Loop. Looking at the maps in the morning, I was sure that the trail went past very close to the house. Just as the trail turned to the west and I started talking about turning back, Holly and Sharon called on the phnoe. They were back at the house and said they could hear us. We backed tracked a little to a side trail I noticed on the way up. It dropped us to down to the house in less than two hundred yards.

In the late morning, we took off for the Carmel Valley Ranch Country Club. The plan was to get some lunch at The Clubhouse Grill and then play in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we had a horrible lunch experience. They forgot to put our order in. Everyone who got their after us got their food. We ended up sitting for an hour and fifteen minutes and never getting any food. The servers were rude and didn't seem to care one way or another.

We teed off about 1:40 pm. I felt pretty good about my play on the front nine. It was relatively easy. I parred the Par 3 seventh hole and was closest to the pin. I got a rude awakening on the back nine. The back nine played up into the hills. I got completely destoryed. After shooting a 52 on the front nine, I carded a 65 on the back nine. The scorecard is here.

I enjoyed the afternoon. The course was beautiful.

When we played with Kevin and Donna, they had a set of Las Vegas Golf Chips. I ordered a set and used them for the round. Sharon "won." She had 1 putt, wild card (par), sandy and longest drive. Holly had birdie, closet to the pin, sand and water. I was the big loser with seven, eight, trees, three putt, lost ball and beer cart; I earned all of the chips on the back nine.

We finished the day with dinner at the Valley Kitchen. Sharon and I split a Heirloom Tomato & Burrata [Swank Farms Heirloom Tomato, Sweet Basil, CVR Sea Salt Crunch, California Olive Oil, Saba]. For mains, Sharon, Holly and I had Summer Catch [Halibut, Roasted Pepper Coulis, Summer Squash Succotash, Yukon Gold Potato, Pepitas], while Van had Chicken. For the second night in a row, the entrees were frankly not very good...

Friday, August 27, 2021

2021 Carmel Valley - Day 1

Sharon and I took off at noon for the Carmel Valley. We are spending two nights with Holly and Van. They rented a VRBO last year for a wedding that got cancelled and moved the credit to a weekend this year.

I made a tactical error. Leaving the house, the GPS in the car routed us to the bay area and through the south bay [80 to 680 to 101]. I should always use Waze! It ended up taking two hours to drive the last sixty miles. Highway 101 South was a parking lot. The total trip took just over five hours.

The drive up to the VRBO was interesting. The house is called the Henderson Treehouse. It is on Hitchcock Canyon Road about two miles from main road. The last half a mile is a one lane private road.

It was after 5 pm by the time we got to the house. After getting unloaded and settled in, we spent some time on the deck with hors d'oeuvres and a glass of wine.

The four of us finished the day with a late dinner at Lucia Restaurant and Bar. Sharon and I spilt crab cakes as an appetizers. For mains, I had Ahi, while Sharon had salmon. Van had rissoto, while Holley also had salmon. Everyone was very underwhelmed by the main courses...

Van drove to the restaurant and back. I crashed hard about 11:30 pm.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

California HIstorical Landmark #1002

Sharon and I passed this historical marker while we were hiking the SF Crosstown Trail.

The First Dynamite Factory in America
California State Historical Landmark #1002

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

This landmark is located at PHP6+F2 Diamond Heights, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 44' 10.4" N 122° 26' 23.7" W.

California Historical Landmark #1002

Giant Powder Company, under personal license of inventor Alfred Nobel, began producing dynamite here on March 19, 1868. On November 26, 1869, a massive explosion leveled the complex's building and fences. Giant powder soon resumed operations in West San Francisco, and moved to its final site at Pt. Pinole in 1892. As a pioneer company, Giaint Powder was so influential that "Giant" became synonymous with "Dynamite," a vital ingredient for California's early development.

California Historical Landmark #1002

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

SF Crosstown Trail Continued

On Saturday, June 26, we hiked the SF Crosstown Trail from the Land's End Visitor Center to the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park. The map is here.

On Saturday, August 21, we hiked the SF Crosstown Trail from the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park to Hunters Point.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Catan

Sunday night, Drew, Jack and I played Catan. Although I thought that I played very well, Jack won both games.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

2021 San Francisco - Day 6

We slept extremely late. I woke up just before 7:30 am just a couple of minutes before the breakfast tray was delivered to the room.

After some discussion, we decided to do a hike in the Presidio. Using the AllTrails app, we wandered up to the Inn and then followed the Upper Ecology Trail to Inspiration Point. We hiked down to the Lover's Lane Trail and followed it back towards the Lodge. We made a short stop at the California Historical Marker for the Presidio of San Francisco.

In total, we covered three (3) miles in an hour and fourteen minutes. A map is here. Have I said recently how much I am enjoying the AllTrail app?

After packing up the room, we headed towards Sausalito. Although she wasn't able to get a reservation, Sharon really wanted to have lunch at Scoma's. Getting there just as they opened at 11:30 am, we were able to get a nice table outside on the water. We split an order of hog island oysters [sweet-tasting Pacific Oyster with a slightly smoky, deep-cupped, fluted shell]. We both had crab louie salads [Iceberg lettuce, hard-boiled egg, tomato, cucumber, and louis dressing].

From there, it was an easy two hour drive home [101 to 580 Richmond Bridge to 80 to 50]. We made a stop for groceries and were home before 4 pm.

It was a very nice weekend. We will definitely go back and stay in the Presidio. It would be fun to go with another couple and play golf at the Presidio Golf Course.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

2021 San Francisco - Day 5

The plan for the day was to hike the SF Crosstown Trail starting where we stopped in late June. Up about 630 am, we had breakfast delivered to the room at 730 am. Instead of serving a breakfast buffet, the lodge offered a tray each morning either for pick up in the lobby or delivered to your room.

We caught an Uber to the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park and started the hike from there. We were moving by 845 am.
The trail wandered across Gate Golden Park looping around Stow Lake. From there, the trail crossed the Inner Sunset district and climbed a series of stairs into Golden Gate Heights. Unfortunately, it was very foggy and misty.

Dropping out of Golden Gate Heights, we walked through the Forest Hill neighborhood. From there, we looped through the Laguna Honda Community Trails and down Glen Canyon. We stopped briefly at California Historical Marker for The First Dynamite Factory in America.

We stopped for lunch in Glen Park about 12:15 pm. I had scouted places along the trail to have lunch. Glen Park was one of the few areas that had a number of choices.

Although we had talked about splitting the hike into two days, we keep moving after lunch and covered a lot of ground. I took us on a short detour to find the California Historical Marker for St. Mary's College. The fog burned off and we had some great views back into the city and into the bay from McLaren Park. From there, we dropped down through the Visitacion Valley Greenway.

After the Greenway, the neighborhood got a little rougher. Walking through the Little Hollywood neighborhood, we crossed under Highway 101. After passing through an area of businesses and condos, we got a rude awakening. The Hunters Point Expressway is essentially a giant homeless encampment with lots of beat up RVs and cars parked. The area is very sketchy. We called for an Uber and headed back to the lodge.

For anyone doing the trail, I don't recommend the section after the Visitacion Valley Greenway. I would either start there going north or stop there going south.

In total, we covered almost twelve (12) miles in five hours and forty-one minutes. A map is here.

We were back at the lodge just before 4 pm. Like Friday evening, we had wine and cheese on the portico of the lodge. Sharon talked about wanting to redo the Golden Gate Heights stairs section someday when the weather was better.

We finished the day with dinner at Sessions at the Presidio. Given how much we hiked, we drove the short distance to dinner. For starters, we split oysters of the day [half dozen oysters, kohlrabi, pink peppercorn mignonette, lemon] and deviled eggs [white sturgeon caviar, pickled shallots, shichimi togarashi, chives]. For entrees, Sharon had pan roasted salmon [heirloom tomato salad, summer beans, frisee, tarragon, champagne vinaigrette] paired with a 2019 lungolago from the viandante del cielo estate winery, while I had bolognese [pappardelle pasta, skywalker ranch wagyu beef, parmigiano reggiano, fine herbs, olive oil] paired with a 2017 cuvee rouge ‘1784’ from château margüi.

Friday, August 20, 2021

2021 San Francisco - Day 4

When we were in San Francisco in late June, we hiked part of the Crosstown Trail. We enjoyed it and started making plans to come back and hike the rest of the trail.

We left Carmichael about 1 pm. It was an easy drive into the city [50 to 80 to 580 to 101]. At Stacey's wedding, Sharon talked to a friend of Holly's that raved about the Lodge at the Presidio. After our experience at the Proper on Market Street, it seemed like a nice alternative to being downtown.

We rolled up to the Lodge just before 3:00 pm. The room was ready.

After lounging in the room, we enjoyed the wine and cheese service. Sitting on the front portico of the lodge, we ended up facetiming with Jack for a while.

We finished the day with dinner at Presidio Social Club Exchange. We spilt an Endive and Avocado Salad with Green Goddess, Housemade Malfade Pasta with zucchini, basil pesto, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes & toasted almonds and the Fish of the Day [a whole sole], The food was solid.

It was a nice 15 minute through the Presidio to the restaurant and back. A much different experience than walking along market. After a late night helping Morgan and Daniel move a piano on Thursday night, I crashed just before 10 pm.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Jungle Cruise

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched the Jungle Cruise on Disney+ on the AppleTV. It is going to be interesting to see when we are willing to go back into a theater to see a movie.

Jungle Cruise is a fantasy adventure film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from screenplay written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, and Michael Green. It is based on Walt Disney's theme park attraction of the same name.

Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. It follows the captain of a small riverboat who takes a scientist and her brother through the Amazon jungle in search of the Tree of Life.

After seeing the movie last week, Sharon's brother texted us "High marks for new Disney movie “Jungle Cruise” ⛴ The Rock rocks, most entertaining movie I’ve seen in quite a while draws from or pays homage to The Mummy, Indiana Jones 🐍🐍🐍, The African Queen  and all those deadpan humorists who captained the Disneyland cruisers through the decades."

Sharon loved the movie too! I enjoyed it, but personally I am not a big fan of the plot vehicle involving 400 year old undead conquistadors…

Monday, August 16, 2021

Peloton FTP Test

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

Peloton includes Power Zone Training. Power Zone Training is a method of intentional training based on the metric of output. It is a great tool to both improve and track your fitness over time. There are seven power zones (or ranges of output) that are based on each rider’s performance on a fitness test called a “Functional Threshold Power Test” or “FTP Test”.

I took my first FTP test on November 27, 2020. I usually do one Power Zone class a week in combination with other classes. I retook the test. My total output increased about 14%. My functional threshold power now measures 198 watts.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Wildhawk

Donna, Kevin, Sharon and I played golf at Wildhawk. I have played there a couple of times including in 2014 with Kevin and sometime in the 2000s with Judy and Cliff.

Teeing off about 9:40 am, It took us four hours and twenty eight minutes to play the round. Using two mulligans off the tee, I ended up with a fairly honestly scored 107. I had a number of good holes, but also fell completely apart on several others, particularly the sixth. Although better, my chipping cost me a couple of strokes. I would like to get to the point that I could break 100 consistently.

Kevin introduced us to Vegas Golf Chips that he had gotten as a present. It was an interesting wrinkle. I ordered a set from Amazon to use when we play golf with Holly and Van in two weeks.
Afterwards, we headed to Donna and Kevin's house. We lounged in their pool and caught up. They made a nice dinner of tri-tip, fries and salad.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Open House

Jim and Debi dropped by for a cocktail on Friday evening. Afterwards Sharon and I went to an open house at one of the six homes in our cul-de-sac. After Dan and Deborah moved to the bay area, the house has been a rental [Daugherty] for the last two years. It is now on the market.

The realtor is one of our neighbors. He has done an amazing job staging the house. Photos and a video are here.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Work from Home - Day 518 - Seventeen Months

Today marks seventeen (17) months since we vacated our five story, 1,300 employee headquarters and haven’t been back since. Plans to repopulate in September were recently shelved…

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Flight Attendant

In March, Sharon and I finished season one of the Flight Attendant. It took us four or five months to work our way through the eight episdoes.

The show is comedy-drama streaming television series based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian. It stars Kaley Cuoco [Big Bang Theory] in the title role. It premiered on HBO Max on November 26, 2020.

American flight attendant Cassie Bowden is a reckless alcoholic who drinks during flights and spends her time off with strangers, including her passengers. She gets engulfed in a complex plot involving murder for hire and international arms deals.

In December 2020, the series was renewed for a second season. The second season is scheduled to premiere in the spring of 2022.

Part of the reason that it took us a while to finish was that I was luke-warm about the series. There was a plot vehicle used to move the story along that I just didn't enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Song for 2020

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

When you are in a class on the Peloton bike or in the app and you hear a song you like, you can easily add it to an Apple Music Playlist [My Peloton Music by heringer]. One song that I heard on the bike has really stuck with me. It is now featured in my running playlist; it has a great beat for running.

The song for 2020 is Return of the Mack.

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

What is this?

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Dwight Morgan

Dwight Clinton Morgan, age 48, died in a tragic accident at his home in Georgetown, CA on July 1st, 2021.

Dwight loved life and took every opportunity to live it to the fullest.

Dwight was anxious to be part of the world, so he arrived earlier than expected during an ice storm in Atlanta, GA. After his mom was dropped off at the hospital, his dad went to park the car. When he came back a short time later he was told he had a baby boy. His dad said, “That’s not possible. I just left my wife here a few minutes ago and we were supposed to have a girl.”

Soon after Dwight’s birth, he and his parents moved to Loma Linda. As a young child he was always busy and curious. His mother told stories of him being found in a mud puddle, in the middle of a horse pasture in his footy pajamas. And once on top of the roof. He never was nervous about heights. Both incidents happened with a babysitter. His parents soon learned that Dwight would need a more involved babysitter.

Dwight had plenty of confidence. He and his mother were at the park with another woman and her son. The other little boy had his bicycle with him. Dwight was telling this little boy the correct way to ride the bicycle. Dwight’s mother commented to the other woman, “This should be interesting.” “Why?”, the woman asked. “Because he has never ridden a bicycle.”

When Dwight was 2, his parents purchased a Toyota Landcruiser. That Landcruiser is still part of the family. It was used to explored California when he was young. Then Dwight explored the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon. He towed it to Yellowstone, Teton and Arches National Parks. Then back to California where it explored the Sierras. The Landcruiser was always a key part of his plans.

At about the age of 7, Dwight and his parents moved to Moses Lake where he attended the Moses Lake Adventist Elementary school. Here he forged friendships that would last for many years.

Dwight attended Upper Columbia Academy during his high school years and graduated in 1991.

After high school, Dwight attended Walla Walla University where he received a degree in Electrical Engineering. During his freshman year of college, he learned to fly an airplane. He loved to fly and did so whenever he got the chance. Shortly before his death he got the opportunity to fly a biplane. Always wanting his wife in his adventures, he was sure to fly over the house so she could enjoy it too.

During his last year in college, Dwight started working at Walla Walla General Hospital in the IT department. He spent more than 20 years there and made many strong and lasting relationships. Here he met his wife of 23 years. They were friends for at least a year before they dated. Annette’s feelings grew faster than Dwight’s, but she was patient and knew he was worth waiting for. They were married in 1998 and made their home in the Walla Walla Valley for almost 20 years.

Dwight loved to travel. Within 3 months of getting married, Dwight rented an RV and, with his parents, he and his wife traveled to southern Colorado to visit family. What a way to get to know the in-laws. There were many more trips. A motorcycle trip to Mt. Rushmore with a stop in Yellowstone, a motorcycle trip down to San Diego with a leisurely return along the pacific coast, motorhome trips to Yellowstone and the Tetons several times. Other RV trips to Yosemite, Arches, Glacier, Texas, Olympic Peninsula, and many trips visiting family.

While living in the Walla Walla Valley, Dwight became a board member for Blue Mountain Credit Union. He loved to learn and challenge himself. He soon became the Board Secretary and then the Board Chair. He enjoyed his time working with BMCU and the staff there.

When Walla Walla General Hospital was closing, Dwight moved to a position at the corporate office of Adventist Health in Roseville, CA. He worked at the corporate office for 4 years. He enjoyed his time in California. Other than exploring the area in the Landcruiser, Dwight took blacksmithing classes and worked on his property.

Dwight touched many lives. I was profoundly touched by a comment one person made to me upon hearing of his death, “I didn’t know Dwight that well. I tend to keep my distance from people I do not know. But with Dwight, I felt the warmth right away.”

Dwight is survived by his wife, parents, brother and sister-in-law and 2 nephews. He is mourned by hundreds of his friends and family.

You are greatly missed.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Catan with Jack and Drew

Sharon, Jack, Drew and I got together late Sunday afternoon to hear about Jack's trip to Italy. Afterwards, Jack, Drew and I played two games of Catan. I won the first game! This is the second session in a row that I have won a game. Drew won the second game.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Lee Overnight - Day 2

Lee woke up a little after 6 am. Getting dressed and organized, Sharon and I took Lee and Tiber for a walk in Ancil Hoffman Park.

For breakfast, Sharon made blueberry pancakes. Lee discovered pancakes when he went to breakfast recently!

I took Lee back to Morgan's apartment about 8:45 am. Sharon and I really enjoy Lee. He is a very happy kid.

On Saturday, Morgan and Daniel hiked the Lyons Creek Trail. This is difficult hike into Desolation Wilderness. Sharon and I did this hike once a long time ago.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Lee Overnight - Day 1

For the second time, Lee spent the night with us. We had a great day.

Daniel dropped Lee off at 8:45 am. The plan for the morning was the Sacramento Zoo. When we got there, we rented a stroller. We spent the morning exploring the zoo. I was surprised at the number of people. Highlights included feeding the giraffe and the loin.

We ended up having lunch at the Kampala Cafe. Sharon said it was the worst burger ever... Sharon picked out a stuffed giraffe for Lee in the gift shop as we were leaving.

While I did a 5.7 run around Ancil Hoffman Park, Lee took his nap. After a snack, we took Lee to the neighborhood pool.

Getting dried off, we made a quick run to the store. For dinner, Lee had macaroni and cheese and hotdogs. Drew called and we facetimed for almost 45 minutes while Lee was eating dinner.

We got Lee down for bed about 7 pm. Sharon and I finished the night watching episode three of season two of Ted Lasson and an episode of season one of Yellowstone. In my opinion every episode of Yellowstone jumps the shark.

Friday, August 06, 2021

Dinner at Holly and Van's

Friday night, Sharon and I headed to Holly and Van's house. We have a couple of trips coming up with them to Carmel in late August and to Hawaii in January. They made a great dinner of sea bass, Hawaiian rice and slaw.

They have a putting green in their backyard. After dinner, we played boys against girls with three putts on the five holes. Holly and Sharon prevailed by a stroke.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day 1,011

Although I haven't been driving much in the last seventeen months, I am still very pleased with the Volvo. During this period, I have driven less than 8,000 miles or less than 500 miles a month. This includes four trips to Sea Ranch! The vehicle now has 25,598 miles. I think that I drove 40,000 miles in 2014 while I was working in Sonora...

The Volvo is perfect for commuting and running errands on weekends.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Modern Love

Sunday night July 18, Sharon and I finished watching season one of Modern Love. It is a romantic comedy anthology series based on the weekly column of the same name published by The New York Times. It adapts different love stories taking place in New York City.

Modern Love premiered on Amazon Prime Video on October 18, 2019. It has some interesting stars in the cast, including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, John Slattery and Andy García. Season one has eight roughly thirty minute episodes.

In October 2019, the series was renewed for a second season which is set to premiere on August 13, 2021. The second season cast includes Minnie Driver and Kit Harington.

I am frankly a little luke warm on the series. Overall, it was interesting, but not something I strongly recommend. I suspect that Sharon and I will watch season two. I was fascinated by the way that they tied the last episode back into the first seven.

Monday, August 02, 2021

2021 Italy - Day 12 - Washington DC [#mustacheaboard]

Heading home, Jack caught a 1 pm Air France flight from Rome to JFK. He was on the ground in New York at 5 pm. From there, Jack boarded a 8:15 pm Air France flight to Dulles. He took an Uber to his apartment in Washington, DC. After fifteen and a half hours of traveling, Jack was home about 10:30 pm.

Sunday, August 01, 2021