Saturday, December 03, 2022

Gainsley's Christmas Party

Over the years, it has been hit and miss in making it to the Gainsley's Christmas Party [2021, 2018, 2017, 2010, 2001]. We made it this year!

Donna actually started working for me at Sutter Health the day after Jack was born in 1998. We worked together until she and Kevin retired in 2013.

The Larkins picked us up on their way to the party. We had a nice evening. We met Kathy and Randy. They are doing a Viking Cruise with the Gainsleys next year.

Friday, December 02, 2022

Back from Fort Bragg

At the hospital for the 7 am huddle, I spent a long day supporting the Cerner electronic medical record go-live. I had originally planned to head towards home about noon, but circumstances dictated that I stay for the end of day executive huddle.

Rolling from the hospital, it took me three hours and forty-eight minutes to get back to Carmichael without a stop. Waze routed me from 20 to 101 to 20 to 5 to 80. Although I have driven the section from Williams to Clear Lake lots of times while I was working in Napa, I don't think that I have ever driven it in the dark.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

At Fort Bragg

At the hospital before 7 am, I spent a long day supporting the Cerner electronic medical record go-live.

I finished the day in the fitness room at the Holiday Inn Express with a 20 minute Peloton upper body strength workout, a 5 minute Peloton stretching workout and 36 minutes on the treadmil.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

To Fort Bragg

It seems like a lifetime since I traveled for work. Wednesday morning, I headed to Fort Bragg. With a stop for coffee in Willits, it was a four hour drive: 80 to 5 to 20 to 101 to 20.

I spent the afternoon at the hospital. The facility is going live on the Cerner electronic medical record on Thursday morning.

At the end of the day, I checked into the Holiday Inn Express Fort Bragg. I finished the day with four miles on the treadmill.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Shopping for a Christmas Tree

Early Sunday morning, Sharon and I headed to Roseville to shop for a Christmas Tree. For the fifth year in a row [2021, 2020, 2019, 2018], we went to Bambi's Christmas Trees at Douglas and South Harding.

In 2018 and 2019, we went to Bambi's on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. In 2020, we went on Friday after Thanksgiving. In 2021, we didn't get around to going until the weekend after the Thanksgiving weekend; the selection of larger trees was not good. I think that the Sunday morning of the Thanksgiving weekend may be the perfect time to go! There weren't very many people and they had a good selection of trees.

Although I think that it is more than 10', we picked out a 9' to 10' foot tree. We are having it flocked and delivered on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Heading back to Paso Robles plus The Crown

Morgan, Lee and Daniel took off early Saturday morning heading back to Paso Robles. I really enjoyed getting a chance to spend a few days with them. I am looking forward to Christmas.

Sharon and I finished the day watching episode three of season five of The Crown. I was fascinated by the Mohamed Al-Fayed origin story.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Biking and Babysitting Adventures with Lee

Friday morning, Drew, Carmen, Morgan, Daniel, Tiber and I took Lee on a loop around the field at Ancil Hoffman Park on his bike. Drew had gotten the bike for Lee for his birthday. Afterwards, Drew and Carmen headed back to Orinda.

In the late morning, Morgan and Daniel headed to the Palladio Luxe in Folsom to see The Fabelmans. Sharon and I babysat Lee. The three of us ate lunch and watched the USA and England play to a 0-0 tie in a World Cup Soccer group game. Lee sat in Sharon's lap and watched a large portion of the game. Afterwards, we ran a several errands, including getting a tire from the Volvo patched, picking up a gift from Carmen at the Vintage Stardusk store and making a stop at Emily's.

We finished the day with Thanksgiving leftovers and watching the Sacramento Kings versus Boston Celtics NBA Basketball Game.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

After the Run to Feed the Hungry, we pulled together the Thanksgiving dinner. We got home a lot later from the Run to Feed the Hungry than past years. As a result, we got meal in the oven later than we wanted. Like last two years, Sharon and I picked up sides from Whole Foods. For the main course, Sharon ordered a Turducken.

With Jack feeling under the weather, we had a late dinner on the back deck of Turducken, mashed potatoes, green beans and two kinds of stuffing. The Turducken was stuffed with a nice jambalaya stuffing. The group included Morgan, Lee, Daniel, Drew, Carmen, Sharon and I.

I was disappointed that we never got around to playing Catan or Unstable Unicorns. Drew and I talked afterwards about trying to do this at Christmas.

2022 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the eighteenth time in the last nineteen years [2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], Sharon and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Sharon also missed six years ago when she was feeling under the weather.

For the first time, I walked the 5k rather than running the 10k. It was a combination of factors, including: getting home at 12:30 am after picking up Jack; struggling with my left shin, and; pressure to join the family group.

I really enjoyed walking with everyone. In particular, the fabulous 40s were beautiful. Lee got out of the stroller and walked about a mile and a half. He would stop and play in the piles of leaves. I was shocked at the number of people walking the 5k.

It took us more than an hour and a half to cover the three plus miles. Next year, I hope to be back running the 10k!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Dinner and then to San Francisco and Back

Morgan, Lee and Daniel rolled up about 4:15 pm. They are spending a couple of days staying with us to celebrate Thanksgiving. Drew and Carmen showed up shortly afterwards. They are spending two nights in a hotel nearby. The seven of us had a nice dinner of Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili, bread and salad.

About 8 pm, I rolled to San Francisco to pick up Jack. It was an easy drive; the traffic was very light. Jack got off work at 10 pm. With some slight adventures, I picked him up near his work. After a quick stop at his apartment, we headed back. We were back in Carmichael about 12:30 am.

Jury Duty

I had Sacramento County jury duty this week, but my group wasn't called. The last time I had jury duty was 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Hadrian's Wall

My book for November was Hadrian's Wall by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy. More than ten years ago, Jack and I watched a movie called The Eagle. In the movie, they show a Roman fortification that they call Hadrian's Wall. This is described as a wall running all the way across Scotland to protect against the northern tribes. At the time, I thought "yeah, right."

Sharon, Tom and I have scheduled a trip next year to England and Scotland, including a ten day 80 mile hike along the largest Roman artifact known today. It is a Macs Adventure Trip where they will move our luggage each day, while we hike along the Hadrian's Wall.

The book looks at Hadrian's Wall from a number of three angles. First, it examines the history of the Romans in Britian in the first four centuries AD. Second, it explains the type of Roman Legions stationed along the wall. Finally, it details the constuction of the wall.

The book was solid primer for our trip. Next, I am going to read Trekking Hadrian's Wall Path.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Dinner at Jim and Debi's

After spending the day working on the Christmas decorations, Sharon and I went to dinner at our neighbor's Jim and Debi's house. Mike and Jill were also there. They served a turchetta (a turkey breast prepared in the manner of a traditional Italian porchetta) for dinner.

After dinner, we played pool. By the time we wandered home and I walked Tiber, it was after midnight.

Friday, November 18, 2022

California Historical Landmark #1024

While we were in San Francisco in October for Brian and Sam's wedding, I did a walkabout and found three different California Historical Markers, including: #328 Long Wharf; #1010 Original Site of the Third Baptist Church, and; #1024 Juana Briones, Pioneer Settler of Yerba Buena

Juana Briones, Pioneer Settler of Yerba Buena
California State Historical Landmark #1024

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

This landmark is located in Washington Square Park, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 48' 04.1" N 122° 24' 34.3" W.

California Historical Landmark #1024

Juana Briones, born in Hispanic California, was a prominent woman of her time. In the 1830’s and 1840’s she transformed an isolated cove in the then Mexican hamlet of Yerba Buena into her rancho. At the site of this park she raised cattle and grew vegetables for sale to ship crews. She gave sanctuary to refugees and was revered as a healer and caregiver. She is honored as a humanitarian, astute businesswoman, community builder, and devoted mother of eight children.

California Historical Landmark #1024

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era

My fourth book for October was Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era by Laurence Leamer. Sharon gave me the book last Christmas. She was drawn to the book because Truman Capote was mentioned in Anderson Cooper's book that we both read last year.

The book entwines Truman Capote's life story with the stories of a number of women that he befriended. He called them his swans. They included Barbara “Babe” Paley, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli, Slim Hayward, Pamela Churchill, C. Z. Guest and Lee Radziwill (Jackie Kennedy’s sister).

Capote received their deepest confidences. In one fell swoop, he betrayed them. For years, Capote attempted to write Answered Prayers. He eventually published a few chapters in Esquire. The thinly fictionalized lives (and scandals) of his closest female confidantes were laid bare and he was banished from their high-society world forever.

The book provides a solid overview of Capote's life; I really didn't know anything about him. The parts of the book about Lee Radziwill are fascinating. These parts alone made the book worthwhile for me. The material on Pamela Churchill is also interesting. Pamela Churchill figures prominently in the The Splendid and the Vile. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a section on Gloria Vanderbilt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A Wild Couple of Months!

It has been a very busy couple of months.

In late August, I flew to SoCal for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series [August 26th to 28th].

After I got back Sharon left for New York. She and Tom spent thirteen days exploring the state [August 30th to September 11th].

Less than a week after Sharon got back from New York, she and I left for nineteen days in Greece and Turkey [September 16th to October 5th]. It was a spectacular trip!

We went to David and Lo's wedding [October 15th].

We hosted our annual Fall Dinner Party [October 22nd].

We spent a long weekend in San Francisco for Brian and Sam's wedding, including a Donum Harvest Party [October 27th to October 30th].

Sharon and Laura spent a long weekend in Las Vegas [November 4th to November 7th].

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

2022 Kings versus Nets

Tuesday night, I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Brooklyn Nets NBA baskertball game with a group from work [Sean, Patrick, Bill, David, Matthew, Nhon and Mario]. The company that I work for apparently now has a loft. I got to use the corporate tickets three times before [February 2018 Kings versus Bulls, January 2019 Kings versus Trailblazers and March 2019 Kings versus Suns].

With the score tied 40 to 40 in the second quarter, the Kings went on a 27 to 4 run and never looked back. The Kings won the game by the score of 153 to 121. The only time the Kings scored more points in the Sacramento era came in a 154-98 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 2, 1993.

The high scorer for the Kings was Terence Davis. Coming off the bench, Davis scored 31 points on 12 for 16 from the field and 7 for 10 from three. He had no free throws.

As you would expect, Kevin Durant was the high scorer for the Nets. Durant had 27 points on 8 for 15 from the field, 0 for 1 from three and 11 for 11 from the free throw line.

This is the first game that I have seen this season. I missed the home opener with Larkin when I was sick. The Kings have 1 win and 0 losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2022-2023 season.

The loft was very comfortable. I need to figure out a way to organize a Davis Mafia et al outing with a loft.

I haven't seen the Kings play the Nets in the last twenty years...

Monday, November 14, 2022

Lincoln Hills Orchard Course

Sharon played golf with Holly and two other women at the Lincoln Hills Orchard Course. Sharon and I have played this course twice with Holly and Van [December 2020, November 2021].

Afterwards, Sharon and Holly had dinner with Madison at Eureka! The three of them had worked together at Fa/rm Cre/dit We/st.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Decorating the House for Christmas

Given how wild the last two and a half months have been, our normal rhythm of decorating the house has been thrown way off. We didn't start decorating for fall until after we got back from the Greece and Turkey trip.

In the last three years, [2019, 2020, 2021], we started decorating the house for Christmas on the weekend before Thanksgiving rather the weekend after. This year, Sharon decided that she wanted to start decorating for Christmas two weekends before Thanksgiving!?! I spent the bulk of day moving boxes around the house, taking down some outside lights and dragging boxes back and forth from the storage shed. I still have two or three more loads of Christmas decorations to get this week.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Bing Maloney with the Gainsleys

Sharon and I played golf at Bing Maloney with Donna and Kevin. This is only the second time that I have played since we were at Sea Ranch in July. I played with Jack and Larkin on Saturday of the Labor Day Weekend.

Teeing off about 10:20 am, I struggled on the first hole. Over the course of the day, I had a number of nice shots, but was wildly inconsistent. The par fives continue to kill me. Using a couple of mulligans off the tee, I ended up with a fairly honest 115. The pace of play was 4:15. Playing with Kevin's Vegas golf chips, I ended up with the tree, lost ball and beer chips!

It was drizzling when we left home, but the day turned out fairly nice. I was surprised how fast the greens were.


It was a very nice day. I enjoy Kevin and Donna's company. I appreciate that Sharon and I can play golf with other couples!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Annual Rebecca L. Frame Memorial Invitational Scottish Rules Bocce Ball Tournament

Like last year, Sharon and I spent the Veteran's Day afternoon at the 10th not-so-annual Bocce Ball tournament at Tom's house. It was a bigger group than the past couple of years, including Tom, Eric, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Amelia, Terry and Steve, Larry and Robin, the Ryans, their son Teddy and granddaughter, the Bastons(sp?), Erin, Jim, Mary, Sharon and I.

I made it to the finals. With Jim and I tied at six and playing to seven, Jim won the championship.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day #1,474

I bought the Volvo XC60 in October of 2018. After just over four years, it only has 34,153 miles on the odometer. I am sure that in both 2014 and 2015 while I was doing consulting that I drove more miles than 34,000 miles in a year with the Lexus.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Last Friday when Sharon was in Las Vegas, I watched Everything Everywhere All At Once. The movie is on a number of lists as a potential 2023 Oscar nominee. Several of the actors are also being talked about for Oscar nominations.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absurdist comedy-drama film written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and produced by the Russo brothers. The film has been described by The New York Times as a "swirl of genre anarchy" and incorporates elements of comedy, science fiction, fantasy, martial arts films, and animation.

The plot centers on a Chinese American immigrant (played by Michelle Yeoh) who discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from causing the destruction of the multiverse. Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis appear in supporting roles.

I am not sure what to think of the movie. There are some interesting parts at the beginning and the end. The middle has a lot of pretty outrageous martial arts and fantasy sequences. It is not bad, just very odd. I am not sure that Sharon would have sat through it. I don't think that it will win best picture.

As a footnote, it is interesting how the topic of parallel universes has become so popular in books and movies. I have read a couple of interesting science fiction books that use the topic, including The Peripheral and The Space Between Worlds. As I noted in the later review, I have had some interesting conversations with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Snipes about the possible real world ramfications of this theory.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Sharon and Laura's Las Vegas Adventure - Day #4

After an unsatisfactory breakfast at La Creperie in the Paris Hotel, Sharon started to wind her way back home. She ended up getting a Smashburger at the airport. Sharon was booked on a 12:50 pm Southwest flight to Sacramento. Leaving almost twenty minutes late, the flight was on the ground in Sacramento about 2:40 pm.

It took more than thirty minutes for her luggage to show up. Catching an Uber, she was home in Carmichael just before 4 pm.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Sharon and Laura's Las Vegas Adventure - Day #3

After a late breakfast at Cafe Americano at Caesars Palace, Sharon and Laura spent the bulk of the day on a hiking tour of the Valley of Fire. Sharon said that they covered about two miles.
They finished the day with dinner at Sinatra Italian Restaurant at the Wynn. Sharon had Ossobuco “My Way” [braised veal ossobuco, saffron risotto Milanese, gremolata], while Laura had vegan Mushroom Milanese [lightly breaded pan fried mushroom-almond ricotta pancake, tomato fonduta, tricolor salad].

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Sharon and Laura's Las Vegas Adventure - Day #2

Sharon and Laura spent the day in Las Vegas, including:
  • a light lunch overlooking the strip at the Paris Hotel;
  • there was supposed street closures for a F1 fan event;
  • touring Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor;
  • dinner at SushiSamba in the Venetian; and,
  • attending the Earth, Wind and Fire concert at the Venetian.
Sharon said that they walked more than ten miles!

I finished the day watching the Dusty Baker and the Astros win a deciding game six of the World Series against the Phillies.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Sharon and Laura's Las Vegas Adventure - Day #1

Sharon and Laura are spending a long weekend in Las Vegas celebrating Laura's birthday. After some swirl, I took Sharon to the airport. It was a good thing; the parking garage, hourly parking and day lot were all full and closed.

Sharon caught a 1:05 Southwest flight to Burbank. Her flight from Burbank to Las Vegas was delayed more an hour. She was finally on the ground in Las Vegas at 5:50 pm.

They are spending three nights are the Paris Hotel. They had dinner at True Foods Kitchen in the Caesar Forum. They split Roasted Acorn Squash Flatbread [truffle honey, lemon almond ricotta, pistachio, calabrian chili, arugula, garlic purée] and Roasted Brussels Sprouts [miso sesame vinaigrette, toasted sesame seed, chili thread].

I bought them tickets to the Cirque du Soleil The Beatles LOVE show at the Mirage. I saw the show by myself when I was at HIMSS in 2018. I have always wanted to take Sharon back.

Sharon and Laura finished a late night with a cocktail in the bar at the hotel.

I finished the day watching Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Seabourn Esphesus Evening Reception


When the ancient site of Ephesus closes to visitors for the day, Seabourn guests are treated to the extraordinary experience of classical music among the ruins.

After an early dinner on board the ship, depart the pier for a 30-minute coach ride.

At Ephesus, stroll along the ancient Roman road, with centurion guards marking the way.

A magical evening follows, as you listen to a chamber orchestra's repertoire of classical music within the site that boasts some of the most famous ruins in the world.

Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes. The terrain at Ephesus is uneven. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair. Temperatures may be cool; bring a light sweater or jacket. This tour is not a guided Ephesus site visit; please refer to the Kusadasi shore excursions for daytime guided tours of Ephesus. The concert will take place on the Harbor Road inside the Ephesus site. Each guest receives a complimentary photo. For planning purposes, please sign up for this event as soon as possible.
On Day 5 of our Seabourn Cruise, almost everyone on the ship caught buses back to the Esphesus after dinner. Seabourn had a classic music concert set up in front of the Great Theater.

It was a very cool event.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Love Life by Rob Lowe

My third book for October was Love Life by Rob Lowe. I really enjoyed Lowe's first book: Stories I Only Tell My Friends. I bought this book and loaded it into Kindle on my iPhone and iPad before we left on the trip to Greece and Turkey.

Rather than a memior like his first book, this is a collection of stories. Among the adventures he describes in these pages are:
  • his visit, as a young man, to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, where the naïve actor made surprising discovery in the hot tub;
  • what it’s like to be the star and producer of a flop TV show [Lyon's Den];
  • his account of coaching a kid’s basketball team dominated by helicopter parents, and;
  • the time a major movie star stole his girlfriend.
Rob Lowe has lead an amazing life, but I didn't find this book as interesting or fun to read as his first book. There were a couple of times while I was reading a story that I thought where the heck is this going. I grade this book a soft "B-". Read the first book, but skip this one.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Lee - Halloween 2022

Lee, Daniel and Morgan went trick-or-treating in downtown Paso Robles. They close the streets and the businesses give out candy.

Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Brian and Sam's Wedding - Day #4

Sharon and I had breakfast in the hotel [AVOCADO TARTINE and LANDMARK OMELET]. We ran into Holly in the lobby and had a chance to visit with her for a few mintues.

Packing up the room, we pulled away from the hotel about 10:15 am. The plan for the day was the Donum Estates Fall Harvest Member Event. We have been wine club members at Donum since February of 2017. We rolled up to the winery about 11:15 am.

They held the event in the lavender field below the tasting room. We got a chance to walk through the new pavilion for the first time. We had a nice time. We had some food and tasted a number of wines. We walked up to the wind chimes, but decided not to walk to the heart. We started for home a little after 1:30 pm.

It was a very easy drive home; the traffic was very light. With a quick stop for groceries, we were home before 3:30 pm. It was a nice long weekend. It was great to get a chance to spend some time with Jack.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Brian and Sam's Wedding - Day #3

I ran down and got food from Starbucks for breakfast. Sharon's plan for the morning was exploring the new Presidio Tunnel Top Park. We walked from the Omni Hotel to Jack's apartment. From there, Sharon, Jack and I took an Uber to the Presido.

After wandering through the Presidio Visitor Center and around the Tunnel Top Park, the three of us hiked 2.4 miles around Crissy Field to the Torpedo Wharf and back. The weather was perfect. A map is here.

We grabbed lunch from a food truck and ate at the overlook in the Tunnel Top Park. Afterwards, we grabbed an Uber back to Jack's apartment. He had to get to work by 2 pm.

Sharon and I walked back to the Omni. After getting back to the hotel, I went out on a walk about looking for a couple of California Historical Markers. Wandering up Columbia towards Washington Square, I found three, including: LONG WHARF #328; JUANA BRIONES, PIONEER SETTLER OF YERBA BUENA #1024, and; ORIGINAL SITE OF THE THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH #1010.

Getting cleaned up, Sharon and I finished the day at Brian and Sam's wedding. Brian is Holly and Van's oldest. The wedding and the reception were held in the Julia Morgan ballroom. The venue was half a block from the hotel.

Sharon and I sat next to Hannah's parents--Rob and Janette--at dinner. We spent some time talking to Tom and Laurie who we met at Stacey's wedding. We wandered back to the hotel and crashed about 11 pm. I loved how close the wedding venue was to the hotel!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Brian and Sam's Wedding - Day #2

Sharon ran down and got breakfast from Starbucks. I spent the day working in the hotel room including half a dozen virtual meetings and an interview of a CISO candidate. Sharon walked to Jack's apartment. The two of them had an early lunch at Swan Oyster Depot.

In the late afternoon after finishing up my weekly status report, I wandered up to the fitness center. I was very pleased to find two Peloton bikes in the Omni's fitness center. I did a Peloton strength class, a Peloton Power Zone Endurance class and cool down class and walked on the treadmill.

Getting cleaned up, Sharon and I walked to Boulevard. We met Drew and Carmen for dinner. For starters, Carmen had HAMACHI CRUDO [preserved meyer lemon gelee, finger limes, celtuce & sicilian pistachio], Drew had AHI TUNA CARPACCIO ['scattered sushi rice' meyer lemon aioli, smoked trout roe, myoga ginger & fresh wasabi], Sharon [LITTLE GEMS & BROKAW AVOCADO basil anchoiade, deviled jidori egg, toasted parmesan & levain crisp] and I had SPANISH OCTOPUS [gigande beans brandade, grilled calamari, olive crumble & aioli].

For mains, Carman and Sharon had RACK OF LAMB [roasted fig, pistachio & mint, crispy smashed potato & tokyo turnip soubise, sheep's milk ricotta], Drew had ANGUS BEEF FILET [herbed tater tot potato, roasted broccolini, green peppercorn & bay leaf sauce, lardo & rosemary] and I had [BERKSHIRE PORK CHOP garnet yam fritters, golden cauliflower, chanterelles, quince butter & blueberries, walnut relish].

For dessert, I had MOUNTAIN ROSE APPLE CHEESECAKE [cardamom Arlette tuile, whiskey vanilla sherbet, calvados caramel], Sharon and Carmen had 'HOT CHOCOLATE' CAKE [salted caramel ice cream, almond cocoa nib brittle & dark chocolate sorbet] and Drew had BERRIES & FIGS [blueberry sorbet, coconut yogurt, golden kiwi & lime pearls]. My meal was very good, better than Thursday night at BIX.

I walked back to the hotel, while Drew gave Sharon a ride. We finished the night in Monte's Bar in the hotel. The wedding party hosted a cash bar get together. We visited with Holly, Van, Tom and Laurie. We crashed in the room about 11 pm.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Brian and Sam's Wedding - Day #1

Sharon and I took off in the afternoon for San Francisco. The traffic was light; it took just over two hours. Sharon drove and I attended a couple of meetings in Teams on my iPad using my iPhone as a hotspot. Like on the trip to Paso Robles, I am surprised how well this set-up works.

We are spending three nights at the Omni Hotel. Holly and Van's son is getting married on Saturday. We decided to come down early so that Sharon could spend Friday with Jack.

After getting settled in the room, we walked to BIX for dinner. This restaurant is located in an alley in the Jackson Square Historic District. Located in downtown San Francisco, the district dates back to the city's earliest years and the 1849 gold rush. It is known for its historic commercial buildings in the classical revival and Italianate styles. Variously described as a civilized speakeasy, a supper club and an elegant saloon, BIX offers modern American cuisine served in a soaring two-story dining room to the strains of live jazz nightly.

After a drink at the bar, we had a very nice table on the second floor overlooking the restaurant. We started with some oysters, the Potato Pillows [Crème Fraîche, California Sturgeon Caviar] and Honeynut Squash Soup [Dungeness Crab, Toasted Pepitas]. For entrees, Sharon had Mt. Lassen Trout [Haricots Verts, New Potatoes, Almonds, Brown Butter], while I had Lobster Spaghetti [Cherry Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Basil]. The food was solid.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022


On the flight from Athens to Newark, I watched Patton. Recently we rewatched Love Story, Patton won the Best Picture Oscar the year that Love Story was nominated. I downloaded the movie to my iPad before we left for the trip.

Patton is a 1970 biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott as Patton and Karl Malden as General Omar Bradley. Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Rod Steiger all turned down the role of Patton. Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North wrote the screenplay based on the books Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier's Story by Omar Bradley.

Patton won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Scott also won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of General Patton, but declined to accept the award.

Although almost three hours long, this is a very good film. The writing is excellent. George C. Scott's performance is fantastic. I recommend the film.

I usually read when we fly, but this was a great way to kill a couple of hours on the plane.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Acts of John, According to Prochorus: An Apocryphal Account of His Journeys, Miracles and Death

My second book for October was Acts of John, According to Prochorus: An Apocryphal Account of His Journeys, Miracles and Death by Margarita Grillis, Prochorus and James Corr (Editor). During our excursion on Patmos, the guide mentioned this book. My interest was piqued.

The Acts of John, according to Prochorus is the English translation of a manuscript found in the library of the medieval monastery of St John the Theologian on the remote Greek island of Patmos. We toured the monastery.

The original text, dating from the 17th century, narrates the apocryphal stories of Christ’s youngest and most beloved disciple. It chronicles St John’s journey from Jerusalem to Ephesus and Patmos and his trials and tribulations. There is a lot of raising the dead and casting out of demons.

I only recommend the book as background for visits to Patmos and Ephesus. We visited the Basilica of St John in Ephesus; St. John was buried there. We also visited the house of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus. Although Mary was supposedly taken there by Saint John, this is not mentioned in the book. [Note to self], I need to find books on the Knights of St John and the Ottoman Empire.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

2022 Fall Dinner Party

Sharon and I have made it a tradition to host a fall dinner party [2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 20112010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]. We skipped 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. We did hold a fall dinner party Zoom cocktail hour that year, but it was a poor substitute for the real thing.

In celebration of this year's trip, the theme was Greece and Turkey. While we were on the trip, we took two cooking classes: one in Turkey; and, another one in Greece. We used recipes from both classes in the menu. I probably contributed more to the cooking of the meal than anytime in the recent past. I made the filo roses on Saturday afternoon and barbecued the fish. The full menu is here.

The group included the Larkins, Gainsleys, Wongs and Janie. Over the last ten years, it has become part of the traditional to dress in costume to match the party theme. I have a great series of pictures of everyone in front of Sharon's entry way decorations that I will post in the coming weeks. Sharon did a great job decorating. Pictures of her tablescape are here.

During dessert, we watched Dinner For One. There was some clammoring for the Lonely Plant skits, but like last year I couldn't find them on the AppleTV.

It was about 11:15 pm when we walked the Larkins and the Gainsleys to the front gate to catch an Uber. It was a very nice evening.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Lee's 3rd Birthday

Drew, Carmen, Sharon and I joined Morgan, Daniel and Lee via FaceTime to celebrate Lee's 3rd Birthday. Sharon and I got him a Tonka Excavator. It was a great time!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

2023 Oscar Favorites

Goldderby Oscar Favorites as of October 8, 2022

Best Picture
    The Fabelmans - November 23, 2022
    ✔ Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Women Talking - December 2, 2022
    Babylon - January 6, 2023 with Brad Pitt
    The Banshees of Inisherin October 21. 2022
    ✔ Top Gun: Maverick
    TAR - October 7, 2022 with Cate Blanchett
    The Whale - December 9, 2022 with Brendan Fraiser
    Empire of Light - December 9, 2022 with Olivia Coleman
    The Woman King - September 16, 2022 with Viola Davis

Best Actress
    Cate Blanchett - TAR
    ✔ Michelle Yeoh - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Michelle Williams - The Fabelmans
    Margot Robbie - Babylon
    Danielle Deadwyler - Till
    Viola Davis - The Woman King

Best Actor
    Brendan Fraser - The Whale
    Colin Farrell - The Banshees of Inisherin
    ✔ Austin Butler - Elvis
    Hugh Jackman - The Son
    Bill Nighy - Living
    Diego Calva - Babylon

Best Supporting Actress
    Jessie Buckley - Women Talking
    Claire Foy - Women Talking
    ✔ Stephanie Hsu - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Kerry Condon - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Hong Chau - The Whale
    Vanessa Kirby - The Son

Best Supporting Actor
    ✔ Ke Huy Quan - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Paul Dano - The Fabelmans
    Ben Whishaw - Women Talking
    Judd Hirsch - The Fabelmans
    Brendan Gleeson - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Brad Pitt - Babylon

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

2022 Kings versus Blazers

Larkin and I were scheduled to go to the Sacramento Kings versus Portland Trailbrazers NBA game on Wednesday night. Still struggling with a sinus infection, I called Larkin on Wednesday morning and let him know that I wasn't going to make it. I was very disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing the Kings play.

Leading 106 to 105 with a minute to play, the Kings let the game slip away. Jerami Grant scored on lay up and a foul shot with 50 second left to put the Trailbrazers up by 108 to 106. The Kings lost the game by the score of 115 to 108.

The high scorer for the Kings was De'Aaron Fox. He scored 33 points on 12 for 21 from field, 5 for 9 from three and 4 for 5from the free throw line.

Jerami Grant was the high scorer for the Trailbrazers. He scored 23 points on 5 for 11 from the field, 3 for 3 from three and 10 for 13 from the free throw line.

First-round rookie Keegan Murray (COVID protocols) was sidelined. I really looking forward to seeing Murray play.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe

My book for October was Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe. Sharon listened to the audio book a couple of years ago. We have recently talked about rewatching West Wing and starting Parks and Rec; Lowe appeared in both shows.

This is an almost unbelieveable story. A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu. The book highlights this career through the 2010s as well as his struggles with alcohol and his road to sobriety.

The number of famous people that he is friends with or has crossed paths with is amazing. In Malibu, he was neighbors and friends with Sean Penn, Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. His first major movie was The Outsiders; the cast included: Matt Dillon; Ralph Macchio; Patrick Swayze; Emilio Estevez; Tom Cruise; and, Diane Lane.

I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and very entertaining. Repeating myself, the stories are almost unbelievable. [Note to self], Sharon and I need to watch The Outsiders!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Seabourn Encore Suite 738

Sharon and I spent two weeks living in Suite 738 on the Seabourn Encore. It was very comfortable. It included a walk-in closet, two sinks in the bathroom and a hallway vanity where Sharon could sit and put on her make-up. The only gore point was the end of bed; it was almost impossible for two people to pass each other or get around each other. The one odd feature is that there is a slight step up into the bathroom.