Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Volvo XC60 T8 - Day #1346

The Volvo is perfect for running errands around town. I haven't used a drop of gas in the last week.

Monday, July 04, 2022

2022 Frame Family Fourth of July

Sharon's brother Tom hosted a Frame Family 4th of July. The group totaled nineteen, including: Sharon and I, Tom, Eric and Ashley, Kevin, Leah, Lydia and Amelia, Terry and Steve, Tim and Kathy, Erin and Cormac, Will and Eileen, Mary and Jim.

Tom barbecued chicken sausage and barts for dinner. We brought potato salad.

We finished the night with a selection of fireworks on Tom's driveway. The fireworks were generally disappointing.

When we got home, we saw the last part of the second night of the Rancho Cordova fireworks display. Sharon talked about hosting Fourth of July at our house next year and enjoying this show, rather than shooting off fireworks in the driveway...

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Ancil Hoffman Neighborhood Golf Outing

Sunday afternoon, Sharon and I played golf with Jim and Debi and Mike and Jill at Ancil Hoffman. We have done a neighbor golf outing/tournament a couple of times in the last two years [September 2021, April 2021 and July 2020].

Still recovering from mohs surgery on Wednesday, I just chipped and putted on most of the holes. I experimented with the chipper around the greens. On the par threes, I hit off the tee. Teeing off at 3 pm, we only played 15 holes.

After golf, we hosted everyone at our house for dinner. Sharon made a great dinner of salmon and rice. Jim and Debi made a charcuterie plate. Mike and Jill made a grilled caesar salad and a peach cobbler.

We finished the night on the upper balcony watching the Rancho Cordova fireworks.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Zinfandel Grille plus The Offer

After spending the day getting ready to entertain on Sunday, Sharon and I had dinner at the Zinfandel Grille. We spilt a CAESAR SALAD [Romaine Hearts, Garlic Croutons And Shaved Parmesan]. For entrees, I had SHELLFISH & SAFFRON RISOTTO [Shrimp, Clams, Calamari, Parmesan], while Sharon had TAGLIATELLE [Pork Bolognese, Crescenza cheese, Bread Crumb]. Sharon rarely orders pasta...

We finished the evening watching episode three of the The Offer. The miniseries is about the development and production of The Godfather (1972).

Friday, July 01, 2022

Bill Simmons on the 2022 Sacramento Kings

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Tuesday night, Sharon and I watched the last episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was created for the streaming service Disney+. It is part of the Star Wars franchise and stars Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi reprising his role from the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Set ten years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), the series follows Kenobi as he sets out to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) from the Galactic Empire, leading to a confrontation with his former apprentice, Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen).

I enjoyed watching Ewan McGregor. Drew noted that he and Carmen were saying how they left the last episode feeling a little underwhelmed because the stakes are so low when you know that everyone is going to survive. It was fortuitous that we watched Revenge of the Sith right before the miniseries started. It will be interesting to see if they do a second season.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Untouchables

With Sharon out to dinner with Holly and feeling under the weather, I watched The Untouchables. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards. Sean Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The Untouchables is a 1987 crime film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. It is based on the 1957 book of the same name.

The film stars Kevin Costner [Dances with Wolves, Yellowstone], Charles Martin Smith, Andy García, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery. It follows Eliot Ness (Costner) as he forms the Untouchables team to bring Al Capone (De Niro) to justice during Prohibition.

I recommend the movie. I have always enjoyed Sean Connery and watched the movie primarily because he won an Oscar for his role in the film. I was surprised to see a young Kevin Costner in the lead role.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

In May, Jack got us to watch Revenge of the Sith. The three of us originally saw it in the theater in 2005.

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was written and directed by George Lucas. It stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz.

The sequel to The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones (2002), It is the sixth film in the Star Wars film series and the final installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Anakin Skywalker is tasked by the Council to spy on Palpatine, the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and, secretly, a Sith Lord. Palpatine manipulates Anakin into turning to the dark side of the Force and becoming his apprentice, Darth Vader.

I have always enjoyed the first fifteen minutes of this film. It was the perfect set up for watching the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries on Disney+. We finished watching episode six of Obi-Wan Kenobin on Tuesday night.

Monday, June 27, 2022

2022 Sacramento Kings NBA Draft Grades

The Sacramento Kings pick of Keegan Murray over Jaden Ivey has been almost universally frowned upon. The argument is that they should have either taken Ivey or traded down to team who wanted Ivey. Personally, I didn't want the Kings to draft another guard.

[Note to self], I am going to track Murray versus Ivey over the next couple of years. Hopefully, it won't turn out to be another "one pick away from greatness."

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Dinner at Kim and Brun's

Sunday night, we had dinner at Kim and Brun's in River Park. Their daughters Sarah and Velta joined us. Brun barbecued salmon.

We spent part of the evening looking through old pictures. We finished the night watching a video that Brun et al made in high school that featured Sharon's brother Tim.


Sunday morning, Sharon and I played pickleball with Greg, Michelle, Jim and Debi.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

One Pick Away From Greatness

The Sacramento Kings have always been one pick away from greatness over the past decade.
  • 2011: drafted Jimmer Fredette 10th and Klay Thompson went 11th
  • 2012: drafted Thomas Robinson 5th and Damian Lillard went 6th
  • 2018: drafted Marvin Bagley III 2nd and Luka Doncic went 3rd

Friday, June 24, 2022

Neighborhood Pool Get Together

The Hugo is a slightly alcoholic aperitif, originating in South Tyrol, but widespread in Triveneto, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, based of prosecco, elderflower syrup (or lemon balm syrup), seltzer (or sparkling water) and mint leaves. Stir together over plenty of ice.
Sharon organized get together at the Deterding Ranch neighborhood pool on Friday evening. She made Hugos for everyone.

The group included Mike and Jill, Greg and Michele, Jim and Debi, Sharon and I.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Yellowstone - Season Four

Sharon and I finished watching season four of Yellowstone. We have watched a lot of Yellowstone over the last couple of months... We finished season one in September of 2021, season two in March of 2022 and season three in late May.

Yellowstone was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson. Season four premiered on November 7, 2021. Much to my regret, the series has been renewed for a fifth season which is set to premiere on November 13, 2022.

Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner [Dances with Wolves], Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, and Gil Birmingham.

The series follows the conflicts along the shared borders of a large cattle ranch, a Native reservation, and land developers. Kevin Costner as John Dutton stars as a sixth-generation patriarch who operates the Yellowstone/Dutton Ranch.

The series has fostered several spin-offs, including 1883 and 6666. To introduce the new series 1883 to Yellowstone viewers, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill reprised their roles as James and Margaret Dutton in flashback scenes during the fourth season of Yellowstone to show what life was like on the Dutton ranch in 1893. Additionally, a subplot involving Jefferson White as Jimmy Hurdstrom is set at the 6666 Ranch.

As I have said before, I find about half of the plot unrealistic and outrageous. I don't recommend the show.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Top Gun: Maverick

On Father's Day morning, Jack, Sharon and I went to see Top Gun: Maverick at the Country Club Cinema. We had watched the original 1986 Top Gun on Saturday night.

The sequel stars Tom Cruise as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell reprising his role from the original. It includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer. I was surprised to see Jon Hamm with such a large role in the movie.

Set 36 years after its predecessor, it follows Maverick's return to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program. Cruise trains a group of younger aviators for a suicide mission, among them the son of Maverick's deceased best friend.

Jack and Sharon both really liked the movie. When it was over, Jack said "that was awesome." Sharon liked it a lot more than the original...

Monday, June 20, 2022

To San Francisco

Jack has moved from Washington DC to San Francisco. He moved out of his apartment in DC in March. Jack and a high school friend Jason got an apartment in the city on Hyde Street in May.

On Monday, they rented a U-Haul truck. They dragged a bunch of their stuff to the new apartment.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Father's Day 2022

A nice Father's Day.

After watching Top Gun on Saturday night, Jack, Sharon and I went to an early 10 am showing of Top Gun: Maverick at the Country Club Cinema. Buying tickets on Friday night, I was surprised to find only seats available in the first two rows. We sat in B7, B8 and B9 in theater 10.

Over the course of the weekend, Sharon and I watched the US Open from The Country Club in Boston. Sharon was rooting for Will Zalatoris; she had followed him at the PGA Championship. Matt Fitzpatrick won. He beat Zalatoris by a stroke.

After running on the treadmill, I connected with Drew, Lee, Morgan and Daniel on Facetime. It was nice to talk to them. It warms my heart that Lee greeted me chatting Fazha.

Jack, Drew and I played Catan. I thought that I was doing well in the first game, but Jack came out of nowhere to win. Drew won the second game going away.
I barbecued hamburgers for dinner.

Jack, Sharon and I finished the day watching episodes four and five of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Top Gun [plus Paragarys]

We picked Jack up at the Amtrak station and headed to Paragary's for an early dinner. For a starter, we split an order of WOOD OVEN ROASTED MUSSELS [pilsner, garlic, Fresno chiles, toasted bread]. Sharon and I split an ENDIVE & ARUGULA salad [local cherries, Marcona almonds, avocado, ricotta salata, golden balsamic vinaigrette]. For main courses, Sharon and I both had FETTUCCINE & WILD CAUGHT GULF SHRIMP [delta asparagus, garlic, capers, lemon, hot pepper], while Jack had SPINACH & RICOTTA RAVIOLI [lemon butter, toasted walnuts, pea sprouts, parmesan] plus MAC & CHEESE [gruyere, parmesan, truffled pecorino, breadcrumbs]. We split a TARTUFO [chocolate almond shortbread, coffee ice cream bon bon] for dessert.

Planning to see the new Top Gun movie on Sunday morning, we watched the 1986 film as a rental on the AppleTV. It stars Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, with Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt in supporting roles.

Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer, LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

"Take My Breath Away" by Berlin won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Sharon and Jack were vocal about how dated the movie looked and how bad it was. I wasn't quite so critical...

In February of 1988, a large group of us went to Mazatlan for Nooter's bachelor party. I can remember walking down the beach and one of the group started singing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by The Righteous Brothers to a young lady. Watching the film, it struck me that he must have done this because of the scene in this movie! I never really understood the genesis of this before.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Ten Lost Days

After testing positive for COVID on June 8, I was under the weather for five days. I tested positive for COVID again on Monday. Working to get back on my feet this week, we continued to isolate and wear masks for another five days. With all kinds of things cancelled, it feels like a lost ten days.

I tested positive for COVID again on Friday morning. At this point, I feel fine, but with a bit of a lingering cough.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Throwback Thursday - Sacramento Capitols - 1982

This picture was on one of the boards at Ricky's Celebration of Life earlier this month. I asked Gail for a copy. Ricky and I are playing for the Sacramento Capitols in early 1982. Tomasin wasn't sure who we were playing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Rosetta Stone

In the beginning of the book that I am currently reading [River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile], it talks about the French finding the Rosetta Stone during Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. The British subsequently defeated the France army and claimed the stone. It was transported to the British Museum.

I was surprised to see the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum when we were in London in 2019.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Washoe House

Ricky's Celebration of Life was held at the Washoe House.

Washoe House
E Clampus Vitus

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

This marker is located at 2840 Roblar Road, Petaluma, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 18' 52.9" N 122° 44' 08.8" W.

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

Washoe House
Washoe House
Erected 1859

Located on Spanish grant Roblar de la Miseria. The pioneer hostelry was built by Robert Ayres and served as a stage coach station between Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Bodega during the early days of Sonoma County.

Yerba Buena Chapt. E Clampus Vitus
April 13, 1958

Washoe House

Monday, June 13, 2022


Telling Nooter a story during dinner on Tuesday night, I repeated something that I have long believed.
No matter how much time you spend with a couple and how well you think that you know them, it is impossible to understand their relationship and know what really goes on when no one else is around...

Sunday, June 12, 2022

A Desolation Called Peace

My book for June was A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine. The book was nominated for 2021 Nebula Best Novel award, but didn't win. It is also nominated for 2022 Hugo Best Novel Award.

The novel is a sequel to A Memory Called Empire; I read that book in November of 2020. A Memory Called Empire won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

The story continues to follow Mahit Dzmare, the ambassador from Lsel Station to the Teixcalaanli Empire. In the aftermat of the political upheaval in the first book, Dzmare is called upon to assist with an alien first contact.

Building on the themes from the first book in the series, the book tackles conquest and colonialism, what constitutes language, and personal connection to culture and institutions. The book also introduces the theme of collective consciousness.

The title alludes to a famous phrase by Tacitus who quotes a Caledonian chieftain describing the policies of the Roman Empire: solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant – "they make a wasteland and call it peace".

I enjoyed the book. I don't think that it is as good as the first novel in the series. It is worth reading if you read the first book.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Downton Abbey: A New Era. This is a sequel to the 2019 Downton Abbey film; we watched the first movie in February of 2021. Both films are based on the television series. We watched the series over a six month period in 2020 and 2021: season one August 2020, season two early September 2020, season three late September 2020, season four October 2020 at Sea Ranch, season five December 2020 and season six January 2021.

Downton Abbey: A New Era was released in May of 2022. Sharon saw it in the theater with Janie when she was in Tulsa.

Set in 1928, the film follows two parallel story lines. First, the Dowager Countess of Grantham reveals that years ago the recently deceased Marquis de Montmirail gave her a villa on the French Riveria. Second, A film production company requests to use Downton for a silent film called The Gambler.

Sharon liked the this movie more than the first movie. I enjoyed and recommend the television series and both movies. Both films were written by Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of the television series. I also recommend his recent television series The Glided Age.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Golden State Warriors versus Boston Celtics

Feeling under the weather, I watched the Golden State Warriors play the Boston Celtics in game four of the 2022 NBA Finals. With the Celtics leading 94 to 90 with 5:18 left to play, the Warriors went on a 17 to 3 run to win the game by the score of 107 to 97.

Stephen Curry was the leading scorer for the Warriors. He had 43 points on 14 for 26 from the field, 7 for 14 from three and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He added 10 rebounds.

Steve Kerr's substitutions with Jordan Poole and Draymond Green in the last eight minutes were masterful.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

tested positive

Coming out of the gatherings over the weekend, I tested positive for COVID on Wednesday. A number of people who attended the events also tested positive.

This blows up a week's worth of upcoming events. Nooter and I were talking about going to the Giants game today, Sharon and I planned to have dinner with Kim and Brun on Friday night, Donna's 60th birthday party is Saturday and we were planning to leave with Holly and Van on Sunday for a few days in Truckee.

Snipes picked Nooter up in the afternoon. Nooter is flying to Kansas City on Friday for a wedding.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Claremont Court Gate and Street Markers

We passed this historical marker during our walk around Berkeley on Sunday morning when we went to visit Drew and Carmen.

Claremont Court Gate and Street Markers
City of Berkeley Landmark

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

This marker is located at the corner of Claremont Boulevard and Russell Street, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 51.548′ N, 122° 14.714′ W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.
City of Berkeley Landmark
designated in 2005

Claremont Court Gate and Street Markers
Claremont Boulevard and Russell Street
John Galen Howard, Architect

These entry gates help define one of Berkeley’s most gracious residential areas, Claremont Court, which was designed to attract the growing number of prosperous Bay Area professionals in the early 1900s. Developer Mason-McDuffie engaged Howard, the University’s supervising architect, to design the gateway.

The elegant red brick pillars heighten the formal ambiance of the area. Their moldings of ivory-colored terra-cotta, Ionic capitals, and clusters of acanthus leaves follow the Beaux-Arts aesthetic. The central pillar dividing the street was later removed to ease traffic as cars became popular. Additional entry gates stand on Avalon Avenue, Forest Avenue, and Russell Street.

Berkeley Historical Plaque

Tuesday, June 07, 2022


After flying to California for Ricky's celebration of life last Thursday, Nooter is spending the week on the West Coast before he heads to a wedding in Kansas City. After spending a few days with the Snipes and then the Tomasins, I picked him up in at the Snipes' house in Davis. Nooter and I finished the night with dinner at Rey Azteca.

Sharon spent a very long day working a primary election polling place with her brother Tom.

Monday, June 06, 2022

2002 Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
    A Beautiful Mind - winner
   ✔ Gosford Park
    In the Bedroom
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    Moulin Rouge!

Best Actor
    Denzel Washington – Training Day - winner
    Russell Crowe – A Beautiful Mind
    Sean Penn – I Am Sam
    Will Smith – Ali
    Tom Wilkinson – In the Bedroom

Best Actress
    Halle Berry – Monster's Ball - winner
    Judi Dench – Iris
    Nicole Kidman – Moulin Rouge!
    Sissy Spacek – In the Bedroom
    Renée Zellweger – Bridget Jones's Diary

Best Supporting Actor
    Jim Broadbent – Iris as John Bayley - winner
    Ethan Hawke – Training Day as Officer Jake Hoyt
    Ben Kingsley – Sexy Beast as Don Logan
    Ian McKellen – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring as Gandalf
    Jon Voight – Ali as Howard Cosell

Best Supporting Actress
    Jennifer Connelly – A Beautiful Mind as Alicia de Lardé-Nash - winner
   ✔ Helen Mirren – Gosford Park as Jane Wilson
   ✔ Maggie Smith – Gosford Park as Constance Trentham
    Marisa Tomei – In the Bedroom as Natalie Strout
    Kate Winslet – Iris as Iris Murdoch

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen/Original Screenplay
   ✔ Gosford Park – Julian Fellowes - winner
    Amélie – Guillaume Laurant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    Memento – Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
    Monster's Ball – Milo Addica and Will Rokos
    The Royal Tenenbaums – Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson

Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published/Adapted Screenplay
    A Beautiful Mind – Akiva Goldsman based on the book by Sylvia Nasar - winner
    Ghost World – Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff based on the comic book by Daniel Clowes
    In the Bedroom – Rob Festinger and Todd Field based on the story "Killings" by Andre Dubus
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – based on the book by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Shrek – based on the book by William Steig

The 2022 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2021 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2020 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2019 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2018 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2017 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2016 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2015 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2014 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2013 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2010 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2002 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1988 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1975 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1973 Oscar nominations are here.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Brunch at the Tomasins

Moving slowly on Sunday morning, Sharon and I checked out of the Hampton Inn and headed to the Tomasins. They hosted a brunch for everyone who had attended Ricky's celebration of life on Saturday. Drew came up from Orinda.

It was very nice to see everyone. We need to figure out a way to get everyone together again in the future without having someone die...

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Ricky's Celebration of Life

Sharon, Drew, Carmen and I attended Ricky's celebration of life at the Washoe House in Petaluma. There was a large contingent from UC Davis, including Snipes, Moore, Chabrier, Geselbracht, Nooter, Gribi, Wallen and Jill, Tomasin and Julie, Hunter and Yuli and Lindsay and Maria. Tomasin got up and did a nice job talking about Ricky.
After the celebration, the group had a late dinner at Rosso Pizzeria in Santa Rosa. Dropping Sharon at the Hampton Inn in Windsor, I wandered over to the Tomasin's house. I eventually wandered back to the hotel and crashed.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Davis Mafia Dinner

With lots of people coming into town for Ricky's celebration of life, we pulled together a dinner at il Fornaio in downtown Sacramento. The group included Hunter, Robbie, Nooter, Geselbracht, Snipes and Joy, Wallen and Jill, Al and Jeanie, Mike and Karen, and Sharon and I. It was a very nice evening. We closed the place down. It was after 11:30 pm by the time Sharon and I got home.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Throwback Thursday - Puerto Vallarta - December 1992

Gail sent Drew the picture on the left last weekend. I spent a week playing Rugby in Puerto Vallarta in December of 1992. The picture on the right is part of a photo album of My Life; one picture for each of my years. It has Ricky (#7), Tomasin and I on the field during that week. One more picture from that trip is here.

Ricky's Celebration of Life is this weekend. Love you, Ricky, miss you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Yellowstone - Season Three

Monday night, Sharon and I finished watching season three of Yellowstone. We finished season one in September of 2021 and season two in March of 2022.

Yellowstone was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson. Season three premiered on June 21, 2020. In February 2022, the series was renewed for a fifth season which will be split into two installments of seven episodes each. The fifth season is set to premiere on November 13, 2022.

It stars Kevin Costner [Dances with Wolves], Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, and Gil Birmingham.

The series follows the conflicts along the shared borders of a large cattle ranch, a Native reservation, and land developers. Kevin Costner as John Dutton stars as a sixth-generation patriarch who operates the Yellowstone/Dutton Ranch.

As I have said before, Sharon enjoys the series much more than I do. From my perspective, the show is constantly jumping the shark with an enormous amount of gratuitous violence. I find about half of the plot unrealistic and outrageous. I don't recommend the show. Unfortunately, we are already watching season four...

Monday, May 30, 2022

2022 Berkeley - Day #3

Sharon found a route from the Claremont Hotel through the UC Berkeley Campus on RunGo. We ended up walking just over four miles in about an hour and forty minutes. The walk went past the Claremont Court Gate and Street Markers and looped around the bell/clock tower on campus. We stopped along the way at the Strada Cafe for a light breakfast.

Getting cleaned up and packing up the room, we rolled from the hotel about 11:45 am. We headed to Drew and Carmen's house. We spent about an hour and a half visiting in the backyard.

Jack rolled up in Sharon's car about 1:30 pm. He is moving into an apartment with Jason in San Francisco.

The five of us went into Orinda and had lunch at the Four Bore Tap Room & Grill for lunch. Sharon had a Steak BLTA salad [flat iron steak, blue cheese crumbles, onion strings, bacon, avocado, red onion, balsamic vinaigrette], while I had the classic burger.

We started for home about 3:30 pm. I had been considering going home through the delta, but Waze said there wasn't much traffic on 80. Taking 24 to 680 to 80 to 50, we were home in just over an hour and a half. Given that it was the end of a holiday weekend, I was shocked how light the traffic was!

Drew took Jack and a load of boxes to Jack's apartment in the City. Both Sharon and I are looking forward to having Jack and Drew so close in the bay area.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

2022 Berkeley - Day #2

We had a light breakfast at the East Bay Provisions at the Carriage Entrance to the hotel. Sharon had a burnt breakfast burrito, while I had a ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

The plan for the day was a hike in Tilden Park. We drove to Drew and Carmen's house. After a tour of the house, Drew, Sharon and I headed into the park. We parked the car at the parking lot for the Steam Trains & Golden Gate Live Steamers.

We hiked the Seaview Trail. The trail has some fantastic views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. In total, we hiked 5.9 miles in just under three hours. A map is here.

Dropping Drew back at his house, Sharon and I headed back to the hotel and got cleaned up. Since we skipped lunch, we headed to the Limewood Bar & Restaurant for a glass of rose and a snack (another cheese plate).

We finished the evening with dinner at the Revival Bar + Kitchen. This turned out to be a disappointment. We had a nice drink at the bar and chatted with the bartender. When we went to get seated, the large restaurant was empty. We were the only customers!?!

As a starter, we split a solid kale caesar [snap pea, carrots, radish, crispy quinoa, grana padano, fennel]. For mains, Sharon had painted hills braised beef short ribs [green polenta, broccoli & shiitake relish, demiglace], while I had wild california king salmon [spinach, crispy red bliss potatoes, fennel relish, cherry tomato, basil & fennel relish]. The entrees were not good.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

2022 Berkeley - Day #1

In the early afternoon, Sharon and I took off for Berkeley. We are spending two nights at the Claremont Hotel. With Drew and Carmen settled in a house in Orinda, we wanted to stay somewhere close by. I suggested this hotel and Sharon jumped on the idea.

We rolled up to the hotel just before 3 pm. The room was ready. The hotel is a little bit of a maze. We had to go down a floor from the lobby to the spa, hike across first floor, take an elevator up to the second floor and then find the room. It is an odd layout. The room had a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

After getting settled in the room, we wandered back to the front of the hotel. There is an outside area set up with a bar in a trailer. The seating area has great views of San Francisco, the bridges and the bay. We had a glass of rose and a Cheese Board [selection of artisan cheeses, honey, preserves, grilled sourdough].

We had dinner in the Limewood Bar & Restaurant in the hotel. We split a Garden Salad [spring lettuce, asparagus, radish, shiso vinaigrette]. For entrees, I had a Heritage Pork Loin Chop [garnet yams, sauce charcutiere], while Sharon had 1/2 a Fried Chicken [fried potato salad].

The food was only ok. Both of us were surprised at how causal the restaurant was; we expected something a little more upscale. Additionally, the restaurant and the hotel in general was overun by families with small kids which seemed odd.

We finished the night watching Dynasties II: Elephant.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Glendale to White to Simi

In addition to being very close to the Glendale hospital, I like the Residence Inn Los Angeles Glendale because it has a Peloton bike. I started the day with a thirty minute Pop Ride with Cody.

I spent the day going from Glendale to White to Simi Valley and meeting with the IT Director at each site. I was glad that Sharon wasn't with me driving from site to site; I swear that the lanes are narrower in Southern California. In general, traffic was lighter than I expected. I ended up running ahead of schedule all day.

Heading back to the Burbank airport, my 5:30 pm Southwest flight was late coming from Phoneix. Boarding with A42 and going up the back stairs, I ended up with the two seat exit row aisle seat on an older 737. Although the flight was fairly full, no one ended up seating next to me. We ended up taking off about 6:15 pm.

I lamented to Jack and Sharon that people just don't know how to travel. I was fascinated by the amount of drama going on around me when people were loading and unloading the plane.

I was home back in Carmichael about 8:15 pm. Jack, Sharon and I finished the night watching the season finale of Survivor 42.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

To Glendale

After more than two years of working from home, things have started to shift. I was in the Roseville Building on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended an in person meeting of more than 140 executives.

Thursday afternoon, I caught a 4:05 pm Southwest flight to Burbank. Boarding with A33, I was able to get an exit row aisle on a 737 Max 8. There were only 70 people on the flight; I had a row to myself. Picking up a Hertz rental car, I headed to Glendale. I am spending one night at the Residence Inn Los Angeles Glendale. I stayed at this hotel last November.

I finished the day running on the treadmill, watching the Warriors beat the Mavs in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals and walking a couple of blocks to Chiplote to get dinner. In an odd twist, Drew actually spent the day driving to SoCal and back to pick up a set of speakers; he should have spent the night with me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2022 Tulsa - Day #8

After spending the week with Janie in Tulsa, Sharon wound her way home. She caught a 9:30 am United Express flight from Tulsa to Denver. Sharon then took a 11:50 am United flight from Denver to Sacramento. On the ground in Sacramento before 1:30 pm, she took an Uber home. Sharon was back in Carmichael by 2:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season Four

Sharon and I finished watching season four of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The fourth season was released on February 17, 2022. We finished watching the first season on September 6, 2019, the second season on September 22, 2019 and the third seasaon on March 6, 2020.

The show stars Rachel Bresnahan (Rachel in House of Cards) as Miriam "Midge" Maisel. Maisel is a New York housewife in the late 1950s who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy and pursues a career in it. Marin Hinkle (Judith on Two and a Half Men) and Tony Shalhoub (Wings and Monk) feature in supporting roles as her parents.

The series has been renewed for a fifth season. Reportedly, this will be the final season.

Both Sharon and I have really enjoyed this show. I recommend it. [Note to self], we need to binge watch these series. Lately, we have ended up watching several shows with large gaps between episodes. It makes it hard to keep track of the plot.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Drive My Car

Friday and Saturday night, I watched Drive My Car. This is part of my continuing journey to see all of the movies that are nominated for the 2022 Oscars. The film earned four nominations at the 94th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. It won Best International Feature Film. I have now seen all ten of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture.

Drive My Car is an introspective Japanese drama film co-written and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. It is based on Haruki Murakami's short story of the same name from his 2014 collection Men Without Women, while taking inspiration from other stories in the collection.

The film follows Yūsuke Kafuku (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima) as he directs a multilingual production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima and grapples with the death of his wife, Oto. Featured prominently, the car is a red Saab 900 Turbo.

It is the first Japanese film nominated for Best Picture. At the 79th Golden Globe Awards, the film won Best Foreign Language Film. It became the first non-English-language film to win Best Picture from all three major U.S. critics groups (the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the National Society of Film Critics).

At three hours in length, the movie is glacial; the story proceeds very slow. The opening credits appeared 40 minutes after the movie started?!? There are a lot of long scenes of the car driving around. In Japanese with English subtitles, like my experience with Roma, I find the subtitles distracting. While I appreciate what they were trying to do, I don't recommend it.

One footnote, at the beginning of the film, the lead actor is shown on stage appearing in Waiting for Godot. Drew and I saw Waiting for Godot with Nathan Lane and John Goodman in 2009 after attending Morgan's graduation from Sarah Lawrence.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 Tulsa - Day #4

Sharon and Janie spent Saturday at the PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Family Dinner

With Drew and Carmen in town for Cooper's birthday, Drew organized dinner at our house. He got curbside takeout from Rey Azteca.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Babysitting Adventures with Lee

Morgan dropped Lee off at 11 am. He joined me for a Teams meeting, had lunch and then went down for his nap.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

To St. Helena and Back

I spent the lion's share of the day traveling to St. Helena and back for work. From January 2015 to September of 2016, I worked at the hospital.

This is the first time that I have been to the site since June of 2019. I was shocked at the damage to the area by the Glass Fire. Parts of the area look and feel so much different.

Waze routed me home on Sage Canyon Road via Lake Berryessa and through Winters. I was shocked at the traffic when I transitioned from 113 to 80. At 3 pm on a random Thursday, the traffic was backed up all the way to the causeway. While it took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get there in the morning (80 to 12 to 29), it took more than two hours and ten minutes to get home.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2022 Tulsa - Day #1

I took Sharon to the airport at 6:30 am. She caught a 8:39 am United Flight from Sacramento to Denver. After a quick bite to eat, Sharon took a 1:40 pm United Express flight from Denver to Tulsa. She was on the ground in Tulsa about 4:15 pm.

Sharon is spending the next week in Tulsa visiting Janie. They finished the day with dinner at Tucci's.

[Note to self], for future reference, it took an hour and fifteen minutes to take Sharon to the airport, park, help her with her luggage, walk her to the gate and then get back to the house.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Spoiler Alert - Sooley by John Grisham

My book for May was Sooley by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 36rd book by John Grisham that I have read in the last thirty-one years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of...

The book tells the story of Samuel Sooleymon, a South Sudanese teen who comes to the United States to play college ball. It mixes a feel good story of a small school's success in the NCAA basketball tournament with the horrors of the Sudan Civil War.

It was clear towards the end of that something bad was going to happen. Nevertheless, I didn't expect Grisham to go Len Bias on us and abruptly kill off the main character.

Over the years, Grisham has written a number of sports books, including Bleachers, Playing for Pizza and Calico Joe. I enjoyed most of the book, but have mixed feelings about the plot twist. I continue to read Grisham book's as a break from more serious volumes...

Monday, May 16, 2022

To Marysville

After only traveling for work once in the last twenty six months [796 days], I have several short trips planned in the next two weeks. I spent the first half of the day traveling to Rideout in Marysville and back.

Almost three years ago, I spent almost two months working out of a cave in Marysville.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Dry Creek Ranch Golf Course

After some initial confusion, Donna, Kevin, Sharon and I ended up playing Dry Creek Ranch Golf Course on Sunday morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the course; the fairways and greens were in good shape.

It has probably been thirty-five years since I played the course with Nooter. I have a couple of strong memories from the round, including Nooter getting mad at a foursome in front of us and him eagling a par four from about 170 yards.

I probably should not have played. Over the last two plus years, I have started to do some light upper body weight work. Increasingly the frequency this year, I lifted on Monday night. I woke up early Tuesday morning and could hardly move. I was able to get everything loose on Sunday morning, but I should probably have begged off. I am just too stubborn.

I had a horrible start. I finally got going a little bit in the middle of the round, including a very nice par on the thirteen. Unfortunately, I started struggling again on the last few holes. I ended up with a very liberally scored 120. Given that this is the eleven time that I have played golf this year, you would think that I should be better!?!
The four of us finished the day with dinner at Scott's Seafood on the River. Sharon and I split a cup of Spicy Crab Bisque and a Wedge Salad [artisan iceberg / bacon / tomatoes / red onion / radish / blue cheese dressing / shafts blue crumble]. I had a couple of oysters. For entrees, I had Ahi Two Ways [sesame seared / poke with avocado / edamame / fresno chilis / jasmine rice / wasabi mayo / ponzu], while Sharon had Macadamia Nut Crusted Atlantic Halibut [brown butter / citrus wild rice pilaf / steamed vegetables] again.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sacramento Southern Railroad

Sharon and I met Lee, Morgan and Daniel in Old Sacramento to ride the Sacramento Southern Railroad. We took a 50 minute ride out to the old stop for the Land Park Plunge.

We got first class tickets in the French Quarter car. This restored car was inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter. It has wrought iron balconies and a “Sunset pink” painted ceiling studded with stars. Complete with its own serving bar, the French Quarter has large windows and a variety of seating combinations including four small dining table booths for seating of four guests, settees and lounge-style chairs. We got one of the dining table booths for the five of us.

We did this once with Jack almost twenty years ago. I am pretty sure that we didn't ride in a first class car. We did run into Randy and Aaron that day...

After much debate, Jack, Sharon and I finished the night watching Revenge of the Sith.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022

2010 Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
   ✔ The Hurt Locker - winner
   ✔ Avatar
    The Blind Side
    District 9
    An Education
    Inglourious Basterds
    Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
    A Serious Man
    Up in the Air

Best Actor

    Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart as Otis "Bad" Blake - winner
    George Clooney – Up in the Air as Ryan Bingham
    Colin Firth – A Single Man as George Falconer
   ✔ Morgan Freeman – Invictus as Nelson Mandela
   ✔ Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker as Sergeant First Class William James

Best Actress
    Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side as Leigh Anne Tuohy - winner
    Helen Mirren – The Last Station as Sophia Tolstaya
    Carey Mulligan – An Education as Jenny Mellor
    Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire as Claireece "Precious" Jones
    Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia as Julia Child

Best Supporting Actor
    Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds as Col. Hans Landa - winner
   ✔ Matt Damon – Invictus as Francois Pienaar
    Woody Harrelson – The Messenger as Cpt. Tony Stone
    Christopher Plummer – The Last Station as Leo Tolstoy
    Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones as George Harvey

Best Supporting Actress
    Mo'Nique – Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire as Mary Lee Johnston - winner
    Penélope Cruz – Nine as Carla Albanese
    Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air as Alex Goran
    Maggie Gyllenhaal – Crazy Heart as Jean Craddock
    Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air as Natalie Keener

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
   ✔ The Hurt Locker – Mark Boal - winner
    Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino
    The Messenger – Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman
    A Serious Man – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
    Up – Screenplay by Bob Peterson and Pete Docter; Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy

Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
    Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire – Geoffrey Fletcher - winner
    District 9 – Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell based on the short film Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp
    An Education – Nick Hornby based on the memoir by Lynn Barber
    In the Loop – based on the character Malcolm Tucker, who originally appeared in the BBC TV show The Thick of It
    Up in the Air – Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman based on the novel by Walter Kirn

The 2022 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2021 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2020 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2019 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2018 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2017 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2016 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2015 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2014 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2013 Oscar nominations are here.

The 2010 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1988 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1975 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1973 Oscar nominations are here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

California Historical Landmark #453

While we were in San Francisco in December, I did a walkabout and found eight different California Historical Markers, including: #88 Niantic Hotel; #90 Fort Gunnybags; #462 Site of First Jewish Religious Services in San Francisco; #408 Site of the the first Meeting of Freemasons held in California; #453 Lucas, Turner & Co. Bank; #192 EL DORADO, PARKER HOUSE, AND DENNISON'S EXCHANGE; #500 EASTERN TERMINUS OF CLAY STREET HILL RAILROAD; and, #119 PORTSMOUTH PLAZA.

Site of the Bank of
Lucas, Turner & Co.
(Sherman's Bank)

California State Historical Landmark #453

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

This landmark is located at 498 Jackson Street, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 47' 45.7" N 122° 24' 12.3" W.

California Historical Landmark #453
William Tecumseh Sherman established the branch bank of Lucas, Turner & Co. in San Francisco in 1853. He settled the firm in their own building on the northeast corner of Jackson and Montgomery Streets in the springof 1854. Sherman successfully carried the bank through the financial crisis of 1855, and remained until they discontinued business in 1857.

California Historical Landmark #453

Monday, May 09, 2022

A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943

My book for April was A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943 by John Richardson. This is the fourth volume of a four volume set. I read the first volume [The Prodigy] in 2009, the second volume [The Cubist Rebel] in 2011 and the third volume [The Triumphant Years] in 2013.

I continue to be fascinated by the breadth and variety of Picasso's work. Signficant in this volume is the creation of Guernica. We saw this piece when we were in Spain in 2010. I didn't realize that the painting was originally created for the Spanish pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exposition.

Two things shocked me in this book. First, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city during World War II. He continued to paint, but didn't exhibit. Second, Picasso wrote poetry as an alternative outlet. Between 1935 and 1959 he wrote over 300 poems.

As I noted when I read volume three, Picasso was very successful while he was alive. There were major exhibitions of his work in England and the United States during this period.

Richardson passed away at the age of 95 in 2019. The fourth volume stops at 1943. Picasso lived another thirty years; he died at the age of 91 in 1973.

I finished reading the book while we were at the Wallens. This volume was shorter and more accessible than volumes two and three. I am going to have to find a book that covers the last third of Picasso's life.