Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Forgotten 500

My book for March was The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II by Gregory A. Freeman. Snipes mentioned the book when we were in New Jersey for the Army/Navy game. I gave Jim the book for Christmas.

The book tells the story of Operation Halyard in 1944. It was the largest rescue ever of downed American airmen. More than 500 U.S. airmen were rescued, along with some from other countries, in Yugosavlia. The combines a number of different elements into the story including: the air raids on the Nazi oil fields in Ploesti, Romania; the internal Yugoslavian politicial struggles between the heavily pro-Serbian Chetniks were led by Draža Mihajlović and the pan-Yugoslav oriented Partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito; the development of the OSS under William Donovan; and the rescue of the airmen.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2022 Silverado Resort - Day #3

Up early, I grabbed some pantries and oatmeal at the Silverado Market & Bakery. We packed up the room and put our luggage in the car.

After checking out, I picked up a cart and our golf clubs. Hitting a few balls on the range, I was very inconsisent. We had an early 8:40 am tee time on the North Course. There were very few people on the course. I started ok, but struggled on the back nine. My back was brothering me on Tuesday, but felt fine. Unforunately, my right elbow really started to brother me.

I was wildly inconsistent. I had a number of very good long 5 woods and 4 hybrids plus a few great short irons shots. I had an equal number of horrible shots. I really struggled in the wet rough. I ended up shooting slightly better than the previous day with a liberally scored 119. The scorecard is here.

Holly suggested a putting contest. I ended up with 46 putts compared to 42 putts for Sharon. I thought that the greens and the areas around the greens were actually a little easier than the South Course.

We had a late lunch at C Casa at the Oxbow Market in Napa. I had a Baja Rotisserie Chicken Bowl [Rotisserie chicken, power greens tossed in a lime cumin vinaigrette, vegan black beans, cilantro cumin rice, pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle aioli. Finished with fresh lime, cilantro and fleur de sel].

After lunch, the four of us headed to Bouchaine Vineyards. Sharon and I have been wine club members there since 2010. It is amazing how much the tasting facilities have expanded since we first came there. It was kind of an odd tasting...

With stops at Burger King and Taco Bell in Carmichael, we were home about 6:45 pm.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

2022 Silverado Resort - Day #2

Sharon and I had room service for breakfast. We both had Egg White Frittatas [Baby Spinach, Preserved Tomatoes, Feta, Chicken Apple Sausage, Herb Roasted Fingerlings].

We had a 9:50 am tee time on the south course. I walked down and picked up the cart and clubs. I drove back to the room and picked Sharon up.

Our room overlooked the driving range. While I have felt very solid on the driving range in Hawaii and at Se@ Ranch, I was inconsistent.

I enjoyed the round, but it was more difficult than I expected. Doing a virtual flyover, the course seemed pretty straightforward. The reality was very different. The greens and the areas around the greens were very nasty. Several times, I hit what I thought were pretty good pitches on to the green that just rolled off the other side. All of the putts were difficult. I tried to use Jack's chip up a couple of times, but don't have the feel for it.

Combined with a tight spot in my back (from weedeating?), it was a challenging day. I used a couple of mulligans off the tee and scored a pretty honest 124. The scorecard is here.

Sharon ended up switching over to ride with Holly on the first tee. After the round, the four of us sat on the back deck of the resort with an adult beverage.

We finished the day driving to Solabar for dinner. I spent almost two years working in Napa (2015 and 2016). I am very familar with the drive along the Silverado Trail. Sharon and I had ORGANIC WHIPPED CARROT DIP [seeds + nuts, feta cheese, coriander oil, TRAM farm dipping vegetables] and SIX PACIFIC OYSTERS [mignonette, our hot sauce, lemon] for starters. We both had SAKE MARINATED BLACK COD [california koshihikari rice, miso butter, nameko mushrooms, negi oil] as an entree.

In the dark, the twenty-seven mile drive back to the resort felt very long...

Monday, March 28, 2022

2022 Silverado Resort - Day #1

In December, my direct reports surprised me with a generous gift certificate to the Silverado Resort. Searching the calendar, Sharon and Holly planned a weekday golf getaway.

Taking off in the early afternoon, Sharon and I headed to Napa. We rolled up to the resort about 3:20 pm. Holly and Van came over early and squeezed in 18 holes on the South Course. After checking in and getting settled in the room, Sharon and I wandered to the pro shop and had a cocktail in The Grill.

We connected with Holly and Van about 6:30 pm and headed to Yountville. Sharon made reservations at Ad Hoc. We had a very nice dinner.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

94th Academy Awards

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

This year, I went five for five in the major categories. Honestly, I picked CODA for Best Picture partly due to our dislike of The Power of the Dog.

As someone who lost his temper more than occasionally as a young man (I had some really bad role models; more in my book about 1991), I have a hard time passing judgment on the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident. As I suspected, I am starting to see some stories that Smith and Rock have a history.

My 2022 Oscar Predictions

My Oscar predictions:

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Dr. Richard Wayne Bachman, DVM

Dr. Richard Wayne Bachman, DVM, passed away on Sunday, March 20th, 2022, while caring for his property on Burnside Road. Born on April 1st, 1953, Dr. Bachman lived his life one adventure at a time. Fondly referred to as "Dr. B" by colleagues, "Ricky" by friends, and "Dad" by his beloved daughters Gail and Anna. Dr. Bachman wore many hats throughout his life, but he was best known and loved for the work he did as a small animal veterinarian.

Dr. Bachman received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from U.C. Davis in 1982 and started his career as a vet on a cattle boat near Tunisia. Dr. Bachman was his own boss for most of his career, initially owning Northtown Animal Hospital in Santa Rosa for 18 years then starting his own private consulting practice, Shelter Medicine Support (SMS). As Director of SMS, Dr. Bachman contracted for both municipal animal agencies as well as non-profit animal welfare groups to design, develop, and manage their medical programs. He was influential in developing and growing shelter medicine programs in Sonoma County, Napa County, Contra Costa County, and Lake County. In 1999, he was awarded Shelter Veterinarian of the Year from the American Humane Association.

In addition to his work in shelter medicine development, Dr. Bachman was a skilled surgeon and never shied away from a challenging case. Over his career he saved many animals that would be deemed unsavable by most. He was also dedicated to educating the next generation of veterinarians and vet technicians. Dr. B was an admired mentor to many colleagues and students - he was "a good man who brought good people together to do good things".

Northern California was always home base, but Dr. Bachman's work in animal welfare also had an international impact through his work in India, Romania, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Mexico where he assisted primarily with shelter operations and sterilization projects.

Ricky was an avid rugby player through college and years after, often trying to "bury his boots" only to dig them up the next season for one last game. He loved the sport and those he played with. This was a common thread throughout his life and brought him a great deal of joy even after he eventually transitioned from the pitch to the sidelines.

Over the last few years, Rick enjoyed putzing around the house or working on his property. He loved to collect "treasurers" and always had an eye for what something could become with just a little elbow grease. Many will remember Rick as a one-of-a-kind individual, a man who lived life on his own terms but would drop everything to help a friend or family member in need.

Rick is survived by his daughter Gail, his wife Patty and her two children Abby and Andrew, as well as his cherished furry friends, Lefty, Sir and Sandy.

A celebration of life with family, friends and colleagues will be planned for later this summer. Donations to honor the life and work of Dr. Bachman may be made via check to Lake County Animal Care & Control, 4949 Hellish Dr, Lakeport, CA 95453 (please write 'Donation' in the check memo line) or to Napa Humane.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Licorice Pizza

Friday night, Sharon and I watched Licorice Pizza. This is part of our continuing journey to see all of the movies that are nominated for Oscars. Licorice Pizza received received three nominations at the 94th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Licorice Pizza is a coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson [Phantom Thread]. It stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in their film debuts, alongside an ensemble supporting cast including Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie. Hoffman is the son of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and costume designer Mimi O'Donnell.

The film is the story of Alana Kane [Haim] and Gary Valentine [Hoffman] growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. The story tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.

Licorice Pizza was named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute. It received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. At the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, it received eight nominations, including Best Picture; it won Best Comedy. It is MGM's first fully produced, marketed and distributed film to be nominated for Best Picture in 33 years, after 1988's Best Picture winner Rain Man.

We have now seen nine of the ten films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. I would rank the movie in the middle of the pack. Maybe fifth of the nine? For me, it is clearly better than Don't Look Up, Nightmare Alley and West Side Story. It is not bad, but it is not winning Best Picture.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Ted Lasso Quote

Ted Lasso - The Signal - Season 2 Episode 6
“I love meeting people’s moms.

It is like reading an instruction manual as to why they are nuts."

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

California Historical Landmark #714

I wandered by this landmark on on Day 4 of our Sea Ranch trip.

Mendocino Presbyterian Church
California State Historical Landmark #714

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

This landmark is located at 44831 Main Street, Mendocino, California. There are 7 other California State Historical Landmarks in Mendocino County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 39° 18' 19.5" N 123° 47' 47.5" W.

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

California Historical Landmark #714 This is one of the oldest Protestant churches in continuous use in California. Organized as the Presbyterian Church on November 6, 1859, the building, constructed of redwood, was dedicated on July 5, 1868.
California Historical Landmark #714

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Last Monday night while Sharon was in Washington DC, I watched the Tragedy of Macbeth on AppleTV+. Sharon and I tried to watch the movie in February, but she baled after about 15 minutes. This is part of my journey to watch all of the Oscar nominated performances.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is a historical thriller film written and directed by Joel Coen. It is based on the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare. It is the first film directed by one of the Coen brothers [The Ballad of Buster Scruggs] without the other's involvement.

The film stars Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand (who also produced the film), Bertie Carvel, Alex Hassell, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, Kathryn Hunter, and Brendan Gleeson. For his performance in the title role, Washington was nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. The film also received nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design at the 94th Academy Awards.

Unlike when Sharon and I started to watch the movie, I watched it with subtitles turned on. It was alot easier to follow the Shakespearean language that way. Denzel's performance and the cinemtography was interesting. Nevertheless, with so many other choices in movies and streaming series, I don't recommend spending the time on this movie.

A footnote, I didn't realize that the line "something wicked this way comes" comes from this Shakespeare play.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Man dies driving tractor in orchard near Sebastopol

Snipes called me late Sunday night to let me know that Rick Bachman had passed away.
Man dies driving tractor in orchard near Sebastopol
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
March 20, 2022, 6:45PM

A man died Sunday while driving a tractor in an apple orchard west of Sebastopol, authorities said.

The Gold Ridge Fire Protection District was called to the orchard in the 4000 block of Burnside Road around 4:30 p.m., authorities said.

When firefighters arrived, a man was dead in the driver’s seat of a tractor that had collided with a tree, said Battalion Chief Gino DeGraffenreid.

The cause of the man’s death was not immediately clear, DeGraffenreid said, noting there were no obvious signs of trauma. He said a small branch fell off the tree the man collided with.

“It appeared as though the gentleman was mowing his orchard and suffered some sort of an emergency,” he said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, authorities said.

The man’s name was not released on Sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #6 [Jack is back!]

Closing his chapter in Washington DC, Jack turned in the key to his apartment.

Sharon and Jack had lunch at Duck Duck Goose at Dupont Circle. Sharon raved about the DDG BURGER [gruyère cheese, blueberry jam, foie gras].

Sharon and Jack caught a United flight from Reagan National Airport to Denver. Scheduled to leave at 3:56 pm, it left about twenty minutes late. Changing planes in Denver, they boarded a United flight to Sacramento that left at 6:10 pm. They were on the ground in Sacramento just before 9:00 pm. I picked them up at the airport.

Friday, March 18, 2022

2022 Kings versus Celtics

Friday evening, Larkin and I met for dinner at the Foundation Restaurant. I had Fish Tacos [fried cod, cabbage, cotija cheese, & pico de gallo] and a cup of black bean chili. Afterwards, we headed to the Sacramento Kings versus Boston Celtics NBA basketball game. We were seated in section 126, row S, seats 5 and 6.
Missing De'Aaron Fox due to a hand injury in Wednesday game against the Bucks, the Kings trailed by 18 at the end of the first half. Although the Kings outscored the Celtics in the third quarter (31 to 25), it never really felt like the Kings were in the game after the first quarter. The Kings lost to the Celtics by the score of 126 to 97.

Jason Tatum was the high scorer for the Celtics. He had 32 points on 12 for 16 from the field, 7 for 10 from three and 1 for 1 from the free throw line.

Domantas Sabonis was the Kings' high scorer. He had 30 points on 12 for 20 from the field, 1 for 1 from three and 5 for 7 from the free throw line. Sabonis also had 20 rebounds. He was the Kings' assist leader with five?!?

With Tatum leading the way, the Celtics shot 22 of 40 (55%) from three. Tatum and Jalen Brown combined for 62 points.

Harrison Barnes did not score in 24 minutes. It's the first time that Barnes has failed to score while playing 20 minutes or more since Game 3 of the Western Conference finals in 2015. Barnes hadn't been blanked in the regular season since Nov. 23, 2014.

The Kings have lost nine of 12 since the All-Star break and seem destined to miss the playoffs for an NBA-record 16th consecutive season. The Kings have 1 win and 4 losses in games that I have seen in the 2021-2022 season.

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #5

Sharon and Jack went to Jaco for Breakfast. The three of us have eaten there before.

With the apartment emptied and cleaned, Sharon and Jack spent the day on the Georgetown University campus. Sharon did some shopping in Georgetown.

Sharon and Jack finished the day with dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern. The restaurant has some significant for Sharon and Jack; they had dinner there the first night we were moving Jack into the dorms for his freshman year. It marks the end of Jack living in Washington DC for almost five and a half years. For dinner, they got a whole duck. Sharon said that they ordered way more food than they could eat.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

St. Patrick's Day Party

At the end of the day, I headed to Sharon's brother Tom's house for a small St. Patrick's Day gathering. The group included: Kevin, Leah, Lydia and Amelia; Larry; Jim; Mary; and, Chris, his wife and granddaugther (going with Tom on the Greenland cruise). Tom made a nice dinner of corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes.

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #4

With most of the apartment cleaning done, Sharon and Jack spent the day at the Phillips Collection and the National Art Gallery. Sharon raved about the Picasso: Painting the Blue Period Exhibition. Having read a mult-volume series about Picasso's life [Volume One: 1881-1906; Volume Two: 1907-1917; Volume Three: 1917-1932] I am sorry that I missed this exhibition.

They finished the day with dinner at Fiola Mare. Sharon and I have eaten there several times in the last few years [July 2019; August 2015]. They saw Patrick Ewing walking through the restaurant to a private dining room followed shortly by President of Georgetown.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #3

Sharon and Jack spent the day continuing to clean out Jack's apartment. 1-800-Got-Junk came and picked up a load in the late morning. I was surprised that they would go up to a fifth floor apartment and drag stuff down in the elevator. Sharon returned the rental car at noon.

Sharon and Jack finished the day with dinner at Rooster & Owl. Sharon and I had dinner there last April while we were working from Washington DC. Sharon said that the food was excellent, but the meal was rushed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #2

Sharon and Jack spent the day sorting Jack's apartment into piles for 1-800-Got-Junk and Goodwill.

At noon, Sharon picked up an Enterprise rental car. They made a trip to Goodwill and to the Fedex store to ship some stuff back to California.

Sharon and Jack finished the day with dinner at Nobu. Sharon and I ate there two years ago during Georgetown Senior Parents Weekend. We also had reservations at Nobu in Cape Town on the ill fated South African trip...

Monday, March 14, 2022

2022 Sharon in Washington DC - Day #1

Up at 4:40 am, Sharon and I rolled from the house at 5:20 am. I parked and helped Sharon check a couple of bags. She caught a 7:20 am Southwest flight from Sacramento to Dallas Love Field.

After a short layover and a bite to eat, Sharon caught a 2:15 pm Southwest Flight from Dallas to Washington DC's Reagan National Airport. Both flights ran about twenty minutes late.

Jack met her at the airport. They took an Uber to The Gregory Hotel. Sharon is spending five nights there. Sharon and I had a drink in the bar at this hotel during 2019 East Coast Trip.

Sharon and Jack had dinner at the hotel in the St. Greg Kitchen. Sharon had CAESAR [GEM LETTUCE, PARMESAN REGGIANO, CAESAR DRESSING] and MUSHROOM FLATBREAD [CURED TOMATOES, CARAMELIZED ONIONS, ARUGULA, LEMON OIL]. Jack had a SMASH BURGER & FRIES [LETTUCE, B&B PICKLES, AGED CHEDDAR, BURGER SAUCE].

Sharon is going to spend the week helping Jack shut down this apartment. He is moving back to the West Coast.

While we have traveled together, this is the first time that Sharon has traveled and I have stayed home since May of 2019. Feeling under the weather, I finished the day watching The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Adventures with Lee

Late Sunday afternoon, I popped over to see Lee, Morgan and Daniel. I spent about an hour visiting and catching up. Lee spent the whole time on my lap stacking blocks, looking at a Peter Rabbit book and playing with his farm animals. Making the sounds of the farm animals for Lee, although we had a couple of goats for years, I couldn't figure out how exactly to make a goat noise. Morgan played a YouTube video of goats sounds that unnerved Lee!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Weedeating plus Cocktails and Hor d'oeuvres

Last spring, I burnt up my electric weedeater in tall heavy weeds. Saturday, I went to Home Depot and bought a more powerful new one. I spent the loin's share of the day weedeating below the deck. With the bigger weedeater and several batteries, I made a surprising amount of progress.

In the early evening, Sharon and I wandered next door to the Brad and Heidi's house. As part of a major rebuild of their deck, they invited the neighborhood for cocktails and hor d'oeuvres. The group included Greg and Michelle, Jim, Sharon and I, Clark, Brad and Heidi plus two other couples that we hadn't met before.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Signature Hedgerows

On our recent trip to Sea Ranch, I got an updated trail map. It shows a number of markers that weren't shown on my 2014 50th Anniversary map. This marker was literally across the street from the house that we rented.

Signature Hedgerows
Marker 3-31

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

This marker is across the street from 55 Galleons Reach, Sea Ranch, California. The Sea Ranch Archives Committee has identified twenty-six historic sites scattered about The Sea Ranch. They have constructed trail markers with information explaining the significance of each place. They were placed as part of The Sea Ranch 50th anniversary being celebrated from Memorial Day 2014 to Memorial Day 2015. Since then, a number of architecture and landscape markers have been added. The GPS coordinates for this location are 38° 41' 28.9" N 123° 26' 07.5" W.

Signature Hedgerows

A few years after Walter Frick acquired the Del Mar Ranch in 1912, he began planting double rows of Monterey Cypress to divide the land into saleable "ranchettes" of 200-250 acres each. After he decided against subdividing, the trees served as wndbreaks for grazing animals. These 19 hedgerows were the most prominent landscape element when Oceanic Properties, Inc. purchased the ranch. As the original cypress trees reach the end of their lifespan, the hedgerows are being replaced with a similar double row layout as has happened here.

Signature Hedgerows

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Nightmare Alley

Sunday night at The Sea Ranch, Sharon and I watched Nightmare Alley. This is part of our continuing journey to see all of the movies that are nominated for Oscars. Nightmare Alley received four nominations, including Best Picture.

Nightmare Alley is a neo-noir psychological thriller directed by Guillermo del Toro from a screenplay by del Toro and Kim Morgan. It is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. The film is the second feature film adaptation of Gresham's novel; the first version was released in 1947 and starred Tyrone Power.

The film stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn. Cooper protrays a charming and ambitious carnival worker with a mysterious past who takes big risks to boost his career.

I was predisposed not to like this movie. I never thought that del Toro's Shape of Water should have won the 2018 Best Picture Oscar. I ended up enjoying the film more than I thought I would. I was pulled in by the cinematography; I was intrigued by the look and feel of the movie. Sharon fell asleep during the key sequence towards the end. I give the movie a sideways thumb. It is not going to win best picture.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

2022 Kings versus Knicks

Monday evening, Larkin and I met for dinner at the Foundation Restaurant. I had an Italian Cobb Salad [grilled chicken, crisp pepperoni, red onion, tomato, cucumbers, croutons, parmesan, egg pepperoncini & Italian dressing]. Afterwards, we headed to the Sacramento Kings versus New York Knicks NBA basketball game. We were seated in section 113, row C, seat 11 and 12.

Leading by 20 points in the second quarter, the Kings got blown out in the second half and lost the game by the score of 131 to 115. The Kings were outscored 44 to 24 in the third quarter, but got within 96-94 early in the fourth.

Julius Randle was the high scorer for the Knicks. He scored a career high 46 points on 18 for 31 from the field, 8 for 16 from three and 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Randle had 10 rebounds. RJ Barrett added 29 points.

De'Aaron Fox was the high scorer for the Kings. He scored 24 points on 10 for 18 from the field, 1 for 4 from three and 3 for 8 from the free throw line.

This is the first game that I have got a chance to see Sabonis in person. Domantas Sabonis had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings before being ejected in the fourth quarter after receiving double technicals.

It was a very discouraging game. The Knicks came into the game having lost 11 of 13. The Kings became just the fourth team in the last 25 seasons to lose a game by 16 or more after leading by 16 or more after the first quarter, joining the Bulls (2019), Timberwolves (2003) and Clippers (2000).

Larkin and I connected with Hunter and one of his veterinarian (Arturo) at half time.

The Kings have 1 win and 3 losses in games that I have seen in the 2021-2022 season.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

My book for February was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I finished the book while we were at Sea Ranch. Carmen gave me the book for Christmas.

Station Eleven is a novel by the Canadian writer Emily St. John Mandel. It takes place in the Great Lakes region before and after a pandemic. The "Georgia Flu" has devastated the world and killed most of the population.

The book was published in 2014 and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award the following year. The novel was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. It appeared on several best-of-year lists. A ten-part television adaptation of the same name premiered on HBO Max in December 2021.

This is probably not a book that I would have picked out myself. My interests lean more towards hard science fiction. In fact, the author insists that the book shouldn't even be considered science fiction. It uses an interesting combination of flash forwards and flash backs as it follows several main characters. My major criticism is that there is one character that plays a major role into who you don't get much insight. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. I grade it a solid "B."

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Catan

Sunday afternoon, Jack, Drew and I played a couple of games of Catan. Drew won the first game, while Jack won the second. Lots of moves and changes coming in March!

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Cristo Rey Drive-Thru Crab Feed

Saturday afternoon, Sharon's brother Tom picked up dinner at the Cristo Rey High School 12th Annual Crab Feed; this year, it was drive-thru style. The meal included fresh crab, tri-tip steak, rigatoni smothered in hearty meat sauce, salad and sourdough rolls. Leah bought a cake.

We headed to Tom's house for an early dinner. The small group included Tom, Kevin, Leah, Lydia, Amelia, Sharon and I. I am looking forward to some larger Frame Family Functions (Easter?).

Friday, March 04, 2022

West Side Story

Friday night, Sharon and I watched West Side Story. This is part of our continuing journey to see all of the movies that are nominated for Oscars. West Side Story received seven nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

West Side Story is a musical romantic drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Tony Kushner. It is the second feature-length adaptation of the 1957 stage musical of the same name.

It stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in her film debut with Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, and Rita Moreno in supporting roles. Mareno starred in the 1961 film adaptation and served as an executive producer.

We saw DeBose host Saturday Night Live in January. She is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

The movie was named one of the top ten films of 2021 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. It also received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, winning three, including Best Picture – Musical/Comedy, Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for Zegler, and Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture for DeBose.

I give the movie a luke-warm thumbs up. I was surprised that I recognized a number of the songs. As you would expect from Spielberg, the sets are amazing. I didn't know the story so was surprised at the ending. At one point, I was expecting a version of Romeo and Juliet. I do wonder how this version differs from the earlier film and the play. While I thought that the movie felt long, Sharon didn't. It is not going to win Best Picture...

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Amazing Race 33

Wednesday night, Sharon and I finished watching season thirty-two of the Amazing Race. With a passion for traveling, I have enjoyed watching the Amazing Race over the last few years. We finished season 32 in January of 2021.

Though filming initially started in February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused production to be placed on hold for over a year and half. The race resumed in September 2021 with the same remaining teams but with a modified route through COVID-safe countries and with chartered travel. The season premiered on January 5, 2022, and the season finale aired on March 2, 2022.

This was the first season to not feature a U-Turn since its introduction in Season 12. Additionally, there was no Speed Bump penalty for teams arriving last on a non-elimination leg, and this was the only season (excluding The Amazing Race 8, which was run only in North America) to not stop in Asia.

Internet personalities Kim and Penn Holderness were the winners of this season.

The legs of the race included:
  • Leg 1 (United States → England)
  • Leg 2 (England)
  • Leg 3 (England → Scotland) [suspended]
  • Leg 4 (Switzerland) [restarted]
  • Leg 5 (Switzerland)
  • Leg 6 (Switzerland → France)
  • Leg 7 (France)
  • Leg 8 (France → Greece)
  • Leg 9 (Greece)
  • Leg 10 (Greece → Portugal)
  • Leg 11 (Portugal → United States)

Sharon and I spend some time Saturday afternoon at Sea Ranch working on a wish list of trips. Greece and Scotland (hiking Hadrian's Wall) are definitely on my list. Sharon has gotten more focused recently on Road Scholar and Viking trips.

Jury Duty

Sharon spent the day serving jury duty for the Superior Court of California in Sacramento.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Hidden Falls Regional Park

Sharon and Holly hiked almost eight miles in the Hidden Falls Regional Park.

Yellowstone - Season Two

Sharon and I finished watching season two of Yellowstone at Sea Ranch. We finished season one in September of 2021.

Yellowstone was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson. Season Two premiered on June 19, 2019 on the Paramount Network. 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.

Sharon enjoys the series much more than I do. From my perspective, it is hard to find the enormous amount of gratuitous violence realistic. I don't recommend the show. Unfortunately, there are two more seasons and the series has been renewed for a fifth.