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.


Afterwards, the four of us had a late lunch at Meet and Eat on Freeport Boulevard. I had a BLACK SESAME AHI SALAD [SEARED AHI TUNA, LETTUCE, AVOCADO, GREEN ONION, CHERRY TOMATO, CUCUMBER, CILANTRO, BOILED EGG, RICE CRISP, BLACK SESAME OIL, LEMON VINAIGRETTE, PICKLED GINGER], while Sharon had a MUSHROOM BURGER [LETTUCE, PEPPER JACK CHEESE, TOPPED WITH A MIX OF SAUTÉED MUSHROOMS & ONIONS, MAYO & AVOCADO].

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

EPHESUS EVENING RECEPTION (COMPLIMENTARY SHORE EVENTS)

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