Saturday, December 31, 2022

New Year's Eve 2022

Sharon's brother Tom came over in the early afternoon. Tom, Sharon and I spent some time booking hotels for our trip to England and Scotland in May and June. We will be hiking Hadrian's Wall for ten days and then doing a loop around Scotland.

Sharon made a nice dinner of prime rib, roasted potates and creamed spinach. We had Rumeli Mantısı (Filo Roses) as a first course.

The three of us watched Tár. My review of the movie is here.

Sharon and I finished the night watching fireworks from the master balcony. By the night I walked Tiber and got to bed it was 1 am.

2023 is going to be an extraordinary year of change...

Friday, December 30, 2022

Tims and Bruns for Dinner

Friday night, we had Sharon's brother Tim and his wife Kathy and Brun and Kim over for dinner. We made Rumeli Mantısı (Filo Roses) as a first course. Sharon made a great dinner of pork roast, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Dinner with Holly and Van

We had originally played to play golf with Holly and Van at Lincoln Hills and then go to dinner. After driving out to the course, Sharon and I decided to bail; it was just too wet.

In the late afternoon, we headed to Holly and Van's house. We had a glass of wine and some hors d'oeuvres and visited for a while. From there, we headed to Hawks for dinner. Sharon had handmade tagliarini, while I had sea scallops.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Spoiler Alert - The Banshees of Inisherin

Friday night, December 23, Sharon and I watched The Banshees of Inisherin. We are starting our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. currently has the film as one of the favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The Banshees of Inisherin is a black tragicomedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film follows lifelong friends (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also star. It reunites Farrell and Gleeson who previously worked together on McDonagh's directorial debut In Bruges.

The movie was named one of the best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review. The film received a leading eight nominations at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Director.

I have heard positive reviews about this film for months. Unfortunately, I didn't like the movie. For me, the movie was about someone with severe mental health problems, not about the relationship between the two main characters. The idea that you are going to cut off your fingers to prove a point jumps the shark. Sharon's brother Tom liked the movie and talked about it as an analogy of the Irish Civil War which is talking place in the background of movie. I couldn't see beyond someone that was crazy enough to mutilate himself. I am sure that it will get some Oscar nominations, but I would be shocked if it won Best Picture.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Back from Orinda

Sharon and I had a lazy breakfast at the hotel in The Park Bistro and Bar. I had OLD FASHIONED BUTTERMILK PANCAKES [seasonal berries, powdered sugar], while Sharon had MEDITERRANEAN OMELETTE [spinach, feta cheese, tomato, country potatoes].

Afterwards, we headed to Carmen and Drew's house. Morgan, Daniel and Lee were packing up to head back to Paso Robles, while Mike and Pam were off to Chico.

Our plan for the day was to take Jack to Ikea in Emeryville to get a couple of pieces of furniture for his apartment. Feeling a little flat, I didn't pay much attention to what Sharon and Jack were doing. This turned into a little bit of an adventure that will have cascading ramfications for the rest of the week.

After loading up the purchases, we headed into San Francisco. Dropping the boxes at his apartment, the three of us walked to lunch at Hummus Mediterranean Kitchen. Sharon and Jack had LAMB & BEEF GYROS [Slow cooked, thinly sliced, marinated lamb & beef], while I had a GREEK SALAD [Romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, bell peppers, feta, kalamata olives & house dressing]. Sharon didn't enjoy the gyro...

Although we had hotel reservations for Monday night, Sharon wanted to head home. We stopped at Drew's house and picked up our ice chest. We stopped at the hotel and picked up our luggage. With some moderate traffic on 80 through Dixon and Davis, it took an hour and fifty minutes to get home. We pulled up to the house just before 630 pm.

It was a very different Christmas weekend. I really enjoyed celebrating the holiday with Jack, Drew and Carmen, and Morgan, Daniel and Lee!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Day 2022

Although we crashed early on Christmas eve, we were moving slow on Christmas morning. Eventually, we wound our way to Carmen and Drew's house for a late breakfast.

After breakfast, we spent a lazy morning opening gifts. Lee is a great age for Christmas morning; he delivered the presents to everyone. I really enjoyed the morning with everyone. The group included: Morgan, Daniel and Lee; Drew and Carmen; Jack; Mike and Pam (Carmen's parents), and; Sharon and I.

I spent the early afternoon making Rumeli Mantısı (Filo Roses). When we were on the cruise, we took a Turkish cooking class. We made this dish in the cooking class. We then made it for the fall dinner party. It as turned out so well that it is going to be a go to recipe. We served to everyone as a late, light lunch.

While Sharon went back to the hotel with Mike and Pam, I took a nice 1.6 mile walk through the neighborhood with Drew, Carmen and Morgan. Afterwards, I ran back to the hotel to pick up Sharon.

We finished the day with a late dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans that Drew and Carmen got from Whole Foods. Although Drew, Carmen and Jack played board games until midnight, Sharon and I headed back to the hotel and crashed.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve 2022 [To Orinda]

Christmas Eve and Christmas are going to be very different this year.

Christmas Eve was a day broken into three parts. Part #1. Given our schedule for the weekend, Sharon and I exchanged gifts on Saturday morning. I got her a Frame television for a master bedroom (plus mounting), an AppleTV, an Apple Watch band, a Santorini Christmas Ornament and a Greek Christmas ornament. She got me an Oura ring. We spent the rest of the morning getting ready to take off for a couple of days.

Part #2. About 12:30 pm, we headed to Sharon's brother Tom's house. Tom hosted a Christmas Eve open house. The group included Tom, Eric and Ashley, Kevin, Leah, Lydia and Amelia, Terry and Steve, Tim and Kathy, Eileen and Will, Erin and Cromac, Larry and Robin, Jim, Mary, Sharon and I. There was an ongoing gift exchange over the course of the afternoon. I watched parts of the San Francisco 49er versus Washington Commander NFL game; the 49ers won by the score of 37 to 20.

Part #3. About 4 pm, we headed to Carmen and Drew's house in Orinda. Jack took BART after work. We rolled up to their house about 5:30 pm. Jack was about 15 minutes in front of us; Drew picked him up from the BART station.

Morgan, Daniel and Lee came up on Friday and are spending a few days with Drew and Carmen. Carmen's parents, Pam and Mike, are also spending a few days in the area.

We had a nice evening. We had visited and had dinner. After Lee went to bed, the Morgan and Drew played Christmas carols in the living room.

With Sharon feeling a little under weather, we headed to the hotel to the hotel early. We are planning to spend three nights at the Lafayette Park Hotel. We crashed very early.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Spoiler Alert - White Lotus - Season Two

Sunday afternoon, Sharon and I finished watching season two of The White Lotus. We finished season one in September of 2021.

The White Lotus is an black comedy-drama anthology television series created by Mike White for HBO. It follows the guests and employees of the fictional White Lotus resort chain. The second season is set in Sicily and consists of seven episodes. Much of the filming was set at the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace in Taormina. In November 2022, the series was renewed for a third season.

The American Film Institute named White Lotus one of the ten best television programs of 2021 and 2022. The first season was the most-awarded series at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 10 awards, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Directing for White, Outstanding Supporting Actress for Jennifer Coolidge, and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Murray Bartlett.

I liked season two more than season one. The scenery is spectacular. I could almost recommend season two just for the Sicilian scenery. I have added the hotel to my list of Places to Travel. Part of the hook for White Lotus is that you know that someone dies, but I didn't expect them to kill off Jennifer Coolidge's character. I was sure that she was going to show up in seaon three. I recommend season two.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Rugby Brothers

Monday evening, Chabrier organized a Zoom call that included Greene, Geselbracht, Hunter, Nooter, Rehlich and I.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Peloton Milestones

I passed a couple of Peloton milestones this morning. I have done at least one Peloton work out every week for the last three years. Additionally, I have now completed 600 rides on the Peloton bike.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

mailing the Christmas Cards

Twenty-four of the last twenty-five years, Sharon and I have sent out a Christmas Card. Dissatisfied with the quality of the photos on commercial cards like Shutterfly, I built my own format and process. Unfortunately, this was a lot of work... Additionally, the number of cards that we send out has exploded to over 100 in the last fifteen years with the inclusion of people from SEAS, Outlaws, Jesuit High, Sutter Health, Adventist Health and Deterding Ranch.

Three years ago, I decided to go back to a commercially printed greeting card. After moving my database from Outlook into iOS contacts last year, I printed mailing lablels for the first time this year. Everything has gone a lot quicker!

On Thursday, December 15, I mailed 127 Christmas Cards. I dropped two more in the mail on Friday, December 16. I will probably mail a few more this coming week

In 2021, I mailed 121 Christmas Cards on Wednesday, December 8.

In 2020, I dropped 119 Christmas Cards at the post office on Sunday night, December 6.

In 2019, I dropped 73 Christmas Cards at the post office on Tuesday night, December 17 and 33 more on Wednesday morning, December 18.

In 2018, I dropped 104 cards at the post office on Monday, December 17.

In 2017, I mailed about 70 cards on Sunday afternoon, December 17 and another 30 plus cards on Monday morning, December 18.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Deterding Ranch Cocktail Party

Over the last ten years, there has a been some version of a Deterding Ranch Neighborhood Christmas Party [2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021]. This morphed into a progressive dinner over the last seven years. When it became clear that the progressive dinner wasn't going to happen this year, Sharon and I decided to host a cocktail party.

The group ended up totalling 21, including: Tom and Judy; Glen; Mike and Jill; John and Jan; Audrey and Victor; Heidi, Brad and Clark; Kim; John and Sara; Greg and Michele; Jim and Debi, and; Sharon and I.

The house looked great; Sharon did a fantastic job decorating the house for the holidays. It was a very nice evening!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Celebrating Clarke's Birthday

Sharon and I wandered next door to Heidi and Brad's house to celebrate Heidi's dad Clarke's 85th birthday. Jim and Debi and Greg and Michele were there. We ended up staying longer than we originally intended.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Amazing Race - Season 34

Wednesday night, Sharon and I finished watching season thirty-four 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 and season 33 in March of 2022.

Filming for season 34 began on May 25, 2022, in Munich, Germany, making it the first time the American version started outside the United States. Jordan was visited for the first time in the entire franchise. Filming concluded in Tennessee in mid-June.

This season originally planned to exclude non-elimination legs for the first time in franchise history. However, after one team received a positive COVID-19 test and was removed from the race, the last team to arrive in the leg received the final departure time as a penalty at the beginning of the next leg. The first leg featured "a game-changing element" called the Scramble, where teams were told the locations of all of the tasks that they had to complete at the start of the leg and could complete them in any order.

Dating couple Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss (from Big Brother 23) were the winners of this season, while long-lost twins Emily Bushnell and Molly Sinert finished in second place. I was rooting for the twins.

The legs of the race included:
  • Leg 1 (Germany)
  • Leg 2 (Germany → Austria)
  • Leg 3 (Austria → Italy)
  • Leg 4 (Italy → Jordan)
  • Leg 5 (Jordan)
  • Leg 6 (Jordan → France)
  • Leg 7 (France)
  • Leg 8 (France → Spain)
  • Leg 9 (Spain → Iceland)
  • Leg 10 (Iceland → United States)
I was fascinated by the two episodes in Jordan. Petra is a lot bigger than I expected. Our second big trip planned for 2023 includes Isreal, Eygpt and Jordan!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Tom for dinner

Tuesday night, Sharon and I had her brother Tom over for dinner; we had hamburgers, fries and salad. The three of us spent the evening planning our 2023 trip to England and Scotland. The tentative plan includes London, York, eight days hiking Hadrian's Wall, Glasgow, a loop up into the Scottish Highlands, St. Andrews, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

2022 Army/Navy Game - Day #4

After a late night, I slept late and was moving slow. The group had a leisurely breakfast in the M Louge. Several people left early. After staying up until 2 am with Wallen and I, Adam caught a 6 am flight back to Seattle for the Seahawks game!?! Max was on the road heading home by the time I got up.

Packing up the room and checking out, Nooter took Martin (Max's friend from Scotland), Wallen, Vic and I to the airport. Wallen got us into the American Admiral's lounge. We ended up watching the Eagles versus Giants NFL game.

I caught a 4 pm American flight from Philly to Los Angeles. I had a very comfortable premium seat on a 787.

I had a two plus hour layover at LAX. It was an odd experience. I had to take a bus to a small rundown separate terminal for the American Skywest flight. I caught a 930 pm flight from Los Angeles to Sacramento.

By the time I got home, it was 1145 pm. It was after midnight by the time I was in bed. A long day.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

2022 Army/Navy Game - Day #3

The group had breakfast in the M Louge at the hotel. Max's son Michael had gotten tickets to a tailgate at a Chickie's and Pete's. Six of us jumped in an Uber XL and headed to the stadium.

Unforunately, we made a tactical error. We had the Uber take us to the stadium. It turned out that the tailgate was in a restaurant about a mile and a quarter from the stadium. After some initial confusion, we humped our way there. It was different doing a tailgate indoors. From there, we walked back to the stadium.

Army won the game by the score of 20 to 17 in the second overtime. It was the first overtime in the history of the rivalry. Frankly, it was a very boring game until the overtime.

Both offenses were stagnant. Army was 2 for 12 in passing. Navy was 1 for 4 in passing; they didn't complete a pass until the overtime. The Navy Quarterback [Xavier Arline] carried the ball 28 times. It seemed like the only the play that Navy ran was an option where the quarterback kept the ball on a dive.

It was a little bit of an adventure getting an Uber to pick us up and take us back to the hotel. We ended up having dinner at Spasso Italian Grill a couple of blocks from the hotel. We were able to get a couple of tables in the bar. I had Rigatoni Meatballs [MARINARA SAUCE, FRESH RICOTTA CHEESE].

After dinner, we settled back in the bar at the hotel. Wallen, Adam and I made it a late night. I was 2 am by the time I crawled into bed.

Friday, December 09, 2022

2022 Army/Navy Game - Day #2

Moving slowly after a late night, the group eventually had a lazy banquet breakfast at the hotel.

One of my objectives for the trip was a tour of Independence Hall. I have been to Philadephia three other times, but never had a chance to visit the site. In early November, I got ten tickets for 11:20 am. After breakfast, eight of us wandered down to the hall and took the tour. Having read a number of relevant biographies, it was cool to walk through the site. The tour guide did a nice job.

From there, Max led us to the river front. We toured the cruiser USS Olympia and then the submarine USS Becuna. I enjoyed the guided tour of the submarine a lot more than I thought I would. I stayed overnight with Jack on a submarine in 2006 when he was in the Cub Scouts and toured a submarine in Baltimore with Nooter and Wallen in 2005. Additionally, Max took Wallen and I on a tour of a Trident submarine in 1991.

We had a late lunch at the Red Owl Tavern. I had a Sourdough Grilled Cheese [apple butte, porchetta, arugula, provolone, gruyere]. Afterwards, everyone headed to the hotel to relax and nap.

We had an early dinner at Butcher and Singer. A group of us walked the mile and a quarter to the resturant. The group totaled 16, including Max's son and his wife, his daugther Tracy and her husband Nate and his nephew Zach. While almost everyone had an 18 oz. Delmonico for the entree, I had King Salmon.

Sharon and I had dinner in this general area when we picked Jack up from the Wharton sports business academy at UPenn in 2015. I remembered the area as having some nice bars and restaurants. I was hoping that we would be able to explore the area after dinner. Unfortunately, every place was packed. After trying to find a place near the restaurant and giving up, we started walking back towards the hotel. We ended up stopping for a beer at the Caribou Cafe.

By the time we got back to the hotel and to bed, it was just after midnight.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

2022 Army/Navy Game - Day #1

For the third time in the last four years, I am heading to the Army/Navy football game [2O21, 2019]. We had tickets in 2020 until the game was moved to West Point in response to the COVID pandemic.

Up at 430 am, I breezed through security; I love the combination of CLEAR and TSA-Pre. I caught a 734 am American Flight from Sacramento to Dallas. We don't normally fly American, but Larkin and Snipes were supposed to be on the flight with me. Both of them had to cancel for different reasons. Boarding in group 5, I had an upgraded aisle seat on an Airbus A321. In a stroke of luck, the middle seat was empty. I read my book, chatted with work in Teams, worked on emails and sent a few text messages. I was amazed at how well the wireless worked.

On the ground a little early in Dallas, I boarded a 1:40 pm flight to Philly. In a black swan event, I booked a window seat (9c). I need to figure out how to upgrade my boarding group for the flights home. Although it was an easy flight, I got antsy due to the fact that I couldn't stand up without climbing over everyone.

On the ground in Philly just before 530 pm, I jumped in a cab. I was going to call an Uber, but the cab line was right in front of me. I was at the hotel a little after 6 pm. We are spending three nights at the Marriot Old City. With Larkin and Snipes AWOL, I am rooming with Vic.

After getting checked into the room and dropping my luggage, I caught up with the group in the lobby. This year's group includes Nooter, Wallen, Wallen's brother Jim, Wallen's neighbor Adam, Max, Max's friend Martin from Scotland, Vic and I. After a quick drink, we caught an Uber to the Chubby Cattle. Max's son and daughter and their familes joined us at the restaurant. While name suggested a steak place, Chubby Cattle is a hot pot restaurant decribed inspired by Mongolian, Tibetan, and Chinese philosophies of medicine and healing.

After dinner, a small group did a pub crawl with stops at Rotten Ralph's Pub, Buffalo Billards and Glory Beer Bar. I wandered back to the hotel and crashed just after 1:30 am!

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Places to Travel


Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Walk-in Cabins

Sharon and I explored this Sea Ranch Architectural Marker on Day 5 of our Sea Ranch trip in July.

Walk-in Cabins
See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located at 278 Redwood Rise, 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° 43' 15.9" N 123° 27' 17.5" W.

Walk-in Cabins

Oceanic Properties, Inc, constructed this group of 15 small, economically-built cabins as weekend getaways, with access by foot and parking at the base of the hill. The complex has the feeling of a summer base camp for nature exploration. Each cabin is 20 feet to a side, with a loft covered by a skylit flat roof on one corner from which two roof planes drop down like tent flaps. These repetitive house forms are varied by the particulars of their siting among the redwoods and on the steep slopes.

Architect: Obie Bowman, 1972
Award in Architecture and Engineering, 1972
Sea Ranch Design Award, 1974
First Honor Award, Homes for Better Living Awards Program, AIA/House and Home, 1975
AIA/Sunset "Western Home Awards" Citation, 1976

Walk-in Cabins

Monday, December 05, 2022

California Historical Landmark #1010

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.

Original Site of Third Baptist Church
The First African American Baptist Church West of the Rocky Mountains
California State Historical Landmark #1024

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

This landmark is located at the corner of Grant Avenue and Greenwich Street, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 48' 08.4" N 122° 24' 28.8" W.

California Historical Landmark #1010

In August 1852, Abraham Brown, Thomas Bundy, Thomas Davenport, Willie Denton, Harry Fields, George Lewis, Fielding Spotts, and Eliza and William Davis organized the church in the Davis home. The congregation purchased the old First Baptist Church and moved it to this location in 1854. The present church is now located at 1399 McAllister Street.

California Historical Landmark #1010

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Gainsley's Christmas Party

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

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

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

Friday, December 02, 2022

Back from Fort Bragg

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

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

Thursday, December 01, 2022

At Fort Bragg

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

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