Friday, February 03, 2023

California Historical Landmark #328

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.

Long Wharf
California State Historical Landmark #328

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

This landmark was located at the intersection of Leidesdorff and Commercial Streets, San Francisco, California. There are 48 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Francisco County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 37° 47' 39.3" N 122° 24' 09.6" W.

California Historical Landmark #328

In the spring of 1848, the old Central or Long Wharf was built 'from the bank in the middle of the block between Sacramento and Clay Streets, where Leidesdorff Street now is, 800 feet into the Bay.' After 1850 it was extended 2,000 feet and the Pacific mail steamers and other large vessels anchored there. Central or Long Wharf is now Commercial Street.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Only Murders in the Building - Season One

Last weekend, Sharon and I finished watching season one of Only Murders in the Building. It is available on Hulu.

Only Murders in the Building is a mystery comedy-drama television series created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman. The ten-episode first season premiered on Hulu in August 2021. The series received nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

The plot follows three strangers played by Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. After a suspicious death in their affluent Upper West Side apartment building, the three neighbors join together to investigate and start their own podcast about their investigation.

Watching the first episode of the season, I had the same experience I had when I watched the first episode of Ted Lasso. I was very surprised by the tone of episode and touched by the portrayal of the main characters. The show is very multidimensional. Both Sharon and I enjoyed season one. I highly recommend the series.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Sharon and Tom's 2023 San Francisco Adventure - Day #3

Sharon and Tom did a morning walk in the Presido, including the Chapel and the cemertery.

Checking out of the lodge, they headed to Jack's apartment. The three of them went to lunch at Swan Oyster Depot.

Heading out of the city, Sharon and Tom made a quick stop in Orinda to vist with Drew and Carmen. The house that Drew and Carmen are renting was built for the "Original Tarzan" actor Johnny Weissmuller as his summer home in the 1930s.

Dropping Tom at home, Sharon was back home in Carmichael about 3:20 pm.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sharon and Tom's 2023 San Francisco Adventure - Day #2

Sharon and Tom's plan for the morning was to visit the Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibit at the De Young Museum. Sharon said that it was "awesome!"

It turns out that one of the few premium excursions on our Israel/Egypt/Jordan tour is The Temples at Abu Simbel. The temples were constructed in the 13th century BC during the reign of Ramses II. Rediscovered only in the early 19th century, these UNESCO World Heritage Sites were moved from their original location in 1968 during the construction of the Aswan Dam. Sharon now wants to consider this excursion.

They had lunch at Pacific Catch. I found this restaurant when we hiked the first part of the SF Crosstown Trail.

After lunch, Sharon and Tom hiked the middle section of the SF Crosstown Trail. Sharon and I have done this section twice: once in 2021; and, again in 2022 with Jack.

They finished the day with dinner at Mourad, a Michelin Star Moroccan Restaurant.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Sharon and Tom's 2023 San Francisco Adventure - Day #1

Sharon and her brother Tom took off in the morning for a couple of days in San Francisco. On the way there, they stopped for lunch at Scoma's of Sausalito.

After lunch, they headed to the Lodge at the Presido. They are spending two nights there. Sharon and I stayed at the lodge in 2021.

After checking in, they explored Tunnel Top Park and then hiked along the bay from Crissy Field to Fort Point. We explored Fort Point in 2007 with the Larkins.

They got an Uber to Jason and Jack's apartment. Sharon got a chance to see all of the Ikea furniture that we got Jack. The four of them had dinner at Aliment. Sharon and Tom caught an Uber back to the lodge after dinner.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Triangle of Sadness

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Triangle of Sadness. This is part of our annual odyssey to watch all of the Oscar Best Picture candidates. The film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Triangle of Sadness is a satirical black comedy film written and directed by Ruben Östlund in his English-language feature film debut. The film stars Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Burić, Henrik Dorsin, Vicki Berlin, and Woody Harrelson.

The film follows a celebrity couple on a luxury cruise with wealthy guests. The situation takes an unexpected turn when a brutal storm hits the ship.

Filming took place in the Greek islands, including the last third of the film on location at Chiliadou Beach, Euboea, Greece. Scenes on the yacht were filmed in the Mediterranean on the Christina O, the yacht formerly owned by Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy.

Sharon's brother Tom had mentioned how much he disliked the film. I liked the film more than The Banshees of Inisherin or Tár; I disliked those films. Nevertheless, I don't like it enough to recommend it. The plot is very slow at times; a number of scenes go on and on. I frankly don't understand why this movie has to be two hours and a half hours long. Triangle of Sadness is not going to win Best Picture.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Brian and Sam's baby shower

Following up on Friday night's dinner, Sharon and I took Kevin's list of excursions and signed up for everything for the Israel/Eygpt/Jordan trip. It is going to a fantastic trip!.

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I went to Brian and Sam's baby shower at the Device Brewing Company on R Street. Brian is Holly and Van's oldest son.

We finished the day watching Triangle of Sadness. The movie is Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. My thoughts on the movie are here.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Gainsleys and Larkins for dinner

Friday night, we had the Gainsleys and the Larkins over for dinner. Sharon made Peruvian chicken and rice. The Gainsley brought an appretizer, while the Larkins contributed a vegetable.

The purpose of the dinner was supposed to be doing some planning for our Israel/Eygpt/Jordan trip in the fall. Frankly, we spent most of the time visiting and catching up.

Kevin did send out a summary of the excursions that they had signed up for. Unlike our Seaborne trip last year, most of the Viking excursions are included; you only have to sign up for them.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

New Year's Day, Sharon and I watched Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. This is a sequel to the first Knives Out film that we saw in 2020.

The movie was filmed on the Greek Island of Spetses. We visited Spetses in October. I recognized the harbor that they used at the beginning of the film; we walked through the area.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as master detective Benoit Blanc as he takes on a new case revolving around tech billionaire Miles Bron (played by Edward Norton) and his closest friends. The ensemble cast also includes Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was nominated for six Critics' Choice Movie Awards (winning two) and two Golden Globe Awards. It was named one of the ten best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review. The film received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 95th Academy Awards.

I am somewhat perlexed at the positive reviews and critical aclaim that the film has gotten. It is mildly entertaining, but the plot is kind of a mess; I am surprised it is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. I would give the film a "B-" at best.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

2023 Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
    All Quiet on the Western Front
   ✔ Avatar: The Way of Water
   ✔ The Banshees of Inisherin
   ✔ Elvis
   ✔ Everything Everywhere All at Once
   ✔ The Fabelmans
   ✔ Tár
   ✔ Top Gun: Maverick
   ✔ Triangle of Sadness
   ✔ Women Talking

Best Actor
   ✔ Austin Butler, Elvis
   ✔ Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
    Brendan Fraser, The Whale
    Paul Mescal, Aftersun
    Bill Nighy, Living

Best Actress
   ✔ Cate Blanchett, Tár
    Ana de Armas, Blonde
    Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
   ✔ Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
   ✔ Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actor
   ✔ Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
    Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
   ✔ Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
   ✔ Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
   ✔ Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actress
    Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
    Hong Chau, The Whale
   ✔ Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
   ✔ Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
   ✔ Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
   ✔ The Banshees of Inisherin
   ✔ Everything Everywhere All at Once
   ✔ The Fabelmans
   ✔ Tár
   ✔ Triangle of Sadness

Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
    All Quiet on the Western Front
   ✔ Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    Living
   ✔ Top Gun: Maverick
   ✔ Women Talking


The 2023 Oscar nominations are here.

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 1988 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1975 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1973 Oscar nominations are here.

The 1971 Oscar nominations are here.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Celebrating Sharon's Birthday!

Monday afternoon, Sharon and Jack played the front nine at Ancil Hoffman. When I asked her how it was, she said "abysmal, but fun.". She and I haven't played since the middle of November with the Gainsleys.

Monday evening, Sharon, Jack, Sharon's brother Tom and I headed to Allora to celebrate her birthday. We celebrated my birthday at Allora last January and Morgan's birthday there in May.

Jack and I split an order of OYSTERS [House hot sauce, lemon, mignonette]. I had a four course dinner including:
  • BEETS + BURRATA [Candied pistachio, local citrus, pomegranate vinaigrette];
  • FETTUCINE [Lobster, prawns, pancetta, preserved lemon, tomato parma rosa];
  • BLACK COD [Parsnip-black truffle puree, confit potato, roasted carrots, fried kale], and;
  • PANNA COTTA [Local citruss, vanilla tuille, white chocolate-buttermilk].
Everyone else had PORK CHEEKS [Prosciutto, wild + tame mushrooms, chestnuts, herb spaetzle] has the entree. There were some interesting half glass wine pairings.

We used a gift certificate that Drew had given Sharon for Christmas to pay for part of the dinner. I enjoyed the dinner and the company very much.

For presents, I got Sharon a Lagos ring, a yoga booster and a yoga blanket.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Jack is back!

To help celebrate Sharon's birthday, Jack caught the Capitol Corridor Amtrak on Sunday morning in Berkeley. I picked him up in downtown Sacramento.

The three of us watched the San Franciso 49ers versus Dallas Cowboys NFL football game. In a rock fight, the 49ers won the game by the score of 19 to 12.

The Cowboys lost for the record seventh straight time in the divisional round and have failed to make it to the NFC title game since winning their fifth Super Bowl title following the 1995 season.

Brock Purdy, the last pick in the draft last April, improved to 7-0 as a starter for the 49ers since replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in Week 13. He went 18 for 28 for 215 yards with no turnovers against the Cowboys, joining Joe Flacco (2008) and Mark Sanchez (2009) as the only rookie QBs to win two playoff starts.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Starfield Vineyards plus dinner with neighbors

As part of celebrating Sharon's birthday weekend, we went to the Starfield Vineyards off Highway 50 above Placerville to wine taste and have lunch. The tasting included: 2020 Viogneir; 2020 Marsanne; 2019 Aglianico; 2019 The Big Canyon; and, 2019 Jacks are Wild. Sharon bought a bottle of the Viognier and the Jacks are Wild.

We moved out to a table on the lawn for lunch. Sharon had a waldorf salad, while I had a figgy piggy [grilled cheese with fig] and butternut soup.

After lunch, we wandered the property. The vineyard has a couple of miles of paved trails and several lakes. We ended up covering about a mile and a half in less than an hour.

Sharon and I finished the day having dinner at Serritella's with a group of Orange Hill Lane neighbors, including Greg and Michele, Jim and Debi and Glenn. I had spaghetti and meatballs.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Women Talking

Friday night, Sharon and I saw Women Talking at the Tower Theater. This is part of our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Goldderby.com currently has the film as one of the top ten favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Women Talking is an American drama film written and directed by Sarah Polley. It is based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Miriam Toews. The book was inspired by real-life events that occurred at the Manitoba Colony in Bolivia.

It is a story of a group of women in an isolated religious colony who struggle to reconcile their faith after a series of sexual assaults.

The film stars Rooney Mara [Carol, Her, Loin, Nightmare Alley], Claire Foy [The Crown - Season one], Jessie Buckley [The Lost Daugther], Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw [Q in No Time to Die], and Frances McDormand, who is also a producer on the film.

Knowing that the film is based on a true story makes it difficult to watch. The performances by Foy, Buckley and Mara are solid, but I am not sure that I recommend that anyone goes out of their way to find the movie. It will be interesting to see if the movie is actually nominated for an Oscar. In the last couple months, the Goldderby odds of Mara, Foy, Buckley and Whishaw getting acting Oscar nominations has fallen dramatically.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Crown - Season Five

Last Saturday night, Sharon and I finished watching season five of The Crown on Netflix. We finished watching season one in April of 2018, season two in May of 2018, season three in February of 2020 and season four in December of 2020.

The fifth season spans the period from 1991 to 1997. The season focuses on the failing relationship between Charles and Diana with detours to explore the origin story of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the execution of the Romanovs and Margaret's past relationship with Townsend.

Season five marks The Crown's final wholesale recasting. It follows the ensembles led by Claire Foy (seasons one and two) and Olivia Colman (seasons three and four). The new cast includes:
  • Imelda Staunton stars as Queen Elizabeth;
  • Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth's husband [Two Popes, The Wife] ;
  • Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Elizabeth's younger sister;
  • Jonny Lee Miller as John Major, Prime Minister 1990–1997;
  • Dominic West as Charles, Prince of Wales, Elizabeth and Philip's eldest child and the heir apparent, and;
  • Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales, Charles's wife [Tenet].
While I enjoyed the season, it falls very short of season four; I think that season four was the best season so far. Season five is A LOT of Charles and Diana. With Elizabeth and Philip's deathes and Harry and Megan's subplot in the past couple of years, it will be interesting to see how they wrap up the last season.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

On Friday, January 6, Sharon and I watched Good Luck to You, Leo Grande on Hulu. I had seen Emma Thompson talking about the film on The Late Show with Steven Colbert.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a 2022 sex comedy-drama film directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand. The film stars Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack. Retired widow Nancy Stokes hires a good-looking young sex worker called Leo Grande, in the hope of enjoying a night of pleasure and self-discovery after an unfulfilling married life.

For her performance, Emma Thompson was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

When the movie was over, Sharon said "that was really good." I liked it a lot more than several of the Oscar favorites, such as The Banshees of Inisherin and Tár. Nevertheless, I don't expect the film to be nominated in any of the major Oscar categories.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Sunset Whitney Recreation Area Hike

Taking advantage of the Martin Luther King Holiday, Sharon and I hiked in the Sunset Whitney Recreation Area. We covered 5 miles in just under two hours. The recreation area was previously a golf course.

Designed by Billy Bell, the Sunset Whitney golf course opened in June 1963. The course hosted its first and only PGA Sunset Camellia Open in October 1964. National Golf Courses Corporation bought Sunset Oaks in 1966 and changed the name to Sunset Whitney Ranch. A later owner changed the name to Sunset Whitney Country Club.

The course became a public course in 2011, but closed in August 2015 due to financial troubles. The city of Rocklin bought the property in 2018.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Celebrating My Birthday

I had hoped to spend the long holiday weekend at Sea Ranch, but that fell through. I was also hoping to disconnect from work and day-to-day household chores. Unfortunately, this didn't quite work out. Just as I rolled out of bed in the morning, I got pulled into a work Teams meeting. A scheduled network change wasn't going as planned.

Sharon and I spent the rest of day relaxing. We facetimed with Drew and Carmen in the afternoon. Drew said that he got me a new daugther-in-law for my birthday...

For dinner, I barbecued a couple of filet mignons. Sharon cooked some brussel sprouts in her air fryer. We added a couple of baked potatoes. For dessert, Sharon made german chocolate cake.

For presents, Sharon gave me some tickets to ses Bill Maher at the Hard Rock Live, some golf pants and an offer to wash my car once a month until I retire (a service).

Friday, January 13, 2023

Avatar - Way of Water

Friday afternoon, Sharon and I saw Avatar: Way of Water at the Palladio Luxe in Folsom. This is part of our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Goldderby.com currently has the film as one of the top ten favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The film is the sequel to Avatar (2009) and the second installment in the Avatar film series. Cast members Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Giovanni Ribisi, Dileep Rao, and Matt Gerald reprise their roles from the original film. New cast members include Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, and Jemaine Clement. In the film, Na'vi Jake Sully (Worthington) and his family, under renewed human threat, seek refuge with the Metkayina clan of Pandora.

Sharon never saw the original. Jack and I saw it at the IMAX in 2009!?!

The film received nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the 80th Golden Globe Awards. It was named one of the ten best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute.

I was surprised at how much Sharon liked the film; she gave it an "8". I enjoyed the film; it is visually amazing. I thought that some of the scenes were a little long and overwrought. Sharon wants to go back and watch the first film.

After the movie, we went to dinner at Land Ocean in Folsom. After splitting a Grilled Artichoke [Lemon-basil remoulade], Sharon had Macadamia Nut Crusted Chilean Sea Bass [Coconut jasmine rice, broccolini and soy-ginger glaze] as an entree, while I had Spice Crusted Ahi Tuna [Fresh #1 grade ahi tuna. Sautéed spinach, garlic black rice, roasted corn salsa and avocado mango purée].

Thursday, January 12, 2023

2023 Sea Ranch - Day #1 NOT!

We were originally planning to leave today for four nights at Sea Ranch to celebrate my birthday. We had rented a house that we stayed at in January of 2020. The rental company called on Monday and cancelled. The power has been off at Sea Ranch for a week and they weren't sure when it will be restored.

I am very disappointed. I was looking forward to running on the trails along the bluff and doing some hiking. With an adult beverage in hand, we were going to do some planning for 2023 while watching the waves. Frankly, I was looking forward to a mental break from everything going on at work and that needs to be done around the house.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Former Guy: Doonesbury in the Time of Trumpism

My book for January is Former Guy: Doonesbury in the Time of Trumpism by Gary Trudeau. As I have said before, when I was working for the farm credit banks in Sacramento in the 1980s, I used to stop every morning and buy a San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle had Doonesbury, while the Sacramento Bee refused to publish it. One of my highlights every morning was reading the comic strip.

Trudeau started using Donald Trump as a character in his comic strip on September 14, 1987. Former Guy is a follow up to Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump that was published before the 2016 presidential election, #SAD!: Doonesbury in the Time of Trump that was released in 2018 and Lewser! - More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump that was published in 2020.

Former Guy tracks Trump from May 31, 2020 to June 19, 2022. It is organized into four sections: Individual One; The Big Lie; Owning the Libs; and, Cancel Culture.

While I enjoyed it, this book is not as good as Yuge!

Former Guy, Lewser! and #SAD all feel thin compared to the first book.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Tár

On New Year's Eve, Tom, Sharon and I watched Tár. This is part of our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Goldderby.com currently has the film as one of the favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Tár is a psychological drama film written and directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett. The supporting cast includes Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong. The film charts the downfall of fictional composer and conductor Lydia Tár.

At the 80th Golden Globe Awards, the movie received nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Cate Blanchett won Best Actress.

None of us liked this movie; I don't recommend it. The plot is disjointed with an aburpt ending. Reading about the movie afterwards, I realized that I missed a couple of key plot points in the beginning of the movie. While it might get Best Picture Oscar nomination, it is difficult for me to see it winning.

Cate Blanchett's performance is interesting. I was somewhat surprised that she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. At this point, I am rooting for Michele Williams to win the Best Actress Oscar.

Monday, January 09, 2023

2023 Kings versus Magic

Drew and Jack drove over to Sacramento from the Bay Area. Sharon and I met them at il Fornaio for dinner. I split a Caesar Salad with Sharon and had RAVIOLI LUCANA [spinach ravioli filled with italian sausage, ricotta, grana padano & fennel; topped with fresh tomatoes, spicy tomato sauce, imported peperoncino & stracciatella cheese] for an entree. Larkin wandered up during dinner and joined us at the table.

The five of us to the Sacramento Kings versus Orland Magic NBA game. It turned out that the three seats next to Larkin's season ticket are available on the secondary market [Section 126, seats 7, 8 and 9].

The Kings opened up a 20 point lead several times only to have the Magic crawl back within 10. Finally, at the end of the third quarter, the Kings ran away with the game. The Kings beat the Magic by the score of 136 to 111.

Paolo Banchero, the first overall pick in last year's draft, was the high scorer for the Magic. He had 17 points on 5 for 11 from the field, 2 for 7 from three and 5 for 8 from the free throw line.

Harrison Barnes had a season-high 30 points for the Kings. He was 11 for 13 from the field, 6 for 7 from three and 2 for 3 from the free throw line.

The Kings hit a franchise record 23 3-pointers. The team was 23 for 46 for 50% from three!

The Kings have two wins and no losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2022-2023 NBA season.

After the game, Jack and Drew crashed back at our house. I really enjoyed having a chance to see them and take them to dinner and the game.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

22 1/2 hours without power

With the power out, we spent the day taking a last load of Christmas decorations to the storage shed, cleaning out the garage and taking a load to the garbage transfer station. It is the first time since we started to decorate for the fall dinner party that we have been able to park in the garage [three months!].

In the afternoon, I watched the 49er versus Cardinals game on my iPad using my iPhone as a hotspot. The 49ers won their 10th straight game by the score of 38 to 13..

With the power still, we had an early dinner at Cafe Bernado. I had a Thai Noodle salad [Thin noodles, chicken, carrots, cucumbers, scallions, spicy peanut dressing].

Just as we were starting to settle in for a second night in the dark, the power came back on about 9:30 pm. This is the second time in two years that we have had an extended power outage. With hundreds of thousands without power in Northern California due to Saturday night's storm, I recognize that our experience wasn't unique.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Taking down the Christmas decorations, Date Night and more

Over the course of the week, Sharon took down the indoor Christmas decorations. We spent Saturday morning ferrying the boxes back to the storage shed. It took six loads; two trips of both our cars plus two more trips with just the Volvo. I worked in the early afternoon taking down the outdoor decorations.

Saturday evening, Sharon and I went to dinner at Shangri-la as a date night. We split Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Deviled Eggs and BEET PANZANELLA SALAD [golden beet hummus, pickled red beets, mixed chicory greens, local burrata, pumpkin seeds, grilled sourdough]. For entrees, we shared BAJA FISH TACOS [corn tortilla, fermented beer batter, local cod, crema, cabbage, pico, side of tomatillo and tomato salsa, chips] and a VEGGIE BURGER [brown rice, shiitake, and black bean patty, edamame hummus, lettuce, tomato, pickled onion, white cheddar].

About 11 pm on Saturday night, the power went out. The wind was topping 60 mph and hammering the back of house.

Friday, January 06, 2023

The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter

My book for December was The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter by Kai Bird. My brother-in-law Tom gave me the book for Christmas in 2021. It fits into my long term project to read books about all of the presidents.

The book focuses on Carter's Presidency, but provides an overview of his early and post-presidential lives. He attended the Naval Academy and served on submarines from 1948 to 1953. After his father's death in 1953, Carter returned home and assumed control of his family's peanut-growing business. He served as a Georgia state senator from 1963 to 1967 and Georgia governor from 1971 to 1975.

Carter was President from 1976 to 1980. The Presidency was marked by the stagflation, the energy crisis, the Camp David Accords, Airline Deregulation, Iranian Revolution, Iran hostage crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. the Soviet grain embargo and a 1980 Summer Olympics boycott.

The book doesn't paint a very flattering picture of Carter. He didn't want to compromise or negotiate as President, i.e. play politics. As portrayed in the book, Carter and his Georgia boys didn't want to socialize with the Georgetown elite... Although the book is critical of Carter's Presidency, it looks back on his accomplishments positively. At some point, I need to read a second book on Carter.

Three footnotes. In November of 1980, I was already working for Farm Credit. I can remember hearing that they had declared Reagan the winner of the election before I went to vote.

Straight out of college, I worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation. Sometime between November of 1979 and April of 1980, Carter had accepted an invitation to speak at a large meeting my division was holding in Fresno. When the hostage crisis occurred, Carter didn't campaign and stayed in the Rose Garden. Roslyn Carter came to the meeting and spoke instead. At one time, I had a picture of a group of us with Roslyn Carter. [Note to self], I need to figure out when this meeting was and look through my old photos to see if i have this picture.

Finally, Pamela Churchill shows up in the story. She was featured in Capote's Women and The Spendid and the Vile. At this time, she is married to W. Averell Harriman who was part of the Georgetown establishment...

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Throwback Thursday - 1985

When we were at Drew's for the Christmas weekend, I saw these pictures on the piano in his studio. I am wearing a t-shirt from the Avenue of the Giants Marathon. I ran that marathon in May of 1978.

In the second and third pictures, Drew and I are in front of Macintosh 128K that I purchased in September of 1984. This was the original Macintosh and was released in January of 1984.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

The Fabelmans

Wednesday night, December 28, Sharon and I watched The Fabelmans. This is part of our annual odyssey to watch the potential Oscar Best Picture candidates. Goldderby.com currently has the film as one of the favorites to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The Fabelmans is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written and produced by Tony Kushner and Spielberg. It is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a filmmaker. The film is dedicated to the memories of Spielberg's real-life parents Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, who died in 2017 and 2020, respectively.

It is told through the eyes of the fictional Sammy Fabelman. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch in supporting roles.

Unlike a number of the potential Best Picture nominees that we have seen recently, both Sharon and I enjoyed this movie. It is a solid story. I was particularly fascinated because it is autobiographical. Michele Williams does a very good job as the mother. I expect that the picture and Williams performance will get Oscar nominations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Christmas Ornament 2022

2022 marked the 28th Christmas that Sharon and I have celebrated together. I have bought Sharon an ornament for the tree every year since that first Christmas.

This year, I brought her one ornament in Santorini and another one in Athens to commemorate our trip to Greece and Turkey.

Monday, January 02, 2023

Taking down the Christmas Tree

We spent the morning taking down the Christmas tree. The tree was in pretty bad shape; it was very dry. We packed up the ornaments and dragged the tree out front. I cut the tree up and stuffed it in the green barrel. With the electric chainsaw that Sharon got me for Father's Day, it was easy work.

Sharon and I spent the early afternoon dragging boxes back from the shed. We will be takng the rest of the Christmas decorations down over the next week.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

New Year's Day 2023

After a busy couple of days and a late night on New Year's Eve, we had a quiet New Year's Day. Although we talked about hiking at Bannister Park like we did last year, we decided to do an extended loop around Ancil Hoffman Park. Sharon, Tiber and I covered 3.7 miles in an hour and forty minutes.

In the middle of the day, we watched the 49ers versus Raiders NFL football game. The 49ers won in overtime by the score of 37 to 34.

We finished the day watching the movie Glass Onion on Netflix. It is a sequel to the 2020 film Knives Out.