Wednesday, May 31, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #8 - to Corbridge

A long day of hiking...

Up very early, Tom, Ana-Marie, Sharon and I had breakfast at the lodge. Both Sharon and I both had omelets.

On the trail a little after 8 am, we headed towards Heddon-on-the-Wall. Sharon and I ended up spliting up from Tom and Anna-Marie as we climbed. We passed through a golf course that made both Sharon and I wish that we had a chance to play on this trip. We took a long break at a very cool section of the board wall waiting from Tom and Anna-Marie.

Once Tom and Anna-Marie got there, Sharon and I decided to take off separately. It was a long six miles from Heddon-on-the-Wall to the Robin Hood Inn. It was almost 2 pm by the time we got there. I regretted not having my hiking poles; parts of the trail were very uneven.

For lunch at the Robin Hood Inn, I had a beef wrap, while Sharon had a lamb burger. After lunch, we stamped our Hadrian's Wall Path passports.

With Tom and Anna-Marie almost an hour behind us, Sharon decided to take an Uber into Corbridge. I hiked the last seven miles by myself. Dropping away from the wall path, I dropped almost 700 feet in three plus miles. I hiked down some country lanes through some beautiful English countryside.

It was after 5 pm by the time I got to the hotel. We are spending one night at The Angel of Corbridge.

The four of us finished the day with a leisurely dinner at the Inn. Sharon and Tom started with a Pork & Sage Scotch Egg [Apple Sauce]. Tom, Sharon and I all had Rolled Pork Belly [Tenderstern Brocolli, Black Pudding Mash, Cider Jus] as a main. After dinner, I crashed hard.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #7 - to Newburn

With both of us up early, I wandered down for cup of Americano coffee. I then went to the fitness center and did a twenty minute Peleton upper body workout. Trying to sort out the kilogram weights was interesting. Afterwards, Sharon and I did a five minute Peleton lower body stetch together in the room.

Sharon and I had breakfast at the hotel. As part of the package, Macs Adventure is moving our bags every day. I dropped the bags in the lobby before 9 am. I was surprised to see at least ten other Macs Adventure bsgs.

Tom, Anna-Marie, Sharon and I met just before 10 am and started off. We made a lunch break about 1 pm at the Lemington Deli. We got to the Keelman Lodge about 2:45 pm. For the next few nights, we are changing hotels every day. I was pleasantly surprised to find our bags were already there.

We covered 7.5 miles in three hours and twenty-two minutes. Our pace was slower than the first day at 26:50.

After we got settled in the room, Sharon, Tom and I wandered down and had a beer at the brew pub connected to the Lodge. They have an on-site micro-brewery!

We finished the day with dinner at the lodge. Sharon had Sea Bass, while I had Bolognese Tagliatelle. After dinner, we all crashed early. Tomorriw is a 15.7 miles day!

Monday, May 29, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #6 - To Newcastle Upon Tyne

Tom, Anna-Marie, Sharon and I had breakfast at the 23 St. Mary's Guest House Bed and Breakfast. I had pancakes, while Sharon had an omelet.

After I dragged the bags down four flights of stairs, we took an Uber to the train station. The four of us caught a 10:30 am train from York to Newcastle Upon Tyne. It was an easy uneventful trip. The wireless was actually better than the nicer train on the trip from London to York.

In Newcastle, we pulled the luggage to the hotel; it was right around the corner from the train station. We are staying one night at the Indigo Hotel. The four of us dropped all of our bags.

We caught an Uber to the Roman Fort Segedunum. We had a little bit of a kerfuffle trying to find somewhere to eat lunch; we should have eaten around the hotel. We ended up at Sizzling Pubs on High Street near the Fort (burger and a wrap).

Afer exploring the museum and fort grounds, we hiked Hardian's Wall Way back to the hotel. We covered about 5.8 miles in two hours and twenty-four minutes. We screwed up a little and weren't carrying enough water and other supplies. We didn't make it back to the hotel until after 5:30 pm.

We finished the night with dinner at My Delhi. Putting her super power to good use, Sharon found a very nice restaurant. Tom had wanted Indian food. Sharon had the Railway Station Lamb Curry, while I had South Indian Fish Curry. We added Dum Pulao Rice, Plain Naan and a Indian Salad.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #5 - York

The day included:
  • Tom, Anna Marie, Sharon and I had breakfast at 8 am in the hotel lobby; Sharon, Tom and I had a full English Breakfast.
  • After breakfast, Sharon and I hiked along the fortress walls; it was originally a Roman Fort.
  • I ran back to the hotel room to get our jackets; while it was 70 on Saturday, it was 55 and breezy on Sunday.
  • While Sharon shopped for an outfit for Carmen and Drew's wedding at Jigsaw, I read my book and had a beer at Victor J's Cafe & Bar.
  • We took the outfit back to the hotel.
  • Sharon and I stopped and had a glass and a beer at Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro.
  • We met Tom at the Jorvick Viking Centre; I was surprised by the experience. It reminded me of Pirates of Caribbean! You rode a ride through a replica of a Viking village and then wandered through a small museum of artifacts.
  • Sharon and I toured the York Minster.
  • Sharon and I visited National Railway Museum; we bought Lee a t-shirt!
  • Tom, Sharon and I finished the day with dinner at Cut & Craft; I had a sirloin, while Tom and Sharon had filets.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #4 - To York

Moving day. We are going to be on the move a lot over the next three weeks. We are not staying anything where more than two nights until we get to Edinburgh. We have ten nights during the hike where we are staying just one night.

We packed up the room and then had a buffet breakfast at the hotel. We caught an Uber about 9 am to the Kings Cross Station. We met Tom and Anna Marie at the station.

The four of us caught a 10:30 am train to York. It was comfortable two hour trip. I worked on my blog using both the wifi on the train and my phone as a hot spot.

It took us a while to get a taxi to the hotel when we got to York. It turns out that this is a three day weekend with a banking holiday on Monday. The town is overrun with young people. Apparently, there are horse races over the weekend. York has the third largest racetrack in England based on total prize money.

Eventually, we got a taxi to the hotel. We are staying two nights at 23 St. Mary's Guest House.

After getting settled, we wandered into town. We had a light lunch at York Minister Refactory. Sharon and I split a Fishmonger’s board [Oak smoked salmon, coronation crab, black treacle salmon, oyster, pickled mussels & clams, a little prawn and marie rose cocktail, house pickled cucumbers, dill crème fraiche] and a Farmer’s board [Shaved heritage beetroots, picked girolles, crispy falafel, avocado, hummus, charred spiced peanut cauliflower, whipped Bluemin white, savoury granola].

Afterwards, Sharon and I explored the town, including wandering the Shambles, a famous shopping street. The whole town was overrun with people. It felt a little like wandering around New Orlean's French Quarter.

The four of us met back up and went to Mass at St. Wilfred's.

We had an early dinner at Guy Fawkes Inn. I had Sea Bass Tacos, while Sharon had fish & chips.

After dinner, Tom, Sharon and I wandered the area. I was surprised how few people there were compared to the afternoon. We crashed fairly early.

Friday, May 26, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #3 - London

Sharon and I had a buffet breakfast at La Terrazza, the restaurant attached to the Xenia Hotel. After breakfast, we walked to the Holiday Inn where Tom and Anna Marie are staying.

Sharon got tickets for the Sky Garden at 10:45 am. Tom, his friend Mary, Sharon and I walked to the Underground and rode to the Monument Station. The Sky Garden is on the opposite side of the river from the Shard. Although not as tall as the Shard, it is an interesting large open space with some nice views of London.

Afterwards, I split off from the group. Sharon had made a 1:30 pm reservation for the Shard. I decided to pass. Jack, Sharon and I had a very nice visit to the Shard in '19. I felt like I would rather explore some places that we hadn't visited before.

I walked from the Sky Garden to Convent Garden. I explored the area. From there, I jumped on the Underground to the K Road Station and walked to Kensington Palace. I had a 1:30 pm ticket. I skimmed through the Crown to Couture exhibition. The show highlighted how the trailblazing fashion of 18th-century nobility had inspired today’s iconic red-carpet looks. I enjoyed walking through the state apartments, including the room where Queen Victoria was born.

After touring Kensington Palace, I looked for the Speke Monument. This monument is mentioned at the end of Candice Millard's River of Gods book.

From there, I walked through Kensington Park to Oxford Street. I explored this upscale shopping area. I continued down Regent Street to Picadilly Cirus and then back to Covent Garden. I jumped on the Underground and headed back to the hotel.

Sharon eventually wound her way back to the hotel in the late afternoon. We had a glass of wine and a snack (Trio di bruschette integrali ‘whole wheat’ with stracchino cheese, fresh tomatoes and olives tapenade) in the Terrazza Bar. Sharon struck up a conversation with the Italian manager of the restaurant.

We had intended to try and go back to Dishoom for dinner. We had dinner there in '19 and really enjoyed it. When we got to the restaurant, they quoted an hour and twenty minute wait.

We ended up wandering down the street to a Mediterranean restaurant called Pascor. We had a very nice dinner. We started with homemade mini Challah bread served with sun-dried tomatoes butter and homemade labneh and a Watermelon & feta salad [Cherry tomatoes, herb vinaigrette, zaatar crisps]. For entrees, we split Sea bass [Pistachio crust, green peas cream, roasted spring onion and dried tomatoes] and Grilled Octopus [Cauliflower cream, kumquat, basil oil].

After dinner, we wandered back to the hotel and crashed just before 10 pm. For the day, I had almost 26,000 steps and covered almost twelve miles.

footnote: I wrote this long entry on the train from London to York.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #2 - London

Using the Polaris lay flat seats, my Oura ring showed that I was able to sleep a little more than three hours. We were on the ground at London Heathrow airport about twenty minutes behind schedule at 10 am.

Like when we flew into London in '19, we literally walked a mile from the plane to the passport control. We picked up our luggage and grabbed a taxi into London. We are spending two nights at the Xenia Hotel.

We got to the hotel about noon. Initially, they said that the room wasn't ready, but about ten minutes later gave us a room. Dropping our bags in the room and getting changed, we met Sharon's brother Tom and his friend Ann Marie in front of the hotel. We will be spending the next four weeks with them. They are just finishing up a ten day tour with the Jesuits.

The four of us took an Uber to the Temple Church. This church is featured in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

From there, we walked to St Paul's Catherdal. Sharon, Jack and I toured the catherdal in '19.

Heading back the other way, we walked along the river and through the Victoria Embarkment Gardens to the Gordon Wine Bar. This is billed as London's oldest wine bar. We split a Meat Sharing Board [Pork Pie, Parma Ham, Pork & Duck Pâté, Roast Beef & Hungarian Pork Sausage] and a three cheeses board [Trio di bruschette integrali ‘whole wheat’ with stracchino cheese, fresh tomatoes and olives tapenade].
After a couple of glasses of wine, we walked to the underground and headed to the Altgate East station. Sharon and Tom had signed us up for a Jack the Ripper walking tour in Whitechapel. I was surprised at the size of the group; there must have been 25 people in the tour. Additionally, we past several other tour groups. I enjoyed the tour more than expected; it was cool to be in neighborhood that we hadn't explore before.

After the tour, we caught an Uber back to the hotel. I fell asleep in the Uber. We crashed hard about 10:30 pm.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #1 - to London

Sharon's nephew Eric picked us up at 10:30 am and took us to the airport. As a surprise, Sharon had upgraded to first class on the first leg and Polaris class on the second leg. Checking the luggage and then getting through security with CLEAR and TSA PRE was a breeze.

We caught a 12:45 pm United flight from Sacramento to Denver. For the only time that I can remember, we had seats across the aisle from each other [4B, 4F]. Sitting in first class, we had a nice lunch. There was some weather in the Denver area. We ended up on the ground about 15 minutes behind schedule.

Walking from Gate 24 to Gate 36 took about 4 minutes. We boarded the 5:40 pm flight to London less than 30 minutes after we were on the ground.

Sharon had upgraded to Polaris seats on the Denver to Chicago leg: seats 10B and 10D on a 787. She was more than a little disappointed that our seats were separated rather than right next to each other. The seats in the Polaris section alternate. With two seats in the middle right next to each other and then the next two seats further apart. A first world problem. Compared to the trip to Athens on American, it was an amazing luxury! It is going to be hard to go back to riding in the back of the bus on the flight home!

Waiting for dinner to be served, I am using the Wifi on the plane to write this somewhere over South Dakota.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Celebrating the life of Marion Fiorio

I spent the day winding my way to Gilory and back for the Funeral Mass, Interment and Luncheon Reception at Kirigin Cellars for Mario Fiorio, Julie Tomasin's dad. The obituary is here.

Sitting in the car at the church, I was surprised to see Swedberg. I sat with him during the Mass. I ended up sitting with John and Julie at the lunch.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Last Hadrian's Wall Training Hike

With the trip to England and Scotland and the Hadrian's Wall Hike looming, Sharon and I did one last Hadrian's Wall Training Hike on Sunday morning. We covered 5.4 miles in just over two hours.

We started from Sunrise and headed down river. I continue to be surprised by the hiking trails along the American River Parkway. I never realized that there were so many trails separate from the bike trail.

We spent the afternoon watching Brooks Koepka win the PGA Championship. Sharon is a big fan of Koepka.

Saturday, May 20, 2023


After spending the shopping, packing for the England and Scotland trip and watching Brooks Koepka take the lead in the PGA Championship, Sharon and I had dinner at Piatti. We split an Arugula Salad [frisée, strawberry, fennel, pickled red onion, almond, feta, citrus mint vinaigrette]. For entrees, Sharon had Saffron Spaghetti [prawns, garlic, asparagus, spicy pickled peppers, parsley, white wine], while I had a very good Wood Fired Pork Chop [almond wood roasted peaches, delicata squash, white polenta, pt reyes blue cheese, calabrian honey].

Sharon noted that she feels like Piatti doesn't update the meal often enough. Sharon's super power is scoping out fantastic restaurants. One of my goals for retirement is starting a substack of her restaurant reviews and observations.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Anthony Benezet

I walked by this historical marker several times while I was in Philadephia for the Army/Navy Game.

Anthony Benezet
(1713 - 1784)

Pennsylvania Historical Marker

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

This marker is located at 325 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The GPS coordinates for this location are 39° 56' 56.0" N 75° 08' 49.7" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

Anthony Benezet

Leading abolitionist in the 18th century, his writings influenced the antislavery movement worldwide and federal abolition legislation. A teacher and Quaker, he educated blacks in his home, 1750-70, and opened a secondary school for girls in 1754. He lived here.

Anthony Benezet

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Song for 2022

Drew and Morgan are both accomplished musicians. The Soundtrack for My Life includes several of their songs.

From late 2016 to May of 2022, Drew lived in a house on Glen Tower Street in Beachwood Canyon in Southern California. He called it Mirror Wall Studios. Last year, Drew released an album of songs that he had written while he lived there called Songs from Mirror Wall.

My song for 2022 is Taste of Rain by The Guest and The Host from the album Songs from Mirror Wall.

You can find the work in progress Soundtrack for My Life here!

What is this?

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

My book for May was The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham. Somewhat unbelievably, this is the 37rd book by John Grisham that I have read in the last thirty-two years. I am not sure that this is something that I should be proud of...

The story follows two young men, Marco and Rudy, who grow up in the same town but on opposite sides of the law. Marco's father is a mobster, while Rudy's father is a lawyer. As the boys grow older, they are drawn into their fathers' worlds.

This is not my favorite Grisham book. It is longer than most of his novels. There are a number of detours from the main story that I don't think really add much. These sections are supposed to add to the character development, but I don't think that they work very well. Nevertheless, I will continue to read Grisham novels as filler between more ambitious books. They serve as a nice mindless break.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Artificial Condition

My second book for April was Artificial Condition by Martha Wells. The book is the second in a series called The Murderbot Diaries. I read the first book--All Systems Red--earlier in April.

Artificial Condition won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2019. It was also a finalist for the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award.

The science fiction novella follows the story of Murderbot, a SecUnit (security unit) android that has hacked its own governor module. Trying to learn more about its past, Murderbot is recruited by a group of humans to help them recover some of their work.

As I said after reading the first book in the series, artificial intelligence has become a hot topic. I enjoyed the first two books enough that I am going to continue to read the series in the future. I am interested in seeing the author continues to expand world in the future novellas and novels.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Mother's Day 2023

Up early, I drove to the city to pick up Jack and bring him home for Mother's Day. Taking Fair Oaks to Watt to 50 to 80, it took me an hour and thirty-nine minutes to get to his apartment. With a stop for gas and food, it took an hour and fifty-three minutes to get home.

The plan for the day was to play golf at Ancil Hoffman. We had a 12:28 pm tee time.

I was pretty happy with my round. I shot a fairly honest 104. For about the third time in the last couple of years, I have switched my chipping style. Jack can bomb his drives; he hit one about 290 yards on the par four 15th hole. Although not as hot as last Labor Day, it was warm.

One of my goals after I retire is to take some more lessons at Golftec. I feel like this round was something that I could build on!


I got Sharon a Ceramic Caviar Beaded Bracelet from Lagos. For the second year in a row, I failed to get a picture of Jack and Sharon at dinner!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Another Hadrian's Wall Training Hike

With our trip to England and Scotland looming in a week and a half, Sharon and I did a long training hike for Hadrian's Wall with the Larkins and the Gainsleys. The Gainsleys came to our house and the four of us traveled to Hidden Falls Regional Park. We met the Larkins there.

We ended up covering almost nine miles in three hours and fifty minutes of moving time. Trying to get an early start, it was still 2 pm by the time we finished. With temperatures rising in the high 80s, it got warm.

After the hike, we took a dip in our community pool with the Gainsleys. The four of us finished the day with dinner at Rey Azteca.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Friday night, Sharon and I watched Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie on AppleTV. Sharon has become a big Michael J Fox fan. She watched all seven seasons of Family Ties and the first four seasons of Spin City. Sharon also listened to Fox's first two autobiographies.

In 1991, at the age of 29, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie chronicles Fox's life and career, from his early days as an actor to his diagnosis and beyond. Still is a powerful and personal film that offers a glimpse into Fox's life with Parkinson's.

Still is a story of hope, resilience, and the power of the human spirit. I recommend it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Mario Charlie Fiorio

Julie's dad passed away.

Mario Charlie Fiorio - Born: November 28, 1929, Died: April 29, 2023

Mario was called to his eternal home on April 29, 2023 joining his wife, Ines, of 63 years who preceded him on May 23, 2017.

Born in San Francisco to Gaspare and Maria Fiorio, who immigrated from Italy through Ellis Island, his family moved to Gilroy when he was five. He proudly served his country in the Korean war in the Army’s 7th Cavalry division. In July of 1954 Mario married the love of his life, Ines Barbara Valbusa, and together they began the dance of life together and building their Legacy. Mario’s strong faith and love of family and friends guided him throughout his life. As he said “Without family… you have nothing.”

Mario is the father of Julie (John) Tomasin of Windsor, CA, Francine (Jon) Vorhees of Granite Bay, CA, Carol (Arliss) Duncan of Carmel Valley, CA, Danny (Dina) Fiorio and Richard (Ann) Fiorio of Gilroy, CA. He is “Nono”, and much loved by his grandchildren David (Lo), Chris, and Mikey Tomasin, Josh and Justin (Kara) Vorhees, Carissa and Danny (Rachael) Duncan, Hannah (Ben) Tyler, Zoë (Gabe) Calara , Bailey Fiorio, and Ryan, Graden, and Luciano Fiorio. Mario is affectionately known as “Bis Nono” to his great grandchildren Nathan Mario and Mia Vorhees, Griffin Tyler, and Lucas Calara, with three more joining the crew this year.

Mario is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Yvonne (Robert) Valencia, Ines’ parents Mariano and Elisa Valbusa, sisters in laws Esther (Joe) Perucca and Celeste (Marty) Zamzow and brother in law Lino (Irene) Valbusa.

Mario’s love of farming and tending to plants, instilled by his father, endured throughout his farming career, in his own garden, and in his “La Baracca” vineyard. He shared his love of gardening at Merrill Gardens and with his children and grandchildren who go to him for wisdom and guidance on life and growing their own gardens. Mario’s sons followed in his farming footsteps.

Mario was actively involved with ICF (Polenta dinner with his famous Stew), and a member of American Legion Gilroy Post #217, Farm Bureau and the Elks. He was the grower and winemaker of his own label, “La Baracca”.

Mario’s family wishes to thank the wonderful people at Merrill Gardens and Hospice for their loving care during his extended illness.

The family would appreciate donations to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at, Northern California Chapter or St. Mary School.

Vigil will be on May 21, 2023, 7:00pm, at Habing Family Funeral Home. Funeral Mass Monday May 22, 10:00am, at St. Mary Church, Gilroy. Entombment will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, Gilroy. Reception will follow.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

To Visalia and back

I spent the day traveling to Visalia and back. To celebrate a successful cutover, Jennifer, Patrick and I met with the Visalia Medical Clinic and Central Valley IT teams and then took them to lunch.

Traveling 50 to 99 to 198, it took me about three hours and fifteen minutes to get there and then three and a half hours to get back home; a long day in the car. When I worked for Sutter Health, I used to spend a lot of time in the car traveling to sites. Particularly in the last three years, I have done a lot less traveling for work.

Monday, May 08, 2023


Becker's Hospital Review - Adven/tist Health names new CIO

Roseville, Calif.-based Adven/tist Health has named Jennifer Stemmler as its new CIO.

Prior to her new role, Ms. Stemmler served as chief digital officer at the health system. During her time in the role, Ms. Stemmler led the rollout of digital initiatives such as online scheduling, according to an April 24 Adven/tist Health news release shared with Becker's.

"Jennifer's leadership and work in the digital consumer space is a reflection of her unwavering commitment to provide patients with easy, user-friendly tools that engage and transform their healthcare experience at Adven/tist Health," Adven/tist Health COO Todd Hofheins said in the release. "We are excited about Jennifer's new role and leadership to ensure technology implementations run smoothly and securely systemwide."

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Overnight Guests

After wine tasting on Saturday, Drew, Carmen, Pam and Mike spent the night at our house. Sharon served a nice breakfast of quiche, bacon and fruit. The weather was nice enough that we could eat breakfast on the back deck.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

At Heringer Estates Winery

Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I met Drew, Carmen and Carmen's parent [Pam and Mike] at Heringer Estates Winery. Drew and Carmen are getting married there in October. We spent the afternoon wine tasting and picking out the wine for the wedding.

Afterwards, the group headed to our house in Carmichael. Sharon made a great dinner of salmon tacos. Everyone spent the night.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Morgan's Birthday

Sharon and I FaceTimed with Morgan and Lee at lunchtime to wish her Happy Birthday!

Thursday, May 04, 2023

John Mulaney: Baby J

Thursday night, Sharon and I watched John Mulaney: Baby J on Netflix. Sharon and Jack saw John Mulaney in person at the Golden One Center in April of 2020.

The special was filmed in Boston. It deals primarily with Mulaney's intervention, subsequent visit to drug rehabilitation and his efforts toward sobriety. Mulaney concluded the special by reading and commenting on sections of a "wide-ranging" interview he gave with GQ while under the influence of cocaine; he said that he did not remember the answers he had given.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

All Systems Red

My book for April was All Systems Red by Martha Wells. The book is the first in a series called The Murderbot Diaries. I picked up the book because the fifth book in series was the winner of 2021 Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards!

All Systems Red won the 2018 Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards for the Best Novella. It was also a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

The science fiction novella follows the story of Murderbot, a cyborg security unit that has hacked its own governor module and is trying to find its place in the world. The story is set in a future where corporations have colonized the galaxy.

With the emergence of ChatGPT and Bard, artificial intelligence has become a hot topic. This book explores the themes of free will, identity, and belonging for an advanced artificial intelligence. I enjoyed the book enough that I am going to continue to read the series.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Chief Operating Officer, Information Services, Sutter Health

Sutter Health has posted a Information Services Chief Operating Officer. While Jerry Padavano, Patrick Anderson and Stuart James filled this position in the late 2000s and early 2010s, I think that the position has been vacant for the last five years.
Chief Operating Officer, Information Services
Job ID R-26801
Date Posted 04/05/2023
Location Sacramento, California
Schedule/Shift/Weekly Hours Regular/Days/40

Organization: SHSO- Executive Services

Position Overview:
This role supports the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) in providing leadership and guidance for critical areas of Information Services administration within Sutter Health. The COO will oversee project and demand management, finance, contracting, business relationship management, strategic planning, and other assigned areas. The position will work with the CIO to improve cost-effectiveness, service quality, and operational effectiveness of the IT department. The COO will provide leadership, direction, and support for the organization and analyze technology trends to plan for the long-term direction of Information Services. Additionally, the COO will act on behalf of the CIO in executive decisions and committees, as assigned or in the CIO's absence.

Job Description:

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred or equivalent experience

  • 10+ years of management experience in the healthcare industry, specifically in multi-facility support.
  • 4+ years of project management experience in the healthcare industry.
  • Proven experience in leading multidisciplinary teams to implement various hospital information technology solutions.
  • Experience in developing and overseeing IS capital and operating budgets.
  • Proven experience in negotiating contracts.
  • Experience in developing and leading governance models.

Knowledge and Skills:
  • Healthcare industry: The COO must have a deep understanding of the healthcare industry, including the regulatory environment, reimbursement models, and emerging trends. This knowledge is essential to ensure that the health system's technology strategy is aligned with the organization's goals and objectives.
  • Information technology: The COO should possess extensive knowledge of information technology, including hardware, software, networks, and data management. They should stay abreast of new developments and emerging technologies that may be applicable to the healthcare industry.
  • Cybersecurity: The COO should be knowledgeable about cybersecurity threats and risks and have a comprehensive understanding of how to protect health system information systems and data.
  • Change management: The COO should possess strong change management skills, including the ability to lead and manage complex organizational changes related to technology implementations, upgrades, and optimizations.
  • Leadership: The COO should have excellent leadership skills to lead the IS department and collaborate effectively with other departments in the organization. They should have a vision for how technology can support the organization's mission and be able to communicate that vision effectively.
  • Project management: The COO should have strong project management skills to oversee complex IT projects, including project planning, resource allocation, and risk management.
  • Interpersonal skills: The COO should be able to communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders, including clinicians, administrators, and vendors. They should be able to listen actively and build strong relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Financial management: The COO should have a good understanding of financial management and budgeting to manage the costs associated with technology investments and ensure that IT projects are aligned with the organization's financial goals.
  • Regulatory compliance: The COO should have a deep understanding of regulatory compliance requirements, such as HIPAA and other data privacy laws. They must ensure that the organization's technology solutions are compliant with these regulations to avoid potential legal and financial consequences.

Physical Requirements:
Ability to travel throughout Northern California and out of state when required.

Pay Range: $148.14 - $200.42 /Hour

The salary range for this role may vary above or below the posted range as determined by location. This range has not been adjusted for any specific geographic differential applicable by area where the position may be filled. Compensation takes into account several factors including but not limited to a candidate’s experience, education, skills, licensure and certifications, department equity, training and organizational needs. Base pay is just one piece of the total rewards program offered by Sutter Health. Eligible roles also qualify for a comprehensive benefits package.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Apple Watch Ultra

Seven years ago, Sharon bought me an Apple Watch for Father's Day. Although I had never worn a watch before, it quickly become a key part of my life. I am literally never without it.

I upgraded to a Series 3 five years ago, to a Series 5 three years ago and to a Series 7 last February.

I have gotten frustrated with the battery life of the Series 7. Using Golfshot Plus during the Petersen Shootout, the watch died both days about the 14th or 15th hole. I have been using AllTrails while we have been doing the Hadrian Wall training hikes. On the longer hikes, the watch would be dead before we finished the hike.

With the trip to England and Scotland looming, I decided to upgrade my watch to a Ultra. It is advertised as having twice the battery life of a Series 8 Apple watch. I ordered the watch last Thursday morning and had it delivered in the afternoon.