Thursday, August 31, 2023

2023 San Francisco - Day #6

Sleeping late and moving slow, Sharon and I eventually had breakfast at the Stanford Court. We split a breakfast burrito and a granola bowl.

Packing up the room and calling for the car, we drove to Jack's apartment. We spent some time visiting with him before starting for home.

Although Sharon had talked about having lunch at Swans Oyster Depot in the city, we ended up having a late lunch at Matteo's in Carmichael. We both had Lamb Burger [Pink Peppercorn and Cumin Seasoned Fresh Ground Leg of Lamb Burger with Feta Cheese, Chimichurri Aioli, House Pickles, Red Onion, Tomato and Arugula].

We were home by 2:30 pm. It was a great couple of days. I really enjoyed having a chance to celebrate Jack's 25th birthday with him!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Celebrating Jack's 25th Birthday [2023 San Francisco - Day #5]

A wild day. I have to admit that when all of the plans for the day fell into place I had some apprehension that the timing of all the events would fit together.

Up at 530 am, I rolled away from the hotel about 620 am and headed to the Presidio Golf Club. Jack had made a 720 am tee time. I played with Jack, Jason and Ryan; I rode with Jack. We were the third group off for the day.

We played a four man best ball scramble. With a great shot using a new hybrid four that we got him for his birthday, Jack birdied the six hole. After starting with a double bogey, we were only one over on the front nine.

We fell apart on the back nine. I hit a seven iron into the green on the par three fifteenth hole for a par. We then used my drives on sixteen and seventeen. Seventeen was ugly. It is a steep uphill dogleg right. We took a triple bogey. We ended up 8 over for the back nine.

I felt more consistent than last week when we played with Holly and Van in Truckee. I have another Golftec lesson next week. We finished the round in under four hours.

I really enjoyed the morning!

When we were done, I jumped in the car and raced back to the hotel. I took a quick shower.

Sharon and I then took an Uber to Oracle Park. We had tickets to the 1245 pm Giants versus Reds baseball game. Like last Labor Day weekend, I got tickets on the right field wall [section AR145, row 3, seats 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13]. We met Drew, Jack, Jason and Ryan in Willie Mays Plaza. We were actually in our seats before the first pitch!

The Reds won the game by the score of 4 to 1. Logan Webb pitched for the Giants. Christian Encarnacion-Strand homered and drove in three runs for the Reds in his first four-hit game in the majors. Attendance was announced at 25,140 out of a capacity of 41,915, but the stadium didn't seem that full.

After the game was over, Sharon and I struggled to get an Uber back to the hotel. We had to walk quite a ways from the stadium. Drew took the boys to play pool at the Wreck Room.

After getting cleaned up at the Stanford Court, Sharon and I caught an Uber to Laszlo. We hosted a group of family and friends for cocktails at Laszlo.

From there, we moved next door to the Foreign Cinema for a late dinner. The group for cocktails and dinner included: Drew and Carmen; Ryan and Breanna; Jason and Mackenzie; Emily; Emma; Jaclyn; Jack, and; Sharon and I.

We did presents. Jack's friends gave him a 7 iron to replace the one that he had broke over his knee at Sea Ranch. Sharon made a nice toast.

The dinner was very good. I had Santa Barbara Smoked Salmon [Pickled red onion, house pickles, tarragon crème fraîche, trout roe caviar, caperberries, trout roe caviar, buckwheat crackers] as a starter and Maine Sea Scallops & Local Cod [Aromatic Parsi spiced tomato, curry leave broth, basmati rice, Thai chili, lime, herbs, papadum] as an entree.

It was after 1030 pm by the time we wandered away from the restaurant. Drew and Carmen drove Jack back to his apartment and then dropped Sharon and I at the hotel. I crashed hard about 1130 pm.

It was a wonderful day!

2023 San Francisco - Day #5 more

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

2023 San Francisco - Day #4

Sharon has lamented that she hasn't had a chance to spend Jack's birthday with him since 2015. With Jack living in San Francisco, we planned a day of events for his birthday on Wednesday.

Taking off from Carmichael about 1:15 pm and switching drivers in Vallejo, we were in San Francisco before 3:30 pm. We are spending two nights at the Stanford Court Hotel.

We had a quick drink in the hotel bar and then got ready for an early dinner. We caught an Uber to Flour + Water. We split several dishes. We started with HALIBUT CRUDO [shishito pepper, mint, avocado, jalapeño cucumber granita] and GRILLED SQUASH [stone fruit, parmigiano garum tare, cherry tomato, jimmy nardello pepper]. For pasta, we had RABBIT AGNOLOTTI [jimmy nardello, early girl tomato, dill, caper breadcrumb, parmigiano reggiano] and SQUID INK FUSILLI [octopus ragu, heirloom tomato, calabrian chili, oregano]. As an entree, we had GRILLED TROUT [cucumber, crème fraîche, preserved meyer lemon, purslane].

After dinner, we caught an Uber back to the hotel. Chilling in the hotel room, we eventually had the valet bring up the car. We picked up Jack as he got off work.

Heading back to his apartment, Jack, Sharon, Jason and I had some peach pie that Sharon had made. We wandered back to the hotel and crashed about 11:30 pm. Wednesday is going to be a wild day...

Monday, August 28, 2023

Death on the Nile (1978)

Following up on watching the 2022 version of Death on the Nile, Sharon and I watched the 1978 adaptation on Monday night. The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design at the 51st Academy Awards.

Death on the Nile is a British mystery film based on Agatha Christie's 1937 novel of the same name. It is directed by John Guillermin. The film features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot played by Peter Ustinov for the first time. The all-star supporting cast includes Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jane Birkin, David Niven, George Kennedy, and Jack Warden.

Unlike the 2022 version that was filmed in London, this version was filmed on location in Egypt. Famous ancient Egyptian sights featured in the film include: the Great Pyramids; the Sphinx, and; temples at Abu Simbel and Karnak. We will be visting all of these sites in October. I particularly enjoyed the section filmed at Karnak.

When it finished, Sharon said "that was better." We both liked this version of the film better than the 2022 adaptation..


Five years ago, Sharon and I took some golf lessons from Golftec. While I was working, I never felt like I had the time to invest in really trying to improve my game. I now have the time. I went to Golftec this morning, signed up for a set of five lessons and took a lesson. I need to work on rebuilding my swing from scratch...

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Death on the Nile (2022)

With the Egypt trip looming, Sharon read Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. When she finished the book, she wanted to watch the movie. Sharon and I watched the 2022 version of Death on the Nile on Sunday night.

Death on the Nile is a mystery film directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Michael Green. It is based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. Kenneth Branagh and Tom Bateman star as Hercule Poirot and Bouc, respectively. The ensemble cast includes Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer [Call Me by Your Name], Rose Leslie, and Letitia Wright.

Sharon was a little miffed that the plot of the movie diverged so much from the book. Although the movie was filmed in England, I enjoyed the scenes with the pyramids, the Sphinx, Aswan, the Nile and Abu Simbel. We have signed up for an excursion to Abu Simbel. We will probably watch the 1978 version of the film on Monday night.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Parks and Recreation - Season One

Sharon and I finished watching season one of Parks and Recreation. We have been talking about watching the series ever since we read Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe.

Season one only has six episodes. It aired from April 9, 2009 to May 14, 2009.

The series stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The ensemble and supporting cast features Rashida Jones [On the Rocks] as Ann Perkins, Paul Schneider as Mark Brendanawicz, Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Aubrey Plaza [White Lotus Season Two] as April Ludgate, Chris Pratt [Passengers, Her] as Andy Dwyer, Jim O'Heir as Garry "Jerry" Gergich, Retta as Donna Meagle, and Billy Eichner as Craig Middlebrooks. Pratt rose to prominence playing Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation.

I had read that season one is rough and the weakest season of the show. This is definitely true. The characters are not very well developed. The tone of the show is uneven. It feels like it is trying too hard to be like The Office. It will be interesting to see how the show grows and develops over time. We are already started watching season two.


Sharon and Laura got together. They had lunch at Sunflower.

Friday, August 25, 2023


After an early morning appointment with my UC Davis GP and a power zone endurance Peloton bike workout, Sharon and I went to see Oppenheimer at noon at the Country Club Cinema. We have started of our annual trek to see all of the potential Oscar nominated films. As of today, the Goldderby web site has Oppenheimer first on the list of potential best picture nominees. It has Cillian Murphy first for best actor.

Oppenheimer is a biographical thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is based on the 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. The story predominantly focuses on Oppenheimer's studies, his direction of the Manhattan Project during World War II, and his eventual fall from grace due to his 1954 security hearing.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as the title character, Emily Blunt as his wife, Matt Damon as head of the Manhattan Project Leslie Groves, Robert Downey Jr. as U.S. Atomic Energy Commission member Lewis Strauss, and Florence Pugh as Communist Party USA member Jean Tatlock. The ensemble supporting cast includes Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh.

The movie is three hours long. The first two hours are very good. I felt like the last 45 minutes was overwrought. The last hour focuses on Oppenheimer's 1954 security hearing and Strauss' confirmation hearing. Murphy's performance as Oppenheimer is very good. In spite of the last hour, I recommend the film.

One footnote, much of the film is set in Los Alamos. Sharon, Jack and I had lunch in Los Alamos when we were in New Mexico in August of 2007.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Old Greenwood

We spent the night at Holly and Van's condo at Donner Pines West. Sleeping a little later than Tuesday morning, Sharon and I went for a mile walk east along Donner Lake after a light breakfast.

The four of us had a 11:20 am tee time at Old Greenwood. After riding with Sharon on Tuesday, I rode with Van and Sharon rode with Holly. Although I felt ok on the range, it didn't translate very well to the day. It was a continuation of the back nine at Gray's Crossing. I couldn't get started. I couldn't string together a couple of solid shots in a row. I struggled. I was in the sand on five of the first nine holes!

It was a beautiful course, but the pin placements were very difficult. Putting was an adventure for all of us.

After golf, the four of us stopped back at the condo. We loaded up the car and headed home. Sharon and I were back in Carmichael before 6:30 pm.

Playing two days in a row has always been a struggle for me.

I am starting some golf lessons on Monday...

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing

We spent the night at the Wong's condo. Up early, the four of us walked a couple of miles around the west end of Donner Lake.

After a light breakfast, we headed to The Golf Club at Gray's Crossing for a 1220 pm tee time. On Monday, I had hit at the driving range at Ancil Hoffman. Hitting at the range at Gray's, I felt that I had sorted out a couple of things and was more comfortable than the fiasco at Lake Almanor West.

I felt pretty good about the front nine. I bogeyed two holes, but left three or four strokes on the table by three putting four greens in a row. As Holly said, the greens were wicked. Watching us putt was comical.

I fell apart on the back nine and got a little frustrated. I ended up with a liberally scored 118. The course was beautiful, but hard.

We finished the day with dinner at Cottonwood. Sharon, Holly and I all had a pork chop, while Van had a bavette steak.

Monday, August 21, 2023

To Donner Lake

Last June, we were scheduled to go to Wong's condo at Donner Lake. I caught COVID in the events surrounding Bachman's celebration of life. We had to cancel.

We had rescheduled the trip for Sunday. With Tropical Storm Hillary spreading rain across California, we pushed everything a day.

Sharon and I rolled from Carmichael just after 330 pm. With a couple of short stops and a battle with the GPS, we finally got to the condo at Donner Pines West after 530 pm.
Getting settled in the condo, we caught up and had some hors d'oeuvres. Eventually, we had lasagna, salad and garic bread for dinner.

Sharon, Holly and I finished the night playing a short game of Hyyge.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The City in the Middle of the Night

My book for August was The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. Casting around for something to read, I chose this book because it was a finalist for the 2020 Hugo Awards for best novel. Additionally, the novel was nominated for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the 2020 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

The story takes place on a tidally locked planet. Humans live in the twilight zone between the boiling heat of the sun-facing side and the frozen wasteland of the night side. Life is divided between two archetypically different urban sites surrounded by hostile alien life. It explores themes of personal relationships and contemporary social and political issues.

When I first picked up the book, I was surprised by the range of reviews. Lots of people loved the book, while others hated it. As a result, it has a medicore overall score on most sites. Reading the book, the author plays with some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the ending fell very flat for me. I suspect that the weak ending is why so many people disliked it. I don't recommend the book.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Jenkinson Lake Loop plus Lunch and Dinner

An ambitious day...

Up and moving early, we drove to Sly Park. The plan for the morning was to hike a loop around Jenkinson Lake. We were hiking by about 8:40 am. With stops, it took us just under four hours to cover 8.8 miles. Alltrails said that our moving time was three hours and thirty-six minutes.

Hiking up the south shore, we stopped at a waterfall about mile three. The waterfall is a man-made waterfall created from a diversion tunnel on Camp Creek. It drops 33 feet into Sly Park Creek. Even though it is man-made, it is a pretty waterfall and drops into a nice pool.

I was surprised by the number of campgrounds and people on the northern shore during the second half of the hike. The last mile and a half was a little bit of a grind. We had to hike across two short dams along the road.

After the hike, we met Morgan, Daniel and Lee for a late lunch at Cascada in Plaerville. I had Basa Tacos. It is very nice to have them close by!

After getting cleaned up, we finished the day having dinner with the Maynards at Zinfandel Grille. Sharon and I spilt a BRUSCHETTA starter [Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Marinated Local Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella, Smoked Sea Salt, Basil, Aged Balsamic]. For entrees, I had TORTELLINI FORMAGGIO [English Pea, Roasted Corn, Heirloom Cherry Tomato & Lemon Cream], while Sharon had PAPPARDELLE [Prawns, Bay Scallops, Saffron Lemongrass Broth, Savoy Spinach, Citrus Gremolata]. We brought a bottle of Donum 2020 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir to share.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Ancil Hoffman

Sharon played golf at Ancil Hoffman with Debi, Holly and Terry.

Sharon and Debi finished the day with a late lunch at Matteos.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Executive Retirement Announcement

This article was published on the Ad/ventist Health One Channel sharepoint site on Monday, July 31.

For the past 45 years, Mark Heringer, IT Executive, IT Services, has carried a piece of now-weathered paper with six rules he listed early in his career about how to behave and how to be a leader. The six rules include: plan ahead, be honest, do not panic, persevere, follow up promptly and only get upset over the important things. He also attached his favorite quote to this list from Calvin Coolidge about persistence.

Mark has worked in IT for 45 years, with the last six and a half years at Adventist Health in IT Services. “As a technology executive, I have been the plumber and electrician for IT, working on networks, wireless, workstations, phones, things that people don’t care about,” Mark explains with a smile.

Mark’s career in IT started in the fall of 1975, the first time he sat at a keyboard, writing code. He began his career in financial services running the IT department for Western Farm Credit Bank, serving as VP, Information Services and then as Chief Information Officer during his 20 years with the organization. From there, he joined Sutter Health, where he implemented the Lawson Software Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. Mark was part of the first wave of hires for the enterprise IT team for Sutter.

In 2013, Mark started consulting work at Adventist Health Sonora and then to Adventist Health St. Helena as an interim IT Site Director. In October 2016, he accepted an offer for his current role as Technology Executive at Adventist Health Roseville.

During his time at the Roseville campus, Mark has been sharing what he’s learned about leadership with his team. He supports building relationships with face-to-face interactions. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if I spent my career working remotely,” he said. “Prior to the last three and a half years, a lot of business was happening in the stairwells of this building or in an office. From a manager and leader standpoint, you have to rub elbows with people to become effective.” He also advises, “Don’t have an ego. You need to be comfortable with leaders, peers and employees questioning decisions and directions and asking hard questions.”

“Mark’s leadership and insights will be greatly missed,” said Jennifer Stemmler, Chief Information Officer. “His incredible effort to swiftly move hundreds of associates to remote work and handling the technical challenges that came with it during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was truly amazing work. I want to thank him for serving Adventist Health with love and brilliance.”

What are Mark’s plans for retirement? “After working for jobs with 24/7/365 distractions almost continuously since the mid-1980s, I would really like to gain control of my schedule. It’s time to turn the page. I want more quality time with my wife, kids, grandson, and friends.”

Please stop by Mark’s retirement celebration on Tuesday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to Noon in the education room on the first floor of the Roseville campus.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


After almost twenty years in financial services and twenty-five years in healthcare, it is time to turn the page and start a new chapter. I am retired. Sharon and I will be traveling and exploring the world. I will be writing a book about 1991, trying to improve a wildly inconsistent golf game and continuing to feed what Sharon describes as an addiction to working out. I love physical activity:
After working jobs with 24/7/365 distractions almost continuously since the mid-80s, I am looking forward to gaining control over my schedule. I want more quality time with my wife, kids, grandson and friends.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


Driving back from Almanor on Saturday, Sharon and I listened To The Ringer Big Picture Podcast talking about the movie Barbie and interviewing Greta Gerwig. Sharon had seen the movie already with Morgan. Planning out the week, we decided to go see Barbie on Tuesday afternoon at the Country Club Cinema.

This may be the start of our annual trek to see all of the Oscar nominated films. As of today, the Goldderby web site has Barbie fourth on the list of potential best picture nominees. It has Margot Robbie fifth for best actress and Ryan Gosling second for best supporting actor.

Sharon gives the film a 9.5 and described it as her La La Land. She enjoyed it even more the second time.

The movie is very ambitious. The set for Barbieland is visually amazing. The plot is more complex than I expected. I enjoyed the movie and recommend it. While I think that it might be nominated for best picture, I would bet that it doesn't win best picture or best director...

Monday, August 14, 2023


With the Chabriers in town for Kay's high school reunion and Greg's parent's birthdays, I met the Chabriers, Hunters and Greenes at the Rio City Cafe. Waiting for everyone to arrive, I had a Rio Harvest [Organic Arcadian Lettuce Blend, Pears, Red Onions, Tomatoes, Almonds, Blue Cheese Crumbles tossed in our Strawberry-Pomegranate Vinaigrette]. It was great to see everyone and catch up!

And so it begins...

I download the Scrivener app and started work on my novel about 1991.

I am targeting the first quarter of 2025 to be completed.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #XX - Reflections

With the Tomasins and the Snipes in cabin 5 and 6, I felt that it was almost like there were two different groups at the Dorado Inn. They had their own deck and area in front of the cabins. Several times during the week I went over and spent some time connecting with them, but we need a better strategy if/when we go back [horseshoes!?!].

I was disappointed that we didn't play any horseshoes. The game has been a central part of the week. Lisa took out pits from along the road behind the house. The Tomasins brought horseshoes, but no one took the lead in getting it organized.

I didn't go on the Tomasin ski boat during the week. I think that I would have liked to try and get up on the wakeboard. Additionally, it would have been fun to have pulled the tube behind the ski boat.

Although I ran on Sunday, rode bikes on Monday, played golf on Tuesday, kayaked on Wednesday, played golf on Thursday and ran again on Friday, I didn't feel like I pushed myself hard enough physically during the trip. I typically don't sleep late. There were a lot of mornings where I was up and moving for an hour or more before anyone else was stirring. In the past, I would have used this time to go for a run to north along 147. I probably should have done that once or twice. I had also hoped to take my mountain bike to the Bizz Johnson trail and do a longer hike.

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed the week. It was fantastic kickoff to my retirement. Having Drew and Morgan, Morgan, Daniel and Lee and Jack there was special. It was great to connect with Nooter, Tomasin and Snipes.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #8 more

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #8

Up early, I started packing. I tore down the three inflatable kayaks and got them back into their bags. I loaded the golf clubs and the kayaks in the Volvo.

I then started cleaning the kitchen. We had a little bit of mess from making dinner on Friday night.

It took a couple of hours to clean up the cabin and get everything into the car.

One of my goals for the morning was to get some group pictures that I could use for the Christmas Card. We took a lot of pictures of different groups.
Interestingly, everyone seems to be on board for trying to come back again next year. It would be nice to restart the annual tradition! Drew talked to Lisa about coming back next year.

Saying goodbye, Sharon and I rolled from the Dorado Inn about 10:50. We backtracked on 147 to 89. We made a quick stop for gas in Chester. Planning to take 36 all the way to 5, we stopped for lunch at the Highlands Ranch Resort. Although the service was a little slow, we had a nice lunch on the deck. We both had a SPICY TACO SALAD [romaine hearts, five chili spiced beef, pear tomato, roasted corn salsa, black beans, avocado, black olive, chipotle ranch]. It might be interesting to come back to this resort in the winter.

We picked up 5 in Red Bluff and the 80 in Sacramento. We listened to an interesting The Ringer Big Picture podcast about the movie Barbie.

We were back in Sacramento just before 4 pm.

It was a great trip. I will post a number of observations tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #7

Sharon and I headed into Chester on Friday morning to shop. We committed to make dinner for the group on Friday night.

After getting back to the Dorado Inn, Sharon and I headed to the Dwyer View parking lot on the Lake Almanor Recreational Trail. We both ran. I covered about 2.7 miles in forty minutes.

When we got back to the Dorado Inn, Carmen's parents Mike and Pam were there. They came up from Chico and are spending the night in Drew and Carmen's cabin.

After getting some lunch, I took a large group out on the patio boat. It included: Jack and Jason; Morgan, Daniel and Lee; Drew and Carmen; Mike and Pam; Nooter, and; Sharon and I. We pulled Drew and Carmen on the tube and stopped to swim.

At some point, we dropped Jason at the cabin so that he could go back to work. We went back out on the lake for a swim.

I dropped everyone back and the cabins about 3 pm. I took off back across the lake to return the patio boat to Knotty Pines Resort. Drew and Lee picked me up.

When I got back to the cabins, Sharon and I organized a pre-dinner cocktail for everyone. I brought a bottle of Harris Gin, Mediterrean Tonic Water and Grapefruit to make Gin & Tonics. This was the combination that bartender served Tom and I when we got to the hotel on the Isle of Skye.

As the cocktail hour was winding down, I started the coals. I barbecued three large tri-tips and some chicken for dinner. I don't consider grilling my strong suit, but everything turned out pretty well. We also grilled some potatoes and corn. Sharon made an interesting corn on the cob recipe.

A large group finished the night laying on the logs along the shore watching the Perseids meteor shower.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #6 more

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #6

The plan for the day was to play golf at the Lake Almanor West Golf Course. We had 1120 and 1130 tee times. Like Tuesday, Sharon, Jack and Jason teed off first and played three man best ball. Nooter and I ended up playing by ourselves.

After playing pretty well on Friday at Ancil Hoffman and Tuesday at Bailey Creek, I played horribly. I couldn't get off the tee and three putted a lot of the greens. My struggles got into my head and I played worse instead of better. Thankfully, it is only a nine hole course! I am not going to post the scorecard...

Afterwards, we had a bite to eat in the clubhouse. Jack and Jason decided to play the course a second time from a different set of tees.

David and Lo, Chris and Cassie and Mikey all took off in the morning. Several of them had to work on Friday. John and Julie spent the day going to Redding to visit John's mom. Chris took the ski boat back to Santa Rosa.

When we got back to the Dorado Inn, I organized a group to go out on the boat, including: Rob and Barb; Drew and Carmen; Morgan, Daniel and Lee; Gail, and Joy. We stopped and everyone went for a swim. Afterwards, we cruised down to Hamilton Branch. There used to be a restaurant called the Hamburger Hut that we went to for years. We floated and tried to figure out where everything used to be. I was surprised to see a large house with a seaplane.

Getting cleaned up, we took 17 people to dinner at the Timber House in Chester. Sharon and I spilt Roasted Brussel Sprouts [Served with fresh herbs, bacon, shaved parmesan, balsamic onions & glaze]. I had Linguine Alfredo [Linguine tossed with a creamy garlic, parmesan sauce, with seasonal vegetables and herbed grilled chicken]. Sharon had Grilled Seabass [With grilled seasonal vegetables, herbed butter and lime basmati rice, and caper beurre blanc sauce]. I really enjoyed the evening.

Nooter and I finished the night with a game of cribbage. He won.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #5 more

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #5

I brought our three inflatable kayaks. While Sharon went to the store with Morgan and Daniel, I blew them up and put them together. Drew took one of the singles and went with Gail for a long paddle south towards the dam.

After Sharon got back, I took one of the singles. I paddled past Chabrier's old house. I was gone for almost exactly an hour. For some reason, I couldn't get Runkeeper to track the distance on my watch. I would guess that I covered a little more than two miles.

After lunch, the Tomasins and Snipes took off for the Almanor West Golf Course. Tomasin, Keith, Chris and Mikey played nine holes.

I took the patio boat out with a large group. We towed Drew, Drew and Carmen and David and Lo on the tube. I had hoped to get Lee in the tube again, but he was not willing. Much to Sharon's chagrin, I buried the front of the boat in a wave making a turn.

We drifted for a while near the Dorado Inn. Everyone, including Lee, went for a swim. It was a fairly windy afternoon.

When we got back to the dock, Gail, Drew and I spent a long time sitting in the boat catching up. I miss Ricky.

Andrew, Carmen, Daniel and Morgan made shrimp and chicken shish kabobs for dinner. While the kids were making dinner, Lee and I watched Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie on my iPad.

With the kids playing Unstable Unicorns, Nooter and I played a couple of games of cribbage. Getting a number of very good hands, I won two out of the three games.

I had an odd experience with my Volvo. When I went to try and get into the car in the morning, the key wouldn't work. I was a little panicked. Sharon picked up a battery for the key at the store. Thankfully, after replacing the battery, everything worked fine.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #4 more

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #4

The plan for the day was to play golf at Bailey Creek. We had 930 and 940 tee times. Although I thought some of the Tomasins or Snipes might join us, it ended up being Sharon, Jack, Jason, Nooter and I.

Sharon, Jack and Jason went off in front of us. They spent the day playing three man best ball. Nooter and I played with John Babcock, a retired PG&E electrician.

Although I felt pretty good on the driving range, I started off very rough. I settled down and parred three holes on the front nine. I ended up with a 108. Nooter had a 100.

We were playing match play and ended up even. Each of us won eight holes and we tied on two others.

The course is beautiful. It was in pretty nice shape. The starter said that the course is usually in the best shape in September. [Note to self], Sharon and I might need to come back in September some year.
When we got back to the cabins, I spent some time in cabin 5 talking with Tomasin and Snipes.

The Nooters made a great dinner of deconstructed shish kabobs.

Given that we are all older, everyone seems to be crashing before 10 pm. It is a much different rhythm than it was 20 to 30 years ago.

Monday, August 07, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #3

I struggled over the first two days to get people moving very early. After breakfast, Sharon and I took our bikes to the Lake Almanor Recreational Trail. Starting from the Rocky Point Campground, we rode just over seven miles in an hour and twelve minutes. It was a very leisurely ride over some gently rolling terrain.

When we got back to the cabins, we organized everyone to go to Plumas Pines for lunch. Getting twenty people going in the same direction is difficult. Eventually, we got the patio boat, Tomasin's ski boat and a car heading across and around the lake.

We had one table with adults and another with all of the kids. I had a turkey, avocado and bacon sandwich, while Sharon had a burger.

On the way back to the Dorado Inn, both boats stopped. Everyone jumped in the water and swam for a while.

When we got back to the dock, Gail had arrived. I spent some time on the deck in front of Cabin 5 and 6 catching up with Tomasin and Snipes discussing the state of our friendships.

For dinner, the Snipes served burritos with rice, beans and a salad.

I played cribbage against Barb and then Nooter. I won both games. I finished the night listening to Drew and Morgan play music.

Several people were planning to work using the wireless over the course of the week. While the iPhones and Macs can connect, we can't seem to get any of the PCs connected to the internet...

Sunday, August 06, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #2

Everyone was moving slow. I had hoped to run early in the morning, but couldn't get everyone going.

I finally got Jack, Sharon and I organized to drive over to the Knotty Pines Resort to pick up a patio boat. We took Lee with us. I rented a 20' foot patio boat for the week. I ended up buying a toy that we can pull behind the boat.

There was a small kerfuffle getting the boat. When they test drove the boat before they gave it to us, they weren't happy with how it was running. They ended up pulling it out of the water and draining the pantoon. Sharon, Lee and I took a leisurely ride back to the Dorado Inn along the shore.

Before lunch, I got Sharon and Barb to go with me to the Lake Almanor Recreation Trail. I ran about three miles in forty minutes, while Sharon and Barb walked two miles.

After lunch, I organized a large group to take the patio boat out. We pulled a number of people, including Lee behind the boat on tube. We stopped and everyone went for a swim. We cruised up to the damm and back to the resort. With the weather warm in the valley, it was a very calm afternoon on the lake.

The Tomasins made dinner. Lo made a couple of great charcuterie plates. For dinner, they served chicken, sausage, salad and beans.

Sharon and I finished the night visiting with Nooter and Barb in their cabin. Nooter and I played one game of cribbage. I skunked him.

Saturday, August 05, 2023

2023 Lake Almanor - Day #1

From 1988 to 2009, a group of families spent a week every summer at the Dorado Inn at Lake Almanor. The venue switched to the Tsasdi Resort at Lake Shasta for 2010 and 2011 and then back to the Dorado Inn from 2012 to 2014. The annual event fell apart as kids were in college and priorities changed. The week was an important part of my life for a long time.

Last fall, Drew took it upon himself to see if we could get the band back together for a year. I was surprised when the Tomasins, Snipes, Nooters and Wallens all committed and put down a deposit. Something happened over the last couple of months and the Wallens backed out; I need to sit down with Wallen and understand what happened.

I planned my retirement to fall just as we were taking off for the trip. It is going to be special to have Jack, Drew and Carmen, Morgan, Lee and Daniel with us for the week.

Sharon and I spent the morning packing and loading the car. We rolled from Carmichael about 1245 pm. Going 80 to 5 to 99 to 32 to 36 with a stop for gas in Gridley, we were at the Dorado Inn about 420 pm.

We are staying in cabin 4 this year. Over the next hour, everyone showed up. It is going to be a large group. There are eight Heringers: Sharon and I; Drew and Carmen; Morgan, Lee and Daniel; and, Jack. Jack's roommate Jason is also with us for the week. The Nooters are in Cabin 3. Drew and Carmen are in Cabin 1, while Morgan and Daniel are in Cabin 2.

The Tomasins and Snipes are in the large cabin south of the main resort. There are nine Tomasins in Cabin 5, including: John and Julie; David and Lo, Chris and Cassie; Mikey; and, Tomasin's nephew Nick and his girlfriend Blakely. The Snipes in Cabin 6 include: Kurt and Joy; and, Keith and his girlfriend Lizette.

I tried to rally the group to go for pizza in Westwood, but the concensus was just to order pizza and pick them up. Splitting into two groups, Drew, Carmen, Jack and Jason ran into Chester and picked up pizza for the main cabins from the Pizza Factory.

Jack and I finished the night playing cribbage. He beat me handily...

Friday, August 04, 2023

Ancil Hoffman Retirement Celebration

When we were at the Larkins a couple of weeks ago, the wives planned a golf outing. It happened to coincide with my last day of work. The outing turned into a very nice retirement celebration. We had two foursomes. The Gainsleys played with the Leclairs. Sharon and I played with Larkin and Nooter. Cindy rode with Larkin.

I struggled on the front nine. It took me four shots to get out of the trap on the third hole and three putted three greens. Although I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well, I ended up with a very ugly 61. I caught fire on the back nine; I parred three holes, including both par threes and the par five tenth. I bogeyed four other holes and didn't three putt once. I ended up with a 44 on the back nine. I don't think I have ever come close to that kind of a nine hole score before... I ended up with a fairly honestly scored 105.
In a somewhat bizaree incident, someone was mowing the 15th fairway. He ran over my ball and moved it about twenty yards back towards the tee. In general, the course was in very bad shape. There were lots of dead spots in the fairways and several of the greens seemed very chewed up. We have never seen it look this bad.

After golf, everyone jumped in the pool. We finished the night with a very nice dinner. Nooter barbecued salmon fillets. Sharon and the Leclairs made a couple of nice salads.

Dinner turned into a walk down memory lane. The Nooters, Larkins, Gainsleys and I talked about how we met and the adventures and misadventures that we have had. I known Nooter for more than fourty-five years and Larkin more than forty. Sharon and I have known the Gainsleys for almost twenty-five years. It was a perfect retirement celebration.

Thursday, August 03, 2023


Leaving the East Coast in the morning, the Nooters flew from Washington DC to Dallas to Burbank to Sacramento. They pulled up at our house in Carmicheal after 5 pm. The Nooters are staying with us for the next two nights.

Sharon made a great dinner of cornflake chicken, scalloped potatoes and brocolli. The four of us spent a long evening on the back deck visiting and catching up.

We are kicking off ten days celebrating my retirement. Last fall, Drew organized a return to Lake Almanor. More on the history of this trip and its significance in my life on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

a difficult three and a half years

I have enjoyed my nine and a half years at Ad/ventist Health, but the last three and a half years have been difficult.

I had to personally layoff employees in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The impact on their lives has recently been driven home to me in a very personal way.

IT has had four different CIOs during this period. I have had four different bosses: Matt, Tyler, Brett and Jennifer.

There has been unrelenting pressure to cut the budget and reduce the headcount.

In the face of COVID in March of 2020, we shifted to work from home in 48 hours. Supporting thousands of employees working from home and managing teams working remotely across an increasingly spread out geographic footprint has been a challenge.

I worry about the long term impact on the development of future leaders from the work from home strategy.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023