Thursday, November 30, 2023

Only Murders in the Building - Season Three

In November, Sharon and I finished watching season three of Only Murders in the Building. It is available on Hulu. We watched season one in January and season two in February.

Only Murders in the Building is an comedy mystery television series created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman. Season three premiered in August 8, 2023. The series has been renewed for a fourth season.

Starring the trio of Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, season three adds Paul Rudd as Ben Glenroy, a Hollywood actor who is murdered on the opening night of his first Broadway play and Meryl Streep as Loretta Durkin, a struggling actress and Oliver's (Short) love interest, who stars in his Broadway show. The plot of season three revolves around Martin Short staging a Broadway murder mystery play called Death Rattle.

While I really enjoyed the first two seasons, I didn't feel like season three was as good. I was frankly surprised that the series was renewed for a fourth season.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Orphan Breakfast House

Taking advantage of being retired, Sharon and I had a leisurely breakfast at the Orphan Breakfast House. I had Breakfast Tamales [house-made sweet corn tamales served with black beans and two eggs made to order, drenched in tomatillo sauce and garnished with jack cheese, sour cream, avocado, roma tomatoes, and cilantro], while Sharon had an Avocado Scramble [three eggs scrambled with avocado, jack cheese, tomatoes & scallions, served withrosemary potatoes and fresh-baked rosemary bread]. The food and the coffee were good.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Morning Show - Season One

In early November, Sharon and I finished watching season one of The Morning Show on Apple TV+. Season one premiered on November 19, 2019. We watched the first episode several years ago and restarted watching the series this fall.

The Morning Show is a drama television series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. The series is inspired by Brian Stelter's 2013 book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.

The show examines the characters and culture behind a network broadcast morning news program. After allegations of sexual misconduct, the male co-anchor of the program is forced off the show. Aspects of the #MeToo movement are examined from multiple perspectives, as more information comes out regarding said misconduct.

Sharon likes the series more than I did. Like Yellowstone, I found it a little too soap operaish and overwrought. I give it a luke warm recommendation based on the solid performances of the stars.

Watching season one made me think about a number of things. First, Sharon and I both met each other and our ex's at work. I wonder whether that would be possible today. The series paints a picture that consensual relationships are harder in an environment with #MeToo ramifications. Second, although nothing like the events of the show, as a leader, I dealt with sexual harassment incidents. Most of those were in the late 1980s and early 1990s rather than more recently. Third, there is a whole other subplot in our lives that I need to deal with if I ever write a second book...

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Jack is off

Sharon and I dropped Jack at the train station in downtown Sacramento early Sunday morning. He wound this way back to the city. It was great to be able to spend some time with him!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Shopping for a Christmas Tree

Early Saturday morning, Sharon and I headed to Roseville to shop for a Christmas Tree. For the sixth year in a row [2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018], we went to Bambi's Christmas Trees at Douglas and South Harding.

In 2018 and 2019, we went to Bambi's on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. In 2020, we went on Friday after Thanksgiving. In 2021, we didn't get around to going until the weekend after the Thanksgiving weekend; the selection of larger trees was not good. Last year, we went on Sunday morning after Thanksgiving.

I was surprised how few people were there. Additionally, they had a good selection of trees. Like last year, although I think that it is more than 10', we picked out a 9' to 10' foot tree. We are having it flocked and delivered on Wednesday.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Ancil Hoffman with Sharon and Jack

Friday afternoon, Sharon, Jack and I played golf at Ancil Hoffman. Teeing off at 1:08 pm, it was a very slow day. The foursome in front of us spent a huge amount of time looking for their balls on every hole. Admittedly, with all of the leaves on the course, seeing the ball even when it was in some of the fairways was difficult, but the amount of time they spent looking for their balls was ridiculous. We ended up only playing thirteen holes in almost four hours before it got too dark to keep playing.

I am continuing to enjoy golf more since I took the Golftec lessons. I had a couple of 240 yard drives on the front nine. I hit into the group in front of us while they were standing around the drink cart on the fourth hole. I didn't card an eight on the front nine, but I am still too inconsistent. I am going to take some more swing lesssons starting in December.

I ended up with a liberally scored 56 on the front nine. I feel like I was hitting the ball better than I scored. As it started to get dark, I lost focus after the turn.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

After the Run to Feed the Hungry, Sharon, Jack and I headed to Sharon's brother Tom's house for Thanksgiving dinner. The group totaled twenty, including: Tom; Eric and Ashley; Kevin, Leah, Lydia and Amelia; Terry and Steve; Jim; Tim and Kathy; Eileen and Will; Morgan, Daniel and Lee; Sharon, Jack and I.

Sharon made an interesting specialty cocktail for everyone before dinner. She also made a couple of pumpkin pies on Wednesday. Morgan and Daniel brought mash potatoes.

Although he was initially a little shy, Lee warmed up over the course of the afternoon. He had a great time running around in the backyard with Lydia and Amelia.

2023 Run to Feed the Hungry

For the nineteenth time in the last twenty years [2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 20122011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004], I ran or walked the Run to Feed the Hungry. We entered in 2007, but I was feeling under the weather and we decided not to run before heading to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Sharon also missed six years ago when she was feeling under the weather. This year, Sharon decided to do a virtual 5k around Ancil Hoffman Park.

I took off by myself at 7:15 am. I ended up parking on Cadillac Drive; they wouldn't let you turn left off of Fair Oaks Boulevard to get to University Avenue where I have parked for the last ten years.

I had a lot of trepedition about this year's run. I have come to view this run as a referendum on my fitness. After walking the 5k for the first time with the family last year, I wasn't sure how I would do.

I ended up with a chip time of 1:10:07 for a pace of 11:17 minutes per mile. My 5k spilt was 33:36 with a pace of 10:48 minutes per mile. Using RunKeeper, my splits were: Mile 1 - 10:47; Mile 2 - 10:32; Mile 3 - 10:53; Mile 4 - 11:20; Mile 5 - 11:31; and, Mile 6 - 11:56.

I felt good physically during the run; nothing hurt. I am satisfied with the results. I am older and slower, but still running! I actually think with a little more distance training that I could carry a little more speed. I slowed down a lot in the last third of the race.

They changed the 10k course since the last time I ran it. It now goes down a couple of the fabulous 40s streets rather than under Business 80 into midtown.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

To San Francisco and Back

About 4:30 pm, I rolled to San Francisco to pick up Jack. It was an easy drive; the traffic was fairly light. Jack got off work at 6:00 pm. I pulled up to his apartment just as he was walking up. The drive took two hours and seven minutes. With a quick stop for some Chick-Fil-A in Fairfield, we were back in Carmichael by 8:45 pm.

Sharon and Laura

Sharon has a tradition of getting together with group of her high school friends on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. This included 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. At some point in the late 90's, they switched from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday evening while I was driving to pick up Jack, Sharon got together with Laura at Wildwood.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Teal Bend and Dinner with Holly and Van

Sharon and I played Teal Bend with Holly and Van. We teed off at 12:00 pm. It was a beautiful fall day! I rode with Van and Sharon rode with Holly.

I didn't enjoy the round as much as the previous two. With a number of other things going on, I haven't taken a lesson or been to the driving range in the last three weeks. Thinking too much about my swing, I got off track. I settled down a little towards the end and played the last few holes more consistently. I ended up with a very liberally scored 111. It took almost exactly four and a half hours to play.

Afterwards, the four of us had dinner at Mulvaney’s B&L. As a starter and a small plate, Sharon and I split Fall's First Beets with Persimmon & Hummus [J. Marchini Farms Chicory ~ Cumin ~ Coriander ~ Pepitas] and Brown Butter Squash Ravioli with Persimmons [Shaved Brussel Sprouts ~ Toasted Hazelnut ~ Pecorino]. For the entree, we both had Seared Duck Breast with Potato Gratin [Herb Laden Jus ~ Braised Greens ~ Cranberry Compote].

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Decorating the House for Christmas

For the fifth straight year, [2019, 2020, 2021, 2022], we started decorating the house for Christmas before Thanksgiving rather the weekend after. It is nice not to have to spend the weekend after Thanksgiving decorating...

We spent Saturday taking down the fall decorations. Saturday afternoon in the rain, I moved the fall decorations to the storage shed and dragged the Christmas boxes back. There are more than forty Christmas boxes of different shapes and sizes!?!

Sunday, we focused on getting all of the Christmas decorations up inside the house. We are probably about 85% done with the inside.

Monday, I will spend most of the day putting the Christmas lights and other decorations up on the outside of the house. With a busy week planned, we have to figure how when to get a tree.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

My second book for October was Exit Strategy by Martha Wells. The book is the fourth in a series called The Murderbot Diaries. I read the first book--All Systems Red--and the second book--Artificial Condition--in April and third book--Rogue Protocol--in September.

Exit Strategy was nominated for several awards, including the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2019 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 2019 Locus Award for Best Novella. It didn't win any of these awards.

Having stumbled upon damning evidence of GrayCris Corporation's illegal activities in the third book, Murderbot decides to share this information with Dr. Mensah, the scientist who believed in its potential for autonomy. Before Murderbot can complete its task, it learns that Dr. Mensah has been kidnapped by GrayCris, presumably in an attempt to silence her and bury the truth. Driven by a newfound sense of responsibility and a begrudging attachment to Dr. Mensah, Murderbot sets out to rescue her from the clutches of the corporation.

As I said after finishing the third book, Murderbot's ability to hack any and all systems to work its way out of any situation has gotten to be too much for me. I was going to read the Nebula and Hugo award winning fifth novel, but think that I will be done with the series after that...

Friday, November 17, 2023


Friday night, Sharon and I watched episode eight of Amazing Race season 35. The teams traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia. The scenery was spectacular.

In September of 2024, we are booked for the Overseas Adventure Travel Crossroads of the Adriatic: Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia. The tour is scheduled to visit Ljublajana, Lake Bled and the Postojna Cave!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Throwback Thursday - 1987

Morgan got a set of pictures from her mom, including this one. Morgan texted it to me with the caption "Worst possible way to 'hold' a baby."

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Holdovers

Wednesday afternoon, Sharon and I saw The Holdovers at the Cinemark Century Arden 14 and XD theater. We are continuing our annual trek to see all of the potential Oscar nominated films. The GoldDerby site has the film in the running for best picture, best actor, best supporting actress and best original screenplay nominations.

The film is a comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemmingson. It stars Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, and Dylan Sessa.

Set in 1970, it follows Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti), a curmudgeonly history teacher at a New England boarding school who is forced to chaperone the handful of students with nowhere to go over Christmas break. He is joined by Mary Bradshaw (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), the school's cook who is grieving the death of her son in the Vietnam War and Angus (Dylan Sessa), a troubled student who is struggling to cope with his parent's divorce.

At dinner at Original Pete's afterwards, Sharon said "that was lovely." The film does a very good job with the development of all three of the main characters. It will be interesting to see how well the movie does garnering Oscars nominations in a field that includes the heavily promoted Barbie, Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

One footnote. On an early Wednesday afternoon in a deserted theater complex, the small theater showing The Holders was packed with older retired people!?!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The Bridge on the River Kwai

On flight from Istanbul to San Francisco on the way home from our Israel/Egypt/Jordan trip, I watched the Bridge on the River Kwai. I got interested in watching the movie after reading the Oscar Wars book in June.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 epic war film directed by David Lean and based on the 1952 novel written by Pierre Boulle. Although the film uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943, the plot and characters of Boulle's novel and the screenplay are almost entirely fictional.

The movie and the book deal with the plight of World War II British prisoners of war forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to build a bridge for the "Death Railway." The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway.

The cast includes: William Holden as "Commander" Shears, U.S. Navy (later Brevet Major, Force 316); Jack Hawkins as Major Warden, Force 316; Alec Guinness as Colonel Nicholson, British commander, and; Sessue Hayakawa as Colonel Saito, Japanese commander. Guiness portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy. In the original 1977 film, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 50th Academy Awards.

It was the highest-grossing film of 1957 and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. The film won seven Academy Awards at the 30th Academy Awards, including: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor (Alec Guiness); Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing, and; Best Original Score. Sessue Hayakawa was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Like Patton, I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I expected. I recommend the film.

Murray guarding Mitchell

Monday, November 13, 2023

2023 Kings versus Cavaliers

Sharon and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball game. We had chicken rice bowls for dinner at Star Ginger in the Golden 1 arena. I bought seats 11 and 12 in Row J in section 109; I would buy these seats again.

Leading most of the game, the Kings opened up a twenty point lead in the third quarter. They won the game by the score of 132 to 120.

After missing two weeks with an ankle injury, De'Aaron Fox returned. He was the high scorer for the Kings. In 28 minutes, Fox had 28 points on 11 for 20 from field, 2 for 6 from three and 4 for 7 from the free throw lines.

Three other Kings scored 20 points or more. Murray scored 25 points including 5 for 8 from three. Sabonis had 23 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Huerter added 20 points including 6 for 9 from three.

The high scorer for the Cavs was Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell had 22 points on 7 for 21 from the field, 4 for 9 from three and 4 for 4 from the free throw line. I was surprised to see Murray guading Mitchell for long stretches of the game.

Although we didn't connect with them, the Ad/ventist Health IT team was in the loft. The group included Jennifer, Patrick, his wife Gina, Tarek, Melissa, Matt Draws and Rob. Bill Evans was also at the game in section 113.

Leveraging last year's Light the Beam theme, the Kings have added a beam inside the arena at the end of winning games. This has created an interesting dynamic of a lot more people staying to the end of games!

The Kings have one win and no losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2023-2024 season.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Lee Overnight

Lee stayed overnight. Morgan and Daniel picked him up about 10:30 am.

Jesus Outside the New Testament by Robert Van Voorst

My first book for October was Jesus Outside the New Testament by Robert Van Voorst. I have been looking for a book that explored life of Jesus from a historical perspective since my RCIA experience. With the trip to Israel and Jerusalem looming, I bought this book in September. I finished the book while we were on the trip.

Chapter two examines the writings of Roman authors such as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger, who made brief references to Jesus in their works. I was frankly surprised how few Roman references actually exist. The one thing that is clear from the Roman record is that Pontius Pilate crucified Jesus of Nazareth.

Chapter three explores references to Jesus in Jewish writings, including the Mishnah and Talmud. My summary of the Jewish writings is that Mary was impregnated by a Roman Soldier and Jesus went to Egypt and learned magic. Obviously, the Jewish writers were interested in painting Jesus as a false prophet.

Chapter four looks at theories about the origins of the Gospels. One of the most popular is that they are based on earlier documents that have not survived. This theory is known as the documentary hypothesis. This theory proposes that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke share a common source, which is known as Q. Q is believed to have been a collection of sayings of Jesus. In addition to Q, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are also thought to have used another source, which is known as M. M is believed to have been a collection of material about the birth and infancy of Jesus.

Chapter five examines Jesus in Christian writings after the New Testament. It includes the full text of the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945.

Overall, I was surprised by how few Roman contemporary references there were to Jesus. There are references in the surviving documents to other documents that haven't been found. Combined with the discussion about Q and M, it makes me wonder what percent of the writings from two thousand years ago have survived and what else might be discovered in the future. I enjoyed the book as part of our journey walking in the footsteps of Jesus in Israel, but don't recommend it to the causal reader.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Fish Hatchery Adventures with Lee

I picked lee up in Placerville about 9:30 am. Stopping back in Carmicheal to pick up Sharon, the three of us spent the afternoon exploring the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

Lee spent the night with us. I picked up a couple of pizzas from Serritella's. The three of us finished the night watching a number of National Geographic animal documentaries.

Friday, November 10, 2023

At Super Owl Brewery

With Sharon hosting the Neighborhood Book Club for an afternoon movie, I meet Snipes for a beer.

Neighborhood Book Club Afternoon Movie

Sharon hosted the Neighborhood Book Club for an afternoon movie. The group included Jill, Judy, Michele and Debi. Sharon showed Ordinary People. Sharon and Jack watched the movie a couple of years ago. Sharon, Morgan and I watched in the early 2000s.

Released in September of 1980, Ordinary People marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford. The film stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, and Timothy Hutton. The screenplay by Alvin Sargent was based upon the 1976 novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest.

The film received six Academy Awards nominations at the 53rd Academy Awards. It won four Oscars, including: the Academy Award for Best Picture; Best Director for Redford; Adapted Screenplay for Sargent; and Supporting Actor for Hutton. In addition, it won five Golden Globe Awards, including: Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Director (Redford); Best Actress in a Drama (Tyler Moore); Best Supporting Actor (Hutton); and Best Screenplay (Sargent).

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Into the City to visit Jack

After spending a third night housesitting for Drew and Carmen, we headed into the city to visit Jack. We stopped at the Sweetgreen on 2nd street to pick up lunch. We had a nice visit with Jack at his apartment catching up.

The traffic in San Francisco was awful. I was not in the mood to deal with the congestion...

Hello Heringers with Jason, Jack & Emily

A strip from the photo booth at Drew and Carmen's wedding
helloheringer with Jason, Jack & Emily

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Tilden Regional Park Hike plus dinner

After spending a second night housesitting for Drew and Carmen, our plan for the day was a hike. Using Alltrails, I picked out a loop in Tilden Regional Park. We ended up hiking more than 4.8 miles in just over two and a half hours.

We stopped lunch along the Seaview Trail with a view of the bay. We had hiked the Seaview Trail last year with Drew as an out and back.

We finished the day with dinner at Casa Orinda. This restaurant has been on this spot for almost 70 years; it is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Contra Costa County. Sharon liked the restaurant more than I did.

We both had green salads. For entrees, I had rack of lamb, while Sharon had Veal Piccata. I was not impressed with the food...

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Golf and Dinner with the Gainsleys

A fantastic day playing golf with the Gainsleys at the Tilden Park Golf Course in Berkeley. Since I started taking the lessons, I am enjoying playing golf a lot more. Although the score didn't show it, I am striking the ball better.

After spending Monday night housesitting for Drew and Carmen in Orinda, we met at the Gainsleys at the course about 9:20 am. Unfortunately, the driving range didn't open until noon! We teed off at 10:20 am. The course was pretty hilly with lots of up and downs. I was surprised how close the tee boxes were to a number of the greens. I ended up scoring a liberally scored 114. I scored better on the back nine, but felt like I was striking the ball better on the front nine.

After getting checked in at at Residence Inn in Berkeley near the Cal Stadium, the Gainsleys stopped by Drew and Carmen's house for a glass of wine. The four of us finished the day having dinner at the Social Bird Kitchen in Layafette. The four us split DI STEFANO BURRATA [Grilled bread, Parma Prosciutto, fresh fig jam, balsamic reduction, Arbequina olive oil, maldon salt, micro greens]. I had a DUROC PORK CHOP [Parsnip-potato puree, Hobbs' Applewood smoked bacon- brussel sprouts, pear chutney, rosemary red wine sauce], while Sharon had an ARUGULA salad [Chile flakes, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan] with King Salmon added. She added a side of squash.

On the second hole at Tilden Park Golf Course

Monday, November 06, 2023

To Orinda

Late Monday afternoon, Sharon and I drove to Orinda. We are housesitting Drew and Carmen's house for the next few days while they are off on their honeymoon in Spain.

2024 Oscar Favorites

Goldderby Oscar Favorites as of October 29, 2023

Best Picture
    ✔ Oppenheimer
    ✔ Killers of the Flower Moon
    ✔ Poor Things
    ✔ Barbie
    ✔ The Holdovers
    ✔ Maestro
    ✔ Past Lives
    The Color Purple
    ✔ American Fiction
    Anatomy of a Fall - French film
    The Zone of Interest - December 8 - commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp

Best Actress
    ✔ Emma Stone - Poor Things
    ✔ Lily Gladstone - Killers of the Flower Moon
    ✔ Carey Mulligan - Maestro
    Sandra Huller - Anatomy of a Fall
    ✔ Margot Robbie - Barbie
    Fantasia Barrino - The Color Purple

Best Actor
    ✔ Cillian Murphy - Oppenheimer
    ✔ Leonardo DiCaprio - Killers of the Flower Moon
    ✔ Bradley Cooper - Maestro
    Colman Domingo - Rustin - November 7 then Netflix November 17.
    ✔ Paul Giamatti- The Holdovers
    ✔ Jeffrey Wright - American Fiction

Best Supporting Actress
    ✔ Da'Vine Joy Randolph - The Holdovers
    ✔ Emily Blunt - Oppenheimer
    Danielle Brooks - The Color Purple
    Taraji P. Henson - The Color Purple
    ✔ Julianne Moore - May December
    ✔ Jodie Foster - Nyad

Best Supporting Actor
    ✔ Robert Downey Jr. - Oppenheimer
    ✔ Robert De Niro - Killers of the Flower Moon
    ✔ Ryan Gosling - Barbie
    ✔ Mark Ruffalo - Poor Things
    ✔ Willem Dafoe - Poor Things
    ✔ Charles Melton - May December

Best Adapted Screenplay
    ✔ Killers of the Flower Moon
    ✔ Oppenheimer
    ✔ Poor Things
    ✔ American Fiction
    The Zone of Interest

Best Original Screenplay
    ✔ The Holdovers
    ✔ Past Lives
    ✔ Barbie
    Anatomy of a Fall
    ✔ Maestro

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Davis Mafia Zoom Call

Chabrier organized a Rugby Buddies zoom call for Sunday evening. In addition to Chabrier, the group included Gribi, Rehlich, Greene, Hoffman, Moore, Nooter, Lindsay and Hunter. The call always gets a little chaotic when Hunter joins. It was nice to see everyone. Unfortunately, I dropped after about 30 minutes...

Friday, November 03, 2023

Traveling and Exploring the World

This is the first Friday night that we have been home in six weeks!?!

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

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

Rogue Protocol won the Locus Award for Best Novella. It was also a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novella and the Nebula Award for Best Novella.

The science fiction novella follows the story of Murderbot, a SecUnit (security unit) android that has hacked its own governor module. Murderbot decides to go to an abandoned GrayCris terraforming facility in orbit over the planet Milu [planet from the first book] to collect further evidence of the company's past crimes. Once there, Murderbot befriends a humanoid bot named Miki and secretly follows a team of humans sent to assess the facility before a new company takes possession of it.

I am starting to have mixed feelings about this series. One of the key plot points of the series is Murderbot's ability to hack any and all computer systems. It takes control of security systems, camera, drones and automated space ships. It erases itself from the memory of systems and bypasses security scanning. It is starting to seem like a litte much. I started reading the series because the fifth book won both the 2021 Hugo Award for Best Novel and the 2020 Nebula Award for Best Novel. I am going to soldier on to the fifth book...

Thursday, November 02, 2023

Sharon and Janie to Napa

With Janie on the West Coast, Sharon and Janie spent the day in Napa. They wine tasted at Ram's Gate Winery, shopped at the outlets in Napa and had dinner at Ad Hoc.

The Ad Hoc menu for Thursday evening included: Broccolini Salad [burrata, cremini mushrooms, kalamata olives, red onions, frisée, sherry vinaigrette]; Chicken Piccata [roasted carrots, pappardelle pasta, lemon caper sauce]; Toma Piemontese [maldon flatbread, extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar], and; Spiced Pumpkin Mousse [shortbread crumble, toasted meringue]. Sharon was less than enthusiastic about the dinner; She said "I have had better there."


I took a Golftec lesson on Thursday. I continue to work on completely rebuilding my swing...

Although we really haven't settled into a rhythm for retirement yet, I am enjoying being able to focus on a number of other things without the 24/7/365 work distractions.