Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ancil Hoffman plus picking up Jack

Thursday afternoon, Sharon, Jim, Debbie and I played nine holes at Ancil Hoffman. We are trying to schedule this as a regular Thursday afternoon.

Feeling solid on the driving range, the round turned into a shitshow. It is probably the worst that I have played in years. I was not striking the ball consistently. It was doubly frustrating because I had played so well last Thursday. I have got to get back and get some lessons.

We have a lot of golf scheduled for the next ten days. Larkin, Jack and I are headed to Nevada for the Petersen shootout. Sharon, Holly, Van and I are then headed to Sea Ranch early next week. I am going to play at least five, maybe six times in the next ten days. It is going to be interesting to see if I can settle down.

Late Thursday, I headed to San Francisco to pick up Jack. It was a struggle. The freeway was down to one lane in a number of places both diretions. I was shocked at how much roadwork was taking place. I scooped Jack up on Pine about 10:15 pm. After a brief stop at his apartment, we were back in Carmichael about 12:30 am.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher

My book for April is The Burn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara Swisher. Sharon and I saw her interviewed on the Bill Mahr HBO show. I was intrigued and bought the book.

Kara Swisher, a veteran tech journalist known for her sharp wit and incisive questioning, takes aim at the tech industry. Part memoir, part history, Burn Book chronicles the rise of Silicon Valley's elite and explores the motivations and ambitions that fueled the tech boom. Swisher weaves her own experiences covering the industry with profiles of tech's biggest names. Swisher holds these leaders accountable by highlighting the ways their pursuits of changing the world often resulted in unintended consequences.

For me, part of the book was a walk down memory lane. I bought a TRS-80 Model 1 in 1979. Over the next 45 years, I worked for financial services and healthcare companies working to implement technology. I was on business side of all the trends that she outlines; trying to sort out how to incorporate the consumer trends into the mainline business. One of the biggest impacts for me was how the consumer trends impacted business users expectations [read: just make it as easy as shopping on Amazon...]. The book isn't quite as a good as it vears into Swisher's profiles with the tech executives her personal history. Nevertheless, I recommend it to anyone who has worked in the tech industry over the last fifty years.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

2024 Kings versus Warriors - 9/10 Play-in Game


Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Golden State Warriors NBA Basketball 9/10 Play-in Game. Drew and Kyle were also at the game; we connected with them briefly in the arena before the game started.

The Kings led from the start. Golden State got within one early in the third quarter before Sacramento responded with a 19-5 run keyed by a pair of 3-pointers from Ellis and more big shots from Murray to build the lead back to 15 points. The Kings were never threatened after that. The Kings won the game by the score of 118 to 94.

Keegan Murray was the high scorer for the Kings. He had 32 points on 10 for 20 from the field, 8 for 13 from three and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.

As you would expect, Stephen Curry was the high scorer for the Warriors. He had 22 points on 8 for 16 from the field, 3 for 7 from three and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. Klay Thompson had no points in 32 minutes on 0 for 10 from the field and 0 for 6 from three.

It was a very fun game. The crowd was great. It was entertaining to watch the Warriors fans start to exit with a couple of minutes left to go.

Larkin and I connected with Drew and Kyle at half-time. I also meet them briefly outside the arena after game. Drew and Kyle are skiing at Sierra at Tahoe on Wednesday.

The Kings now have 6 wins and 2 losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2023-2024 season.

Monday, April 15, 2024

California Historical Landmark #726

We stopped briefly at this store on Day Seven of our California Road Trip.

Sebastian Store
California State Historical Landmark #726

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
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This landmark is located at 442 Slo San Simeon Road, San Simeon, California. There are 12 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Luis Obispo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 35° 38' 37.0" N 121° 11' 29.5" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #726

This is the oldest store building along the north coast of San Luis Obispo County. Built in the 1860s at Whaling Point, one-half mile to the west, it was moved to its present location in 1878. It has been operated by the Sebastian family for over half a century. It is now owned and operated by J.C. and Louse Sebastian.

California Historical Landmark #726

Sunday, April 14, 2024

2024 Kings versus Trail Blazers


Larkin and I went to the Sacramento Kings versus Portland Trail Blazers NBA Basketball game. Over the years, he and I have tried to go to the first and last games of the season. With seating for the play-in games at stake, this was the last game of the season. The Kings were in good position to finish in the top six and return to the postseason this year before losing five of six games headed into the season finale.

The Kings led 65 to 37 at halftime and 99 to 58 at the end of the third quarter. They won the game by the score of 121 to 82. With the win and the Lakers win over the Pelicans, the Kings ended the season ninth in the Western Conference. They will host the Warriors on Tuesday night for the 9/10 play-in game. The winner will play the loser of the 7/8 play-in game for a spot in the playoffs.

De'Aaron Fox was the high scorer for the Kings. Fox had 24 points in 26 minutes. He was 10 for 14 from the field, 2 for 3 from three point range and 2 for 2 from the free throw line. The Kings pulled their starters in the fourth quarter and played fifteen different players.

Dalano Banton (?!?) was the high scorer for the Trail Blazers. Banton had 17 points on 6 for 26 from the field, 0 for 15 from three point range and 5 for 6 from the free throw line.

The Trail Blazers dressed only eight players. Due to injuries, the Blazers were missing 10 players who accounted for more than three-quarters of the team's points this season. Portland missed 21 of its first 22 attempts from 3-point range.

The Kings now have 5 wins and 2 losses in games that I have seen in person during the 2023-2024 season.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sideways

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched Sideways. Like last year's The Holdovers, the movie was directed by Alexander Payne and stars Paul Giamatti. Payne also directed The Descendants and Nebraska.

Sideways is a 2004 film directed by Payne and written by Jim Taylor and Payne. It is a a film adaptation of Rex Pickett's 2004 novel of the same name.

The movie follows two men in their forties, Miles Raymond (Giamatti), a depressed teacher and unsuccessful writer, and Jack Cole (Thomas Haden Church), a past-his-prime actor. They take a week-long road trip to Santa Barbara County wine country to celebrate Jack's upcoming wedding. Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen also star as women they encounter during their trip.

Sideways was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Haden Church), Best Supporting Actress (Madsen) and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 77th Academy Awards. It won Best Adapted Screenplay.

Big parts of the movie were filmed along Foxen Canyon Road. Sharon and I wine tasted in this area in October of 2011 and earlier this year in February. While Sharon liked the movie more than I did, my fondest for the movie has increased since we watched it. I am surprised that it was nominated for a best picture Oscar.

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Ridge plus Restaurant Josephine


Sharon and I met Holly and Van at The Ridge in Auburn. I had never played this course before.

I felt great on the driving range. We teed off at 10:50 am. Unfortunately, my success from Thursday didn't carry over. I was very inconsistent and got a little frustrated. I had a couple of nice holes and some great shots, but made a mess of all of the par fives. I ended up with a very, very liberally scored 109. I lost quite a few balls and used a number of mulligans.
After golf, the four of us met Margaret and her husband Dave at Restaurant Josephine in Auburn. Sharon, Holly and Margaret all worked together at the Farm Credit Banks. We haven't seen them since the Wongs hosted a dinner in October of 2018. Sharon and I both had an aspargus salad and halibut. The food was good.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Ancil Hoffman

Sharon and I played nine holes on Thursday afternoon at Ancil Hoffman with Jim and Debbie. We are trying to make this into a regular Thursday afternoon outing.

I felt pretty good on the driving range. For once, it carried over to my play on the course. Working to adopt some of the guiding principles from Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect, I was striking the ball and putting confidently. Using one mulligan on the eighth tee, I ended up with an honest 54.

Afterwards, sitting on the patio and having a cocktail, I was thinking how much I am enjoying retirement.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Parks and Recreation - Season Seven

Sharon and I finished watching season seven of Parks and Recreation in February. We finished watching season one in August of 2023, season two and season three in September of 2023, season four in October of 2023, season five in December 2023 and season six in January 2024.

The seventh and final season of Parks and Recreation aired on the NBC from January 13, 2015, until February 24, 2015. The season consisted of 13 episodes. It stars Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Jim O'Heir, and Retta, with a supporting performance from Billy Eichner.

This season differs from any other season of Parks and Recreation. The season utilizes flash-forwards to show the characters' futures. Set in 2017, three years after the events of Season 6, the season includes Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) new career as Regional Director of the National Park Service, the rise of fictional tech company Gryzzl taking over Pawnee, Leslie's plea to Sweetums for a Pawnee National Park and the eventual career departures of the gang from the Parks department.

Sharon and I watched 125 episodes of Parks and Recreation! When we finished the last episode, we were sad to be done. The show is nice, light entertainment in small bit size pieces. Once you struggle through season one, it is very good. I recommend it.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

San Luis County Landmarks

California State Historical Landmarks
in San Luis Obispo County

NO. 325 MISSION SAN LUÍS OBISPO DE TOLOSA
NO. 326 MISSION SAN MIGUEL ARCÁNGEL
NO. 364 SANTA MARGARITA ASISTENCIA (SITE OF)
NO. 542 ESTRELLA ADOBE CHURCH
NO. 640 Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument - [map] - {35.650972,-121.186139}
NO. 720 DALLIDET ADOBE
NO. 726 Sebastian Store - [map] - {35.643600,-121.191520}
NO. 802 AH LOUIS STORE
NO. 821 MORRO ROCK
NO. 936 RIOS-CALEDONIA ADOBE
NO. 939 Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic) - NITT WITT RIDGE
NO. 958 ADMINISTRATION AND VETERAN'S MEMORIAL BUILDING
NO. 1033 RANCHO NIPOMO (Cpt. William G. Dana Rancho)

List of California Counties

Monday, April 08, 2024

Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect

My book for March was Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect. Holly had recommended the book when we were in Truckee last summer. Sharon got the book for Jack for his birthday.

The book was written by sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella. It is a self-help book aimed at golfers of all skill levels. Rotella argues that golfers should focus on developing the right mindset and emotional state, rather than solely on mechanics and technique.

Rotella's key strategies to improve your golf experience include:
  • Shift Focus From Mechanics to Mindset: While practice is important, overthinking swing mechanics during your shot can be detrimental. The book emphasizes trusting your practice and developing a clear, confident mental approach.
  • Embrace the Short Game: Rotella argues that mastering shots within 120 yards of the green has a bigger impact on your score than long drives. Focus practice time on chipping, pitching, and putting for more consistent scoring.
  • Develop a Pre-Shot Routine: Creating a consistent routine helps eliminate distractions and prepares you mentally for each shot. This might involve visualizing your swing, feeling the lie, and picking a clear target.
  • Trust Your First Instinct: Don't overthink club selection or putt reads. The book suggests trusting your initial gut feeling for more decisive play.
  • Let Go of Perfection: Golf is a game of managing misses. Learn to accept mistakes, learn from them, and focus on recovering for the next shot. Target Awareness: Instead of aiming for a wide swath of fairway, pick a specific target on the green for each shot. This narrows your focus and promotes a more precise approach.
  • Manage Your Emotions: Golf can be frustrating. Rotella provides techniques to manage emotions like anger and disappointment, so you can stay focused on the present situation.
  • Develop a Positive Self-Image: Belief in your abilities is crucial. The book offers methods to build confidence and trust in your swing for a more positive outlook.
I enjoyed the book and recommend it. I am working to incorporate his strategies. Only time will tell if it will improve my golf game!

As I have said before, I have always considered myself more of a brute force athlete. As an offensive linemen in football and a prop in rugby, I have always relied more on determination than finesse. My hand eye coordination is not good. It will be interesting to see if some lessons and the right mental attitude can improve my golf score...

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Bouchaine Vineyards


After a stop at the Cabi store at the Napa Outlets, Sharon and I spent the afternoon wine tasting at a member event at Bouchaine Vineyards. We have been wine club members there since 2010.

Sharon won the raffle for the gift basket!

Although we thought that Bouchaine shipped the wine club shipments, apparently, they do not. We had five shipments to pick up!?! Adding on some purchases for Sea Ranch at the end of April, we ended up dragging home a lot of wine.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Tom's Andes and South America Princess Cruise

Friday afternoon, I picked up Tom and the Ryans at the airport. They flew home from Los Angeles after they finished a Princess Cruise. The cruise departed from Santiago and included: La Serena, Chile; Pisco, Peru; Lima, Peru (overnight); Manta, Ecuador (skipped due to political unrest); Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta; Cabo San Lucas, and; Los Angeles.

As part of the trip, they did an extensive pre-cruise tour in Peru that included UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

In Pisco, Peru, Tom did an excursion to see the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are a group of giant geoglyphs etched into the earth in the Nazca Desert of southern Peru. These amazing creations consist of hundreds of prehistoric lines, geometric shapes, and large zoomorphic (animal) and anthropomorphic (human) figures. The Nazca Lines stretch for over 190 square miles . They were created by the Nazca culture, who flourished between 200 BC and 500 AD, by removing the reddish pebbles from the desert surface to expose the lighter colored earth underneath. The lines vary in width from a few centimeters to several meters and some stretch for kilometers. The massive scale of the Nazca Lines means they can only be fully appreciated from the air.


I didn't realize until after Tom left that the cruise included Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. At Cabo, Tom did an excursion to Todos Santos! The Wallens built a house there. Sharon and I visited in Todos Santos in 2022.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Nooter

I facetimed with Nooter for about forty-five minutes on Friday morning. We caught up on old man aliments, kids, mutual acquintences and life in general. He and Barb were at their house in Charlottesville.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

California Historical Landmark #640

We toured Hearst Castle on Day Seven of our California Road Trip.

Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
California State Historical Landmark #640

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

This landmark is located in the Hearst Castle Visitor Center at 700 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon. There are 12 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Luis Obispo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are 35° 39' 03.5" N 121° 11' 10.1" W.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #640

HEARST SAN SIMEON STATE HISTORICAL MONUMENT - Here on the historic Rancho Piedra Blanca, between 1919 and 1947, William Randolph Hearst created La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), including La Casa Grande and adjacent buildings with their rare art treasures and beautiful gardens.

The Hearst Corporation presented it to the State of California in 1958 as a memorial to William Randolph Hearst, donated in the name of his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst.


California Historical Landmark #640

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Beginning of Ordinary Time

Sharon and I spent Wednesday afternoon taking down and packing up the Easter decorations.

Over the last twenty-eight years, Sharon and I have lived into a rhythm of decorating the house. Beginning Labor Day, Sharon starts to decorate the house with fall decorations. Before Thanksgiving, we switch the house to Christmas decorations. About five years ago, 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.

Sharon has started to accumulate more Valentines Day decorations that she puts up after we take down the Christmas decorations. After Valentines Day, the house transitions to Easter.

After we take the Easter decorations down, we have started calling it "Ordinary Time." This lasts about four months from Easter to Labor Day.

As a footnote, Sharon has started to collect a few summer decorations. It will be interesting to see if this takes on a life of its own...

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Dune: Part Two [Date Night]

Tuesday afternoon, I took Sharon to see Dune: Part Two as a date night. Jack, Sharon and I saw Part One in October of 2021.

The movie is a science fiction film directed and produced by Denis Villeneuve [Arrival]. He co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts. It is a sequel to Dune. The two films are an adaptation of the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

Timothée Chalamet [Call Me by Your Name], Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem reprise their roles from the first film. Austin Butler [Elvis], Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, and Souheila Yacoub join the ensemble cast.

The film follows Paul Atreides as he unites with the Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis to wage war against House Harkonnen. Paul struggles to fulfill his destiny, navigate the web of political intrigue, and control his burgeoning power.

It has been more than twenty years since I read the book. I probably should have watched the first part again before we watched Part Two. Sharon was asking me a number of specific questions about the plot details in the car after the movie and I could have used a little more background from the book and part one. Sharon is not a huge science fiction fan, but she said that she enjoyed the movie. I recommend it.

Monday, April 01, 2024

What's Up, Doc?

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched What's Up, Doc? Sharon read Barbara Streisand's biography My Name is Barbara and we have been working our way through a number of Streisand's films. We watched A Star is Born in December, The Way We Were in January and Funny Girl in March.

What's Up, Doc? is a 1972 American screwball comedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich. It was intended to pay homage to comedy films of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, especially Bringing Up Baby and Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny cartoons. The film was loosely based on the 1971 novel A Glimpse of Tiger by Herman Raucher.

The film stars Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal [Love Story]. The supporting cast includes Madeline Kahn; she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress for her role.

What's Up, Doc? became the third highest-grossing film of 1972. It won the Writers Guild of America (WGA) 1973 "Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen" award for Buck Henry, David Newman, and Robert Benton.

Although I was impressed with Streisand's acting, the movie hasn't aged well. It relies heavily on slapstick and physical comedy. Some of the gags feel dated by today's standards. I did enjoy that it was filmed in San Francisco. Overall, I don't recommend it.