Day 1618

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First day of summer.  Hot and pleasant.  Walked around SF during lunch, taking in the activity, the heat, the tourists.  Racquetball this morning -- just me and Steve, then Cliff, then T.  Work was slow, so I managed to squeeze in a few hours of writing, which was nice.  Two stories now.  I've had a year to settle into my role at HB and make my mark.  Now I can focus on stories for a while.  The ideas keep coming and there's no time to work on everything, so if I can just devote enough time to each little vision that pops up and move on and keep up the consistency and discipline, I guess that's all I can ask of myself.  Came home and strung my last racquet.  It took 80 minutes. 

Reading this on my kindle:


Day 1617

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My one-year anniversary at HB.  I can't believe I've been there a year.  Time flies when you're having fun.  Time flies period.  It was a breezy day, somewhat busy day.  I spent my lunch running along the Embarcadero, a 10K step run.  It was so nice.  I ran to the China Basin on 3rd St. and back.  I always come up with story ideas when I run.  Came home and strung the first of two racquets.  It took 90 minutes to string.  After dinner, I didn't do much of anything, so I called it a night early.

Day 1616

Monday, June 19, 2017

Racquetball just with Steve this morning. We played four singles games to 15.  It felt good!  I need to string my Dark Star racquets.  Both are out of commission.  Still reading 42nd Parallel.  Writing ideas for a story I've been kicking around.  The weather is perfect right now.

Day 1615

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Talked to Dad this morning, wishing him a Happy Father's Day.  He's been battling a few illnesses lately and has lost 30 pounds.  He's slowly on the mend. 

We went to Irving St. bright and early this morning for chicken and vegetables.  Alice's family came over at noon and we had a feast of goodies. 

The party ran until 3:30, after which I read the rest of the day.

Day 1614

Saturday, June 16, 2017

Alice and I saw Wonder Woman today.  The special effects were good and the story was intriguing (set in WWI era), but it was quite a bit different from regular comic book movies.  Lots of exposition in the beginning.  Given the praise it has received, I was expecting more, but I guess the bar is set at a particular range for comic book films.  It was all right, but just all right.  Gal Gadot was fantastic, however.

Day 1613

Friday, June 16, 2017

Racquetball, work, home, Alice's after 9 when traffic died down.  Very warm right now.

Day 1612

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Trump chaos continues.  Every week is the same.  More insanity.  Sad.  I love how he's working harder than anyone on the planet to ensure his own impeachment.  Moron. 

Played poker in the evening and man I get cold cards at Mark's house and bad beats on the river.  Down $22 for the night.  Ugh. 

In bed by midnight. 

Day 1611

Wednesday, June 15, 2017

I went with Alice to UCSF Arthoscopic Center in Mission Bay for a second opinion regarding her hip.  The doc said arthritis is the culprit.  She had arthritis in her left hip prior to her procedure.  Unfortunately, her pain has increased. It was 50-50 that the procedure would be successful and her hip would be pain-free; however, it didn't work out that way.  Apparently, a full hip replacement is the only route Alice can take to alleviate the pain. She's processing her options.  It's not what we wanted to hear, but at least we now why she's still in such pain. Hmm.

I arrived at work after lunch and the rest of the day went quickly.  It's really nice and warm outside.  I came home, tidied up, read, and went to bed around 9:30.  Warriors parade tomorrow.

Day 1610

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Up at 6:15, reading John Dos Passos The 42nd Parallel...

So inventive and full of life.  I've always appreciated the USA Trilogy.  I picked up this copy when going through the garage last weekend.

Work was fine.  I talked with Danielle, our trainer, who returned from her trip to Spain and Portugal yesterday.  She was gone two weeks.  She went on one of those Rick Steves tours and enjoyed it, but the itinerary was too much for her and her husband.  They felt too rushed and wished they had more time in certain cities.  Next time, she'll opt for a more leisurely trip.

Came home to Alice's in the evening. We're going to see another doctor tomorrow about her ongoing hip pain.  

Day 1609

Monday, June 12, 2017

Up at 4 and to the gym at 5.  I felt much better and well-rested.  Glenn and I partnered up this morning and ran the tables on our games...nice!  At work, I finished a few projects from last week and was completely caught up by early afternoon.

After work, I ordered Yang Chow and watched game 5 with Lisa, Sophie, Miles and his girlfriend Maddy.  The Cavs were ahead in the second half and things were looking bleak for a while, until the Cavs eased up on their defense and the Warriors took control of the game.  They had a 13-point run toward the end of the 2nd quarter and in the 3rd were up by as much at 17.  With a healthy 10-point lead throughout most of the 4th, the Warriors coasted to victory and became champions for the second time in three years tonight.  It was nice to see Kevin Durant, series MVP, earn his first NBA championship.

Day 1608

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Up at 7 to get Alice her coffee at Starbuck's.  We stayed in Oakland last night.  I didn't feel well this morning...I don't get headaches but had a nagging head thing going on. Annoying.  We met Alice's friends Tammy, Way, Jimmy and Bob at Hong Kong Seafood in Emeryville.  We had a very enjoyable dim sum brunch, but I wasn't too hungry.  I'd eaten so much the day before that I had next to no appetite.  We drove back to Alice's and I crashed on the couch the rest of the day.  I slept all afternoon and into the night, hoping my headache would go away.

Day 1607

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Spent the morning cleaning out my garage.


In the afternoon, Alice and I went to Miles's graduation party.  It was a mighty fine affair with lots of food and great conversation.  Ari was there!  It was also nice to see Biff and Rhonda.

Day 1606

Friday, June 9, 2017

Warriors were unable to keep up with a Cavs team that proved how good they could be tonight.  There's no 16-0 sweep, which would have satisfied every Warriors fan.  The Cavs owed one to their fan base and showed the world why they're still the reigning champions.  They led the entire game and put on a shooting display that was dazzling and amazing.  Now the Warriors return Monday to hopefully close out the series.  We don't need anything close to what happened last year.  Warriors, take care of business.

Racquetball this morning, then work (busy), then watching the game with Richard, Lisa, Miles and Sophie.  Star Pizza, sodas, rootbeer floats, a good night.

Day 1605

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Today is Comey Day.

I listened to the entire testimony.  I thought it was powerful and damning to Trump.  We'll see how he survives the mess he's in, the mess he created for himself.

Stephen Colbert had the best joke of the evening re Comey's testimony:

"That would be a good name for the Trump family law firm:  Lies, Plain & Simple."

Day 1604

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Some good racquetball in the a.m., then work, then Warriors at 6 in game 3 of the NBA finals.  The Warriors were ahead most of the game until midway through the third quarter when the Cavs took the lead.  Kyrie Irving is phenomenal and Lebron James dominated.  The Cavs were ahead throughout most of the 4th quarter, then this happened.

It's one for the ages! Champions always find a way to win.

Day 1603

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Greg called me at work today, out of the blue.  He's moving out of his current apartment and wanted to know if he should get a new place on a short-term basis, or accept that he and Gwen are truly over and should think long-term about his future.  I was blunt with him.  I told him there was no hope that he and Gwen would ever get back together, and in fact the sooner they both got a divorce the better off everyone would be.  I told him to focus on getting a new house and perhaps think about creating a new life with someone else.  We'll see if he can do that.  We talked about 40 minutes.  He kept saying, "It's so's so sad." It was sad a few years ago, but it's not sad anymore.  It's just reality.  I hope he's able to accept reality.  He needs to.

Day 1602

Monday, June 5, 2017

The start of another week after a busy weekend and Warrior victory in the Finals.  Sluggish in racquetball today, but got a good night sleep and have lots of energy for the rest of the week.  

Day 1601

Sunday, June 4, 2017

We went to an Oakland Civic Orchestra concert at the Methodist Church on Lakeshore Ave and heard a pretty good community orchestra play Beethoven's 5th, a Beethoven overture, Delibes and Sibelius.  Richard and Lisa joined us.

Then we came to my place to watch game two of the NBA finals.  The Warriors looked good and took care of business. 

Day 1600

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Drove to Oakley for Moe's party and got to hear all sorts of Charles Bond stories, all ridiculous, all incredible...that man! 

It was great to meet Moe's hubby Leonard.  Phil was there and his girlfriend Sara, Jackie, who currently has my job...poor Jackie...Wanda and Michael (nice conversation). 

I came home around 7 and drove to Alice's later in the evening.

Day 1599

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy Friday.  An easy, low-key day.  Went outside and read for an hour.  A busy weekend ahead.

Day 1598

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Warriors win 113-91.  Kevin Durant was the difference.  He's one of the best players ever and was unstoppable in driving to the rim and from 3-point range.  Clay Thompson is still off but his defense makes up for his poor shooting.  Steph got hot in the second half, scoring several threes and dazzling the crowd with his thrilling ball control.  It was a satisfying game to watch.  The Warriors look unbeatable.  They're 13-0 in the playoffs, amazing! 

Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement.  He is such a fool.  History will punish him for this stupid decision.  The US stands alone with Syria and Nicaragua.  Unbelievable.  I have to believe that he and the entire horrid Republican sell-out party will be punished for this, but you never know in this country.

Day 1597

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Went to Alice's and my car was waiting for me in the driveway.  Alioto's worked their magic and turned my car back to its former self.  They did a great job.  The car looks terrific.  Talked to Nicole briefly.  She's in her new house.  They moved in yesterday. 

Day 1596

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I drove the rental to Alioto's this morning, thinking my MINI would be ready for pickup. Nope, not until the next day.  I was driven to work and took Bus B home.  I finished Season One of American Horror Story.  It was good.  Now, I'm ready to fall asleep.  I'm processing the changes going on in this world.  I'm reading Dos Passos.  I'm looking at things from a different perspective.  I'm thinking about Syria and Millennium Tower and how to tell this story swirling in my head. 

Day 1595

Monday, May 29, 2017

We came over to Oakland around 11 and went to Ikea, then to Grand Ave. for lunch and desserts.  At 4 we went to Howard and Leslie's for dinner.  Oh, it was fun and so much food!  Their friends Tom, Robin, David and Pam were very nice.  Alice had fun.

Day 1594

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Up early and caught up on my journal, read a few chapters of the Sixth Extinction, pulled an hour's worth of weeds for Alice, and took a nice long nap in the early afternoon.  Alice wanted to walk around the mall, so we went to Stonestown at 2, then visited Bill and Vicki at 5.  They's just returned from a cruise to Alaska.  We went to the Dim Sum Club for dinner and I really like this place.  Their sweet and sour pork is so good.  We came back to their house, had tea and watched some old videos of a 2009 cruise they went on to Alaska where the fish were jumping and the crab was plentiful. Came home at 9:30 and called it a night.  Day off tomorrow...nice.

Day 1593

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Woke up at 5 to finish moving boxes from the back wall of the garage in preparation for the termite specialists to spray next Wednesday.  I think it's possible to remove 50% of the stuff I have in there.  We'll see.  It'll take time to sort out.

Arrived at Alice's at 7:45 and we went to Toyota Dealership for a recall procedure Alice needed.  The procedure was going to talk 2 1/2 hours, so we decided to reschedule and went to Starbuck's and Costco instead.

We came back home at 11 and hung out the rest of the day, doing laundry, pulling weeds, playing cribbage, and eating a delicious steak dinner with fresh meat from Costco.

I read pieces in Neil Gaiman's The View From the Cheap Seats and later in the evening we watched Sully, which was good -- Tom Hanks was strong as always -- but the antagonistic investigation was probably a little too Hollywood.

Day 1592

Friday, May 26, 2017

Racquetball at 5, work all day, which was slow.  I read The Morning They Came For Us, Dispatches From Syria by Janine Di Giovanni, a firsthand account from the Syrian Civil War.  It's another example of the horrors of war.  How many do we need to get the message that war is evil and never a good thing ever.  The country won't recover in our lifetime.  Many in the next generation or two.  It's easy to look back and see how inevitable the destruction was going to be, given the single-minded dictatorial ruthlessness of Bashar al Assad, who more than any other person is responsible for the destruction of Syria.  No one was going to pull him from power and his army and resources (Iran, Hezbollah, Russia) were ultimately no match for the so-called Free Syria Army.  The other problem was the infiltration of foreign jihadist fighters intent on turning Syria into a religious state.  So many citizens were stuck in the middle in a no-win situation that ultimately uprooted their way of life.  It's really tragic reading these stories, knowing the Syria of the guidebook I've been reading no longer exists, including Aleppo's once famous souks, the world's best example of old world Middle East markets before they were destroy.

Came home at 5 and started cleaning out my garage in preparation for a termite spray next week.  So many boxes I don't need but can't seem to get rid of.

Later in the evening, I came across the Washington Post story of Jared Kushner's secret meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak on December 1 to discuss creating a secret communication channel to the Kremlin that was undetectable by US security.  It sounds like a big story and is almost certainly something that was ordered by Trump himself.  We'll see how this story develops.  Trump can't have Kushner banished from the White House, and yet I suspect Kushner will be under intense scrutiny and pressure to have his security clearance revoked.  He's in trouble.  The entire White House is in trouble.

Day 1591

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Slow at work today, so in the afternoon I watched a movie on my iphone that I'd never seen, Come and See, a 1985 realistic Russian film about WW2 and the burning of villages by the Germans in Belarus.

The final 30 minutes are gripping and powerful, but also typical of war.  Similar incidents happened in Syria.  The young kid who starred in the film,  Aleksei Kravchenko, was so expressive and believable.  He'd had no prior acting experience, which is remarkable.  

Day 1590

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Racquetball at 5 (good games), a busy work day, more Syria research.  Felt sluggish later in the day and early evening, so I wasn't able to focus.  After dinner, I watched an episode of American Horror Story (I'm watching season 1 now) and fell asleep halfway through.

Day 1589

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Just a regular day today.  Up, work, lunch, work, dinner, clean up, sleep.

Still processing the Manchester attack, watching news reports, video clips, depressed that this is an aspect of our daily lives.  The senseless and painful to see releases pictures of the victims.  What a world this can be.  I can only spend so much time on such a heartbreaking, senseless event before I must force myself to think about something else, something uplifting and beautiful, like Vivaldi or Beethoven or the sky at sunset.  Awful.

Day 1588

Monday, May 22, 2017

Racquetball, work, dinner.  MINI will be ready after Memorial Day.  Alice is on new medication that she started last night.  Finished watching American Horror Story (Coven).  Very good season.  Now I'm watching Season 1.

The opening sequence of Coven is the creepiest opening I've seen, a dark, twisted type of Six Feet Under.

Day 1587

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Alice and I watched this in the afternoon.  DeNiro was excellent, as always.  I loved his understated, controlled portrayal of this crook.  It was different, more nuanced, than the Richard Dreyfus portrayal, but in some ways more effective.  He nailed this character.  We really enjoyed this.

A quiet Sunday, getting things down and relaxing.

Day 1586

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alice made dumplings for lunch.  So good.  

In the evening I went to the Fillmore to hear Connor and his Dustbowl Revival band play.  It was excellent!  I bought a me it's like the display in a pinball machine.  Maybe that's why I like it so much!


Day 1585

Friday, May 19, 2017

I was sluggish most of the day and didn't go to racquetball.  Luckily, it was quiet at work.  It's been a reasonable month for the most part.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Day 1584

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Played poker in the evening with the monthly Crocker dads and after four hours of holdem grinding ended up five dollars ahead, a victory considering how cold my cards typically are at this table.  Went to bed at 1, late for me!

Day 1583

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Still a bit tired today.  Can't quite shake off this fatigue I'm feeling.  After racquetball, work, dinner and talking to Chris and Alice, I went straight to bed.

Day 1582

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I woke up at 6 a.m. but easily could have slept another couple of hours.  I took a shower a little before 7 and managed to get into work right at 8:30.  Work was steady.  I came home at 6, watched an episode of American Horror Story (Coven), had a simple dinner, then went to sleep.  I was still tired and went to bed around 9 or so. 

Day 1581

Monday, May 15, 2017

We woke up at 3:30 a.m. for our 6:10 a.m. flight from Vancouver to San Francisco.  Chris was up by 4 and we drove to the airport in 20 minutes, stopping for maybe one red light.  It was a great weekend in the city I was born!

We used Global Entry going through customs and it was efficient and easy.  Alice had her Starbuck's coffee and bread from Saturday's bakery.  I didn't need anything.  I was still stuffed from last night's meal.

Our flight was on time and uneventful.  I slept an hour or so.  We arrived early at 8:10 a.m. into SFO.  After disembarking, we left the international terminal where Alice caught a Lyft home.  I took BART to work and arrived around 9:30.  Luckily, work was quiet without many jobs to do.  I didn't eat lunch.  I had the last of my butter tarts for lunch.  I came home at 6, called Alice, then went right to bed.  I slept 12 hours.  Nice!

Day 1580

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday was a really fun day.  After a morning of Shreddies, cribbage, a morning walk and reading, we got in the car and headed downtown where Chris Jr. lives.  

Alice in the car in Vancouver
Uncle Chris contemplating his first bite of sushi
We had lunch at a very good sushi restaurant across the street from Chris's condo.  My, it was good.  We ate ourselves silly.

Ex-Girlfriend Roll

Alice, Elizabeth, Chris, Chris Jr., Leslie
After lunch, Alice stayed at Chris's place while the rest of us went for a walk to Granville Island in search of butter tarts.  We were not disappointed!
Walking to Granville Island
Walking to Granville Island
We had dinner in Gastown at The Flying Pig.  It was excellent.  We ate ourselves silly a second time. 
Alice and Chris at the Flying Pig

Alice and Chris at the Flying Pig

Alice and Chris having a good time!

We shared every dish

At the Flying Pig
After dinner, we had a night cap at Leslie's rounding out a great final day in Vancouver!

Day 1579

Saturday, May 13, 2017

After an early breakfast, we left our ship and met Chris at Canada Place. 

We had a delicious morning coffee and pastry, then headed to New Westminster to pick up
Elizabeth.  We went to a mall in Richmond where Alice was craving noodle.  We settled for dim sum at a place with weak service but otherwise pretty tasty dishes. 

We then came home and hung out the rest of the day.  Chris and I went for a walk to the store and later on Chris Jr. came over.  We had a fantastic spaghetti dinner with Greek salad and scrumptious dessert.  The eating didn't stop, even though our cruise was over. 

Day 1578

Friday, May 12, 2017

Alice at International Cafe after breakfast
 A leisurely day with three full meals and afternoon tea.  It's so easy to eat too much.  I enjoy working out in the morning and showering in the spa locker rooms.  They're so nice.  Hot tub, sauna and steam room.  So sweet.

I checked out Skywalker's Lounge on the ship.  This is where we're holding our ceremony and reception next year aboard the Golden Princess.  It's really a nightclub at night, but works as a comfortable location for a large reception on the ship.  I'll need some help in decorating the place.

Alice destroyed me in cribbage.  She had the hands and played them well.  We saw some wonderful rainbows from our cabin in the evening.  I enjoy being on the sea (when it's not too rough).  There's something very therapeutic about the gentle rocking motion of the waves.  We went to be early, by 10.  We're just oldies at heart.