Day 1293

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Woke up early to make blueberry scones from my 10-day Challenge recipes.  They are pretty good and have no butter.  Alice and I went to Millbrae in the morning to shop at a produce store, Trader Joe's, and Safeway.  Before we left, I listened to the George Stephanopolis interview with Donald Trump and his reaction to the Khizr Khan speech Thursday night.  Wow.  I can't imagine that going over very well.  In the afternoon, I relaxed, caught up with this journal, read, returned some long overdue emails, updated my E-Force stuff, and looked over the last few days of my 10-day Challenge.  It's been a great exercise, something I can't do everyday, but most days is good.  It's a good foundation to eat well. 

On the Zombie Cookies front, I put together my 30-day action plan to revise my manuscript.  The only problem is time.  I have so little of it when revising takes up so much energy.

Day 1292

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I played in a racquetball tournament this morning with Ronald Ramos in Fairfield.  We were strong our first two games, but after a long wait our third game was weak.  I broke a string in my racquet and played with a 190 racquet instead of 175.  I was off the rest of the day and we ended up not making the playoffs, winning 3 and losing 2.  Next time.  I wasn't mentally prepared for the tournament.  I was sluggish and tired.  I also felt old.  My knee and shoulder were giving me problems.  I came home around 3 and slept for two hours.  I woke up and did two loads of laundry, then, balanced my accounts, cleaned up, then went to bed.  I didn't eat or drink enough water today, a mistake I shouldn't make because I mentally shut down when I'm dehydrated.

Day 1291

Friday, July 29, 2016

Post-convention thoughts:  In a very strange, ultimately pivotal year in American politics, I think we're seeing the effects of a decades-long false narrative by the Republican party becoming unhinged.  Trump did not take over the party; the Republican voters took the party over and decided to go with the guy who's tapping into their greatest fears.  The white male ego is under assault and Donald J. Trump is the straw man who triggers their hysteria.  He's turned the election into a race war of sorts.  His only policies center around building walls, refusing entry for Muslims, and taking America back to a mythical 50s-era Leave-it-to-Beaver society in which everything worked for white people and people of color were not part of the narrative.  No longer buying the social hot-button issues of abortion, gay marriage, and to an extent the storyline that big government and liberal policies are evil, the Bush/Rubio/Cruz voters couldn't compete with a primary strategy that used as its template the talk-radio talking points of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage, the negative, anti-immigrant rhetoric and populist demagoguery that Huey Long would have been proud of.  At some point (maybe ten or so years from now), the Republican party will have to own their complete inability to conform to the changing demographics and the fact that there simply aren't enough white voters to win back the White House.  2016 has become a very subtle race/ethnicity referendum, and America will do the right thing, as it usually does when elections really matter.  The Democratic party has played a strong game with what appeared inevitable just a year ago.  Everyone knew it was Hillary's time; however, we can thank Bernie for revitalizing the party with his message of economic inequality and a totally rigged system that favors the winner-take-all approach to life.  Bernie was never going to be the Democratic nominee (contrary to what polls were saying (and a few of the experts).  We would have been positioned as being too extreme, too weak in international affairs, too socialistic, too left in the same way the Republican party is too right.  But he gave Hillary a run for her money and actually forced her to become him on many issues.  We got the best of both worlds, Bernie's platform supported by Hillary herself.  It all worked out the way it was supposed to at the end of the day. 

For the first time in many year, I actually believe America's best days are ahead of us.  Even though we made one of the greatest military mistakes in history by invading Iraq and losing so much respect, treasure, lives, strategy, etc., we're still the undisputed super-power in the world with an unrivaled economy that's only going to get better.  I would not bet against America right now, especially with another Clinton in the White House in 2017.  For all the fear mongering and doomsday talk of the Republicans, I think things are turning around.  They're looking good.  I guess we'll see. 

Day 1290

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Work was very busy today.  I came home, had dinner, and watched Hillary Clinton's convention speech.  It was a big night for her and I think she was just fine.  She'll never be as mesmerizing as her husband or Obama, but she was convincing enough and strong enough.  It was an amazing convention, full of enough tension and drama, motivation and enthusiasm, to carry her to victory in November.  Comparing the two conventions tells me the story of this election.  One party is a well-oiled political machine, while the other is all talk and no action.  Trump promised an amazing convention, yet his headliners were yesterday's C-level celebrities and politicians with a glaring number of empty seats in the stands.  The DNC, however, had major star power.  All the big guns were there.  It was orchestrated the way conventions were supposed to play out.  The DNC clearly had the better convention.  The RNC will go down as a very negative, strange, desperate attempt at keeping the party together.  We'll see if they can survive this year.

Meanwhile, it's Hillary's election to lose.


Day 1289

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More DNC coverage today.  I came home from another very busy day at work and just plopped myself on the couch after making dinner.  I watched Joe Biden give a rousing, passionate speech about what it means to be an American and how unqualified Donald Trump is to be president.  I loved it.  Then Michael Bloomberg gave a speech which I thought was fantastic...billionaire against "billionaire."  Finally, Obama took the stage and showed everyone how it's done.  He's such a drop mic player.  This convention has come full circle.  It's one of the best I've seen in an long time.  It's as if the Democratic Convention has taken the symbolism and patriotism from the Republican Conventions of the 1980s and energized their constituents with generals, flags, and what it means to be free.  Those are Republican themes that have now been "trumped" by fear, xenophobia, anger and hate.  Interesting times!

Day 1288

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Today was my second day of the 10-day health challenge.  I made two pizzas that used a cauliflower crust and veges for toppings.  It was actually very good.  I may need to eat more food though.  I also prepared a beet hummus which was just okay (I've never been too fond of beets), but the red color was amazing (I pulled out the Magic Bullet for this task...very good!). 

Tonight's DNC headliner was the big dog himself, Bill Clinton, personalizing his wife as only he could.  Listening to a 45-minute Bill Clinton speech is like listening to Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."  It's always a sort of past/future/possible/hopeful potpourri of admiration, disappointment, contempt and awe, in a way, what life fully lived inevitably looks like.  He's been with us since 1991 during the fall primaries, a long time, and yet, there he was, delivering his quintessential Bill Clinton message with storytelling panache.  The guy's amazing and he was again tonight.  Bill and Hillary are truly historic figures.  They will be written about and discussed by historians for decades and centuries (especially if Hillary wins, which she will).  It's only speculation to predict how history will view them, but I think their odds look good that they will be seen as progressive, strong, and ultimately good for the times they lived, especially Hillary, who, given the chance, has the potential to be one of the finest, most effective presidents since FDR.  They have the opportunity to build the road to the 21st Century in their image, minus the disastrous Bush years.  Maybe it took blundering Bush to allow for eight years of Obama, then four and perhaps eight with Hillary.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  President Clinton was masterful in introduction Candidate Clinton to the convention, to the country, to the world.  I get Hillary, or at least I think I do.  She's so maddening in her Tracy Flick calculation, but she's smart and her heart, I believe, really is in the right place.  She'll get things done.  She's a worker bee, always working.  That's what we need.  She's the opposite of Trump.

The problem though is this country has never warmed to female no-it-alls.  For all our greatness, we're still amazingly provincial and chauvinist in our thinking.  Clearly. 

Day 1287

Monday, July 25, 2016

No one showed up at racquetball this morning, so I left early and came back home to prepare a few of my new 10-Day Challenge meals before work.  The 10-Day Challenge is a sponsored event at Hanson Bridgett, ten days of healthy eating that focuses on a list of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods that aren't processed and contain little to no sugar.  I stayed up late last night preparing a walnut pesto, zucchini slices, and a batch of quinoa.  Before work, I assembled my zucchini dish, gathered a few of my imperfect fruits (from, arranged my fridge and headed off to the carpool lane with a bag full of healthy eating for the day.

I enjoyed my meals and felt good.  Work was steady, allowing me little time for anything else, though I did Google convention coverage and read a few headlines throughout the afternoon of the contentious DNC convention and Wiki-Leak's release of thousands of hacked emails, allegedly by a Russian agency.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, whose been criticized for months now (and should have resigned long ago), was finally ousted, thank God!  She really over-stayed her welcome (talk about sabotaging one's career...she was supposed to be impartial, but clearly wasn't from the beginning).  The Bernie-or-Bust contingent went into outrage mode (understandably), creating a circus-like atmosphere that had the potential to rival (maybe even surpass) Ted Cruz's "Vote with your conscience" moment last week.

I came home around the time Al Franken was on stage.  He told a few jokes at Donald Trump's expense (he's still funny to me).  Sarah Silverman joined him, acknowledging her "Bernie-or-Bust" tendencies but also acknowledging the reality of where things were.  When she said, "Can I just say, to the Bernie-or-Bust people, you're being ridiculous!" antagonizing the Busters even more.  (I've always appreciated SS, but I admit I loved her even more the moment she said this).  I thought I was about to see the party that was supposed to come together against Trump implode with the kind of disastrous in-fighting that sometimes loses contests that are so sweetly set up for victory.

Thankfully, after a troubled Bridge Over Troubled Water rendition by an aging Paul Simon, Michelle Obama gave her speech within the hour, and suddenly all was better again.  It was an amazingly effective speech that captured the essence of the 2016 election:  who do you want as your presidential role model for your kids, Hillary or Trump?  There's nothing like context to clear the air.  She was good eight years ago, but she's a master now.  Confident.  Strong.  Clear.  It'll be interesting to see if anyone tops this amazing, effective, historic convention speech.

Day 1286

Sunday, July 24, 2016

I woke up early and banged out several journal entries and made out a long list of what I needed to buy for my 10-day healthy eating challenge that's beginning tomorrow at work.  This is a pretty intense list of whole foods and ingredients I've never purchased before, but the great thing about living in San Francisco is there's a health food store in every neighborhood and around every corner.  This morning, I went to an organic healthfood store on Judah.  Great produce but the prices are definitely steep.  I also went to Whole Foods for some bulk items.  I do love walking the aisles of Whole Foods.  We also went to Trader Joe's.  I have everything I need, so now I need to prepare and organize.  I may cook one dish tonight before bed.  We'll see. 

I went to the library and checked out a couple of books including

Day 1285

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Alice and I left for Kenwood today to visit Michael and David, two clients who Alice does bookkeeping for.  David has early-stage Alzheimer's so he's a bit fragile, which is a real shame because he was an amazingly gifted architect and genuinely wonderful person.  Michael is a brilliant art curator and collector with an amazing collection of contemporary art.  Spending time with both of them is so rewarding.  We had lunch at their house in a small, totally charming cottage on two acres of land pretty much right next door to several large vineyards and wineries.  Michael prepared lunch and it was so good, fresh everything.  We stayed for a few hours until it was time for their naps.  We then visited one winery called Madrone and bought two bottles of the Barbera 2012.  So good! 

During our trip, we stopped at Trader Joe's so I could start on my grocery list of food items for the beginning of this week's 10-day Food Challenge.  I bought things I didn't even know was food, like chia seeds, amaranth, hemp hearts, cacao nibs, and quinoa.  This diet will help me cut down on all the processed sugar I consume, as well as teaching me a few recipes that are simple and healthy.  We'll see how it goes.  I begin the 10-day challenge on Monday.

Day 1284

Friday, July 22, 2016

No racquetball today because I came home last night at 12:30 from poker (down $25, a very unlucky night unfortunately, even though I had pocket AA twice). 

Work was busy, then I worked two hours at Varinsky, wrapping up another focus group, before heading to SF for the weekend.  I arrived at 10:15 and was so tired I just went to bed. 

Day 1283

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Another very busy day at work, plus Mario and I moved from the 24th floor to the 25th floor.  I'm now at a work station for the foreseeable future with enough direct sunlight to keep me sane.  I have all kinds of storage and shelving to house my books.  I'll make this station livable.

I took my recruiter Beth Harris to lunch at Patriot House.  We each had burgers that were very good.  I'm so appreciative of her setting up this new job for me.  She said there's another boom in openings these days but the difficulty is finding qualified candidates.

In the evening, I listened to two GOP speeches, Ivanka's and DJT's.  Ivanka was impressive, personable and poised.  It was as if she were describing a normal dad.  Then Trump came to the podium and delivered a very long, bombastic, negative, oppressive, fear-based litany of law-and-order edicts, complete with gestures and facial expressions that belonged to the world of wrestling federations.  I know folks want us to believe he has a chance of winning, but I really don't see it.  He's not good enough to win.  People say he doesn't need to be, that so much of America is so dumb and idiotic that it doesn't matter how horrible Donald Trump is as a candidate.  I beg to differ.  America takes it's presidential elections seriously.  They'll pay attention.  They see through the bombast and recognize this character for who he is, which is a very thin-skinned whiny little bitch who has a major personality disorder and monumental narcissist tendencies.  He can't help it.  He doesn't know anything about policy, whereas Hillary knows everything.  She will destroy him in the general, as she should.  This will be the biggest landslide in American Presidential History, "believe me."

After the very long speech, I went over to Mark Slater's and played poker for a few hours.  True to form, I ran into nonsense situations and hands and ended up losing $35.  I am not very lucky at that house.  There were a lot of big hands that night, including one or two four of a kinds.

Day 1282

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I played racquetball until 6:30 this morning and still rushed to get to work on time.  Starting at 8:30 in SF makes it tough sometimes if I'm not totally prepared with my clothes and breakfast once I arrive home. 

Work has picked up and it quite busy right now.  I'm waiting for a lull. 

After work, I came home and had dinner while watching more crazy GOP Convention speeches, including Ted Cruz.  You gotta love this weasel, this reptilian sociopath, dissing the Donald with his smug, smarmy speech.  What a piece of work. 

I had numbers and a few other details to take care of at Varinsky, so instead of watching the speeches at Richard and Lisa's, I had to work an additional 3.5 hours, staying up until close to midnight.  I did listen to Mike Pence's speech and his was actually pretty good.  Too bad he was so ridiculously overshadowed by Ted Lizard Cruz. 

Day 1281

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I was nice having Mario back at work.  He'd been out of town since Thursday.  With two of us back at work, all bases were covered.  We move to the 25th floor on Thursday.

After work, I went over to Richard and Lisa's again to watch more of the GOP Convention.  Chris called at 8 and we got his take on the spectacle.  There's certainly a lot of hate being thrown around at the convention.  Speakers seem to be talking more about Hillary than Donald, which is interesting.  And Stephen Colbert is getting the material of his life as he puts on his own GOP counter show to offset all the silliness. 

Paul Ryan's speech was a bit flat I thought.  I don't get this guy.  He comes across as appearing reasonable and grownup, but I think he's just as insane as the other hardliners in his party.  Chris Christie was auditioning for Attorney General.  What a blowhard.  Boy did his star fall hard.  Tiffany, Trump's youngest daughter, was perfectly fine.  She may have been the best speaker of the evening. 

Day 1280

Monday, July 18, 2016

Another week and this one will be busy.  I finished most of the Focus Group report that's going out this week and entered all the data for the following focus group.  Cheryl is so busy right now that it's hard to keep things in check when she's by herself.

Racquetball was fun.  Ron Ramos and I are playing a doubles tournament together in Fairfield, so I need to be ready for it.  My hip is good.  Now it's my right arm that's bothering me.  Getting old so sucks!

It was slow again at work, allowing me to read more program documentation on some of the programs we use.

The GOP Convention got under way today and after work I headed over to Richard and Lisa's to watch the festivities.  I was shocked at the emptiness of the convention center.  There were a few shots of completely empty sections.  That's not what a GOP Convention is supposed to look like.  The all-star list of speakers included Scott Baio and Rick Perry, Senator Jeff Sessions and Rudy "Red Bull" Giuliani, who gave an over-the-top doomsday speech from the nether reaches of Angry White Guy Central.

Melania's speech was actually pretty good, even though there were times (several in fact) where she was channeling her inner Zoolander.  It wasn't until later in the evening and the next morning that I heard parts of it came from Michelle Obama's 2008 Convention Speech.

That's just embarrassing.  They usually have procedures in place to prevent that from happening, but I think the Trump Organization is so disorganized that they have no vetting process for anything.  It's another aspect of his failed candidacy.  Oh, and I think it's a truly failed candidacy.  He won the primary, but he's totally imploding during the General.  There's no way this amateur candidate can win. 

Day 1279

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I worked from 8-3, wrapping up all the stuff I had to do for the latest focus group, then came home, tidied up the place a bit, had dinner, then watched episode two of The Night Of with Lisa at 9.  I needed another five hours to finish preparing for the following week.  I've been working so hard that my writing mind is far away from my present self.  This will change but right now I feel all stories slipping away.  I don't like this feeling. 

Day 1278

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I worked from 7-2 on the latest focus group report for Varinsky, then came home and relaxed for a few hours, meeting Alice who came over around 4:30.  At 7, we had dinner with Howard and Leslie at Penrose, which was so much fun.  The told stories non-stop about our cruise, engagement, future trips, and heard a few stories from Howard.  The food was incredible and Howard brought a very good bottle of Silverado red wine that was heaven.  We has a blast and will have to do it again.  Howard is so much fun!

We were at the restaurant until 10.  We came home and Alice crashed quickly.  I followed a few minutes later and was lulled into a peaceful, red-wine-induced coma.

Day 1277

Friday, July 15, 2016

Racquetball, then leaving for work at 7:45.  I carpool into SF from the 580 overpass.  I walk up to the carpool queue and get in a car with three or four people.  Some cars are nice (Lexus, BMW, SUVs) and some are old and clunky.  Some drivers listen to NPR, others music and AM Talk Radio.  Some drivers are safe and in control, while others are manic and acting like members of a NASCAR team.  It takes 20 minutes to get to San Francisco.  Some drivers have elaborate "time-saving" routes they like to take to get to the financial district, but I don't think any route is any faster than the tried and true 580-to-toll route that has the commuter lane on the left.  The Fast-Track/Commuter Lane on the right is better, but getting there takes too long and doesn't make much sense when all is said and done. 

I stayed home tonight instead of heading into the city because I have a full weekend of focus group work to complete.  No rest at all this weekend.  Eye of the storm. 

Day 1276

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I was by myself at work today.  Mario is gone until Tuesday of next week.  I had several help desk questions queued my way and walked up and down our floors helping users with their Word issues.  It was fun.  I like walking the halls fielding software questions. 

I spent some time figuring out my 401k contribution percentage and total income tax for 2016.  Lots of balls to juggle given my situation.  It works out mathematically that if I pay off an additional $4,000 this year and refinance my outstanding debt at 0% interest, I can pay everything off next year while still setting aside 30% to max out my 401k for 2017.  I think I'll do that. 

Day 1275

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Up at 4:30, racquetball until close to 7.  Ron and I played this morning in preparation for Fairfield July 30.  It'll be a fun doubles tournament.   Hopefully, I can get in shape for it.  Work was very busy today.  Lots of agreements to put on the system, one 1 15k-word pdf that needed to be formatted and converted to Word.  I how how awesome our software programs are.  DocXTools is so amazing.  Wendel should have DocXTools.  It's an utter shame that it doesn't.  I worked up until 5, came home, had dinner, then headed to Varinsky for two hours to finish up the focus group reports from last weekend.  It never ends!

Day 1274

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I struggled getting up this morning.  I didn't go to the gym and couldn't shake off the sleep.  I managed to get into the office at 8:30.  Thankfully, the day wasn't too busy.  I had time to work on my investment portfolio and jot down some notes for ZC.  I came home, had dinner, and talked with Chris at 8, then Alice at 9, before heading off to bed by 10. 

Day 1273

Monday, July 11, 2016

I played racquetball for the first time in two weeks and it felt pretty good, though my timing was off.  Work was fine, though a little dramatic in the afternoon with rush jobs coming from all directions.  There hasn't been an established set of standards across the board, though that may change once our team is in place and working together.  Mario is very knowledgeable and knows the dynamics of the firm very well.  We were able to get the jobs done before 5. After work, I ran into Lisa, who said Trey was home for a few days.  I mentioned "The Night Of" on HBO and we planned to watch it together at 8:30.  Bonnie came over at 7 to go over her monthly finances, finding ways to save money.  I think she can reduce her Comcast bill, cell phone bill, and auto insurance with better, cheaper vendors. She can also use Ooma if she still wants her landline.  Bonnie left at 8:15 and Lisa and Trey arrived at 8:30.  We watched the first episode of "The Night Of," an intense NYC procedural of a college kid's worst night ever and the murder he seems to have committed.  So far it's great, with a tight script by Richard Price and brilliant direction by Steven Zallian. 

Day 1272

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Left Alice's around 7:30 and put in another 8 hours at Varinsky today, finishing up all the data and assembling the seating charts.  Finished at 4, then came home and organized, had dinner, watched 10 minutes of The Night Of, then went to bed.  Very tired.

Day 1271

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Worked a full day at Varinsky today, entering all the focus group material.  Howard came in and we caught up for a few minutes.  It was great seeing him.  He's slowly getting back to health.  We're all going out to dinner on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to that!

I drove to the Sunset and we had had dinner at Yummy Yummy, our go-to place.  It's always so good.  After dinner, we got some ice cream, then watched a Netflix documentary called Top Spin, about three high school students competing for the Olympic Ping Pong team.  It was good.

Day 1270

Friday, July 8, 2016

I had a surprising amount of energy today and caught up on several little tasks while at work.  I also re-read another few chapters from this investment book that has given me some diversification ideas to consider.  I had coffee with Lillian in the morning and lunch with Alice at a Thai place on Spear Street.  In the evening, I finished parts 4 and 5 of the 5-part documentary OJ: Made in America.  I had no desire to watch this documentary, having lived through all the hoopla and coverage so many years ago, but I'd heard it was something of a masterpiece and riveting television, so I started streaming the episodes online on Tuesday.  It is riveting and masterfully told, connecting race, the LAPD, Rodney King, and the alternate realities of life in America based on skin color to the OJ verdict.  This is textbook documentary filmmaking, told extremely well and perfectly paced, even though it's over seven hours long.  Watching those old clips of OJ running down the field reminded me how extraordinary he was, but by part 5 it's clear that he's an empty shell, a profound sociopath, very charming but fully capable of the murders he committed.  Oh, and he committed them.  The evidence is beyond overwhelming, but the documentary is really about race in LA and America in general.  With the shootings of five police officers in Dallas last night and another unsettling, senseless murder in St. Paul of an innocent black male by a white police officer, it seems our total failure at addressing our legacy of racism and hatred in America has come to a head...again.  I'm not sure what it'll take to get our national house in order.  The denial is so thick.  The refusal to act, discuss and address the shameful unfairness and inequality in this country is staggering.  This is a national failure of epic proportions.  I'm not sure what the answer is, what it'll take to bring any kind of healing to us.  The documentary I finished watching tonight gave context to things that were never clear to me.  More of this is a good thing.

Day 1269

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I didn't go in today, but instead slept in until 6:30.  Out the door by 7:45 and at work before 8:30.  Day was fine.  Just one big job that took a few hours.  Other than that, it was an easy day.  Came home, had dinner, cleaned up some files, then went through some notes I took today. 

Day 1268

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Up at 4:40 and to the gym, but didn't play.  I'll begin again next week.  Just easy cardio, the eyliptical machines and a few stretches.  Work was again very pleasant and not very busy.  More training videos.  At home, I started to get into my edits and revisions.  Lots to think about.

Day 1267

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First day back to work after a very enjoyable three-day weekend.  The day was slow, so I made the most of my time learning some of the programs we have at the firm.  I watched a few training videos and went over several handouts that are housed in the training section of the HB Intranet.  I really like how things are set up.  It's all clear and nicely presented.  Very good.

Day 1266

Monday, July 4, 2016

We left Mom and Craig's early, around 5, for our 8:15 flight back to Oakland.  The flight was easy and we were back at Alice's by 11:15.  I slept for two hours in the afternoon, then we went out to dinner with Cecilia and Jay.  Austin joined us.  We were back at Alice's around 8 and I stayed the night with her, a very quiet, uneventful July 4th together. 

Day 1265

Sunday, July 3, 2016

After a restful night's sleep, Alice and I woke up around 7, had a little breakfast, got ready for the day, then went with mom to eight of the showcase homes near the entrance to her complex.  We walked through show houses ranging from 1,700 to 2,500 square feet.  Some of the floor spaces were odd and didn't make much sense.  A couch here, a table there, another couch here...odd.  It was fun though and Alice enjoyed herself.  We headed back to mom's for lunch, then went to the movies to see The BFG, the new Stephen Spielberg film, at a new movie complex with special VIP seating in the balcony.  Call buttons on arm rests allowed us to call an attendant for service.  It was nice.  The movie was a bit weird.  Strange across the board.  I haven't read the actual source material.  Perhaps I should.  Alice enjoyed the story.  It had funny moments, but felt like a series of sketch scenes than an integrated story that flowed. 

Day 1264

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I got up an hour or so before anyone else.  I watched a little television, had some cereal, and lounged in the tranquility of an early summer morning in Maricopa, AZ.  It was hot and it wasn't even 8.  The cows were out, their nasty scent infusing the landscape with a stench that kept me from sitting outside.  Dear, the air was vile in the morning.  Once everyone was up, we planned our day, a visit to the mall for lunch and shopping, followed by a relaxing evening at home to play cribbage, eat dinner, enjoy a film on TV, and stay up late.  Alice, Mom and I had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  I had what would hopefully be my last cheeseburger, fries and Coke in a while.  The truth is I cannot have such fattening foods anymore if I want to maintain a reasonable proportion relative to my size.  My metabolism is gone, so now I'm with everyone else in paying attention to what I eat.  The problem is I love fattening, salty, sweet things that aren't that good for you.  I do love healthy foods, but seem to love everything, so no burgers for a while.  Starting Tuesday.

We watched a Tina Fey film that was billed as a comedy, but wasn't a comedy.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (strange title) was its name and Fey tried her best and was pretty good in a role that demanded all of her range.  What few facial expressions she possesses were on full display, all three of them, bringing to mind what additional energy and complexity the role might contain had Kate Blanchett or someone at that level might have brought to the table.  I enjoyed the film much more than mom and Alice, who both fell asleep because it was so slow and dull. 

After the movie, we cleaned the kitchen, then went to bed. 

Day 1263

Friday, July 1, 2016

Worked all day, then met Alice at Market and Davies and took the bus to my place.  We had Arizmendi pizza for dinner.  We left at 7:30 and parked my car at AirPark, the go-to airport parking lot that's so convenient and responsive.  Our flight was from 9:30-11:20.  We picked up a rental car at Alamo and I drove to mom and Craig's about 40 miles away.  Even at midnight, the heat was uncomfortable.  We arrived around 1.  Mom and Craig were up and greeted us.  It was a quick weekend visit, the default for me I'm afraid for family trips for a while.  We had a quick bite to eat, then went to bed around 2.

Day 1262

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Woke up at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. Went to the gym at 5 and did the elliptical machine for 30 minutes.  Came home, took care of a few things, then headed to work.  The day was a little bit busy, but so far I haven't had any stressful situations at work.  It's all been very pleasant.  Mario has warned me about a couple of characters, but I'm not worried about them.  I'm not worried about anyone.  I'm not sure anyone could compare to my place job. 

At home, I called Anwar and spoke to his son Eshan, who won the Junior National Racquetball 8 and under division in Minnesota last week.  We have so many junior who played so well and dominated the tournament.  It's very exciting for our sport. 

Alice and I visit my mom this weekend, so I packed up, took care of our Southwest seats and did what I could until 10:15 when my eyes gave out and it was time for sleep. 

Day 1261

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Took it easy this morning working out.  Only 30 minutes on the machines, then showered, then home to take care of a few things and have breakfast.  Commute was simple.  I read up on a few programs at work, but aside from that it was pretty quiet. 

Day 1260

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Went to the doctor today for my hip.  I was impressed with the ease of seeing a doc and getting prescriptions at Kaiser.  Everything is right there on their Oakland campus at Broadway and MacArthur.  I came into work at 10:30 and worked until 6:30.  At 8, Chris and I talked for an hour, catching up on the past few weeks.  He was in Spokane, then drove to CA to visit Leo and Louanne.  He's finding the revisions to the second half of his new novel In the Duff a little bit tricky.  I'm sure he'll come up with the answers in due time.  After our convo, I spoke with Alice, then went to bed. 

Day 1259

Monday, June 27, 2016

Another Monday.  My attitude about this job is so good.  I really do like being part of the SF buzz, entering my big building on Market Street with my security card slapping against the side of my pocket.  There's a definite energy to working in the city that does not exist in Oakland.  It's really pretty great.  Work was pleasant.  I came home with all sorts of things to do, but didn't do any of them.  Too tired.