Day 1564

Friday, April, 28, 2017

Kirk, Steve, Glenn at the gym for some fierce doubles this morning, then a quiet day at work.  Most folks weren't in the office, allowing me time to collect notes and rest.  I'm still aching, from fever or something else I'm not sure.  Took the nasty Chinese miracle tea and felt better.  We had a cocktail party in the afternoon and that was fun.  Came home, tidied up, then fell asleep around 9:30.  Off to SF tomorrow morning.

Day 1563

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Up at 7, slow moving, work at 8:16, coffee drinks, I had two, one too many.  I had the coffee jitters the rest of the day.  Read Barry Hannah during lunch and wrote letters in the afternoon.  At home I took care of a few chores and went to bed early in anticipation for tomorrow morning racquetball and the end of the week. Plan for novels:  Zombie Cookies, La Stravaganza, Millennium Tower, Julia Milan, True Colors, maybe in that order.  Ready to go!

Day 1562

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Racquetball this morning, though sore and groggy and not ready to get up...but I did.  Played well and worked through the soreness by not thinking about it.  Played longer than I needed to, and was out the gym door at 7:15.  Raced home, made my oatmeal, dressed, and reached SF and work by 8:20.  Had lunch with Alice at a Ramon restaurant at 101 California.  It was good, as was the cookie at Specialties.

Worked out some details on the wedding cruise, in particular the dining arrangements, which was helpful.  Came home, had dinner and watched a 45-minute ESPN episode of Gruden's QB Camp with Brett Favre, which I loved!  OMG, listening to Favre and Gruden talk offensive plays is like listening to a rich foreign language being spoken.  It was amazing!  Brett Favre was one of the most intense, enjoyable players ever to play the game, and listening to him and Gruden talk about plays from the past reminds me how ingrained these moments are in an athlete's life.  My dad can do the same thing about particular golf shots from years ago.  You can see how much fun Gruden is having with this 1st Round Hall-of-Famer, how much he's soaking in the camaraderie with such a respected peer.  Transformative episode in so many ways.  Whenever two tape rats talk shop, regardless of the subject matter, I'm listening.  Their play calls are music to my ears.

"I gotta do something that people go 'wow.'"
"Fox 2 X-Y Hook."
"South Right 7-2 Zebra Shallow Cross."


Day 1561

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Left Alice's at 7:20 and it was busy all day long.  I came home, had dinner, tried to do some chores but forget it. 

I was done, but not before watching 65 minutes of Louie CK.

Um....brilliant...funny as hell.  I've listened to comedians talk shop, and the key to so much of it is to say all the things you're not supposed to say and not only get away with it, but make people laugh.  This is Louis at his best.  This is amazing material.  AMAZING!  So wrong.  So funny.  I laughed throughout.  I love this guy.  I love how real he is.  I don't necessary love how disgusting he can be and obsessed with his own juices and fixations, but I sure admire his balls and chops and storytelling ability.  I haven't seen his show in a while and yearn for a season six. 

Nice job, Louis!  He's become a new kind of hero.

Day 1560

Monday, April 24, 2017

Made it to the gym at 5, got to work at 8:30, then it was straight work all day long.  Ugh!  Took 38x with Alice to Sunset and had a nice dinner with her.  I tried to take care of a few things but my mind was not functioning.  So I just veged until bed.

Day 1559

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Got up early and took care of a few chores, then played in a racquetball tournament in Alameda, my first in over a year.  It was a Reaching Your Dream fundraising tournament.  I won four games and lost three.  I beat a very good 14-year-old kid who will one day be an exceptional player.  He should have beat me but he let one slip away.  I lost in the semis.  Afterward, I went to Glenn and Amy's for their annual spring racquetball party.  It was a light turnout but a lot of fun hanging out with the guys.  I came home around 8:30 and went to bed.

Day 1558

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Drove to Alice's at 9, then went to Diamond Heights for jacuzzi, followed by lunch in Noe Valley, a small but cute sushi restaurant. 

Very good!  In the evening we met up with Bill and Vicki and had dinner with them at their favorite new place, Dim Sum Club.  Excellent sweet and sour pork.  We watched the first half of the Warriors game at their house, then went home and relaxed the rest of the evening. 

Day 1557

Friday, April 21, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m., a busy work day, then dinner with Richard, Lisa and Sophia at the Oakland Museum, followed by a few hours of poker at Mark Slater's house.  Won $13.

Day 1556

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Busy at work and sore from Tuesday.  Took care of wedding cruise details.  Took care of a short list of items.  Other than that, it felt like a non-day.

Day 1555

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I played early this morning to work out all the soreness in my legs.  That seemed to help.  I'm playing in a fundraising tournament on Sunday, so movement is good. The rest of the day, I moved around and took Advil.  Not too bad, but so much to do re editing, writing, investing.  The work never ends.

Day 1554

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Left an hour early at work and got ready for the big finals match at our club.  We started at 7 and I have to say, we both played a strong, smart match, but Noah came out on top.  Youth prevailed.  I ran out of gas midway through each match.  We had so many long rallies right at the beginning that I couldn't keep up with all the running.  It was frustrating, but there was nothing I could do.  Noah got everything.  He's very fast and covers the court well.  I'd love to have a rematch one of these days, but I'll need to train and build up my stamina.  Maybe I need to do Insanity again.

Day 1553

Monday, April 17, 2017

Work was uneventful.  I watched video of my racquetball opponent in the Finals tomorrow, Noah Johnson, the top player at Cal.  It should be a fun match.  I restrung one of my racquets in preparation, just in case my other Dark Star racquet breaks. 

Day 1552

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Alice wanted to go to Easter service across the street at Holy Name Church, so we went to 9:30 mass.  I hadn't been to mass in decades.  It's funny attending mass as an older person.  While I found everything familiar, I couldn't get beyond the utter nonsense and ridiculousness of the belief system.  It's just beyond what people will believe.  Everything sounded ludicrous, but I know you're not supposed to say things like that.  The truth is stardust, I'm afraid.  Staring in front of a statue of a man nailed to a cross was just plain bizarre.  I'm not into that at all and don't see myself attending mass again anytime soon, unless Alice wants to. 

It was rainy all day, so I hung at home and watched the Warriors game while Alice visited her friend Amy.  We went to the hot tub on Diamond Heights and had dinner at a local Chinese restaurant which was pretty good.  I did a few things before bed, then lights out at 10. 

Day 1551

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spent the day in Los Altos with Alice's cousin Elaine.  Elaine's family has a new dog, Hazel, who's friendly and sweet, but can't handle seeing other dogs.  We went for a dog walk and Hazel about had a heart attack.

The Lees also have a bird, Mr. Baby, who was awfully fond of Alice.

We always eat well at Elaine and Wayman's house. 

We stayed until past midnight.  The moment I came home, I brushed my teeth and hit the hay.

Day 1550

Friday, June 14, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m., playing singles with Steve and Kirk and preparing for the big match Tuesday with Noah.  It should be a good matchup.  I have a couple tricks up my sleeve, but I know it'll be a slugfest.  He's been playing well lately.  Work was quiet again, which was really nice.  I took a nice walk to the Ferry Building at lunch and had bread and cheese and a mocha while sitting on a park bench enjoying the view.

I came home after work, did a load of laundry, tidied up, then went over to Richard and Lisa's before heading off to SF.  Lisa had just gotten back from three weeks in Utah where her dad passed away.  I heard all about the process involved, the ups and downs of the memorial and everyone's reactions, especially Lisa's sister, who didn't sound like she was at her best.  It was a wonderful visit.  Miles got a new banjo!

I arrived at Alice's at midnight, dead tired but looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Day 1549

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It was slow at work, so I watched this film called A Flood in Baath Country, made in 2003, about a Syrian dam built in the 1960s and featuring several scenes with students in classrooms.  It's in an eye-opening take on the institutionalized molding of young students to the Syrian regime.  They're taught to love regime first, Syria second.  Loyalty is above all things.

I had my semi-final racquetball match tonight against Ron, who is now a proud papa with a baby girl named Rory.  Ron was tired and considering forfeiting the match, but I encouraged him to show up and play for Rory's sake.  He came and we played.

For some strange reason, I've been playing really well this week and have been very focused in my play.  That's what happened Tuesday against Steve and it happened again tonight.  I beat Ron 15-13, 15-10, putting me in the playoffs for the time in two or three years.  I never thought that would happen again.  Tyrone lost his semi-final match to Jonah, a young Cal player who's friends with Ron.  He's very good and I have my hands full Tuesday night, but we'll see what happens.  I like playing at home with the home crowd cheering me on.

My serves were strong tonight and Ron missed a few shots and lacked a certain focus, which was also Steve's problem.  I didn't make too many mistakes tonight and my focus was really on.  My shots were accurate and I made Ron do a lot of running.  We'll see if I can keep it up another few days.  I feel as if I've already won, beating both Steve and Ron in match play in the same week!  These two are amazing players, so I must have something going for me in order to beat them both without going to a tiebreaker.

Came home and celebrated with a burrito.  Now it's bed time.

Day 1548

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I didn't go to the gym this morning.  Instead, I slept in until 6:30.  I sent emails to Princess Cruises about the cruise wedding in September 2018 and re-read a few pages from Burning Country, the Syria book I checked out last week.  Syria still weighs on my mind.  How does a country recover from all the atrocities that have happened to it these past six years?  I don't know the answer to that.  I'm not sure anyone knows.  Construction on the Transbay terminal continues.  I'm so excited about this terminal.  It's enormous and will look so cool when complete.  It already looks cool!

Day 1547

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Up at 6, left SF at 7:15 and worked until 5.  Reasonable day.  Had my first playoff match at 7 against the reigning champ, Steve.  He was in Hawaii all last week, so I was hoping he was still on Hawaii time.  I hadn't beaten Steve in a league match in a while, but I was injury free and had nothing to lose.  I was ready to enter the zone.  Steve started strong and was ahead 1-8, then I served an ace and brought everything up a notch or two.  I came back and beat him in the first game 15-9.  Steve was frustrated.  He was missing shots he usually gets and was having trouble with my serves.  In the second game, I kept up the intensity and beat him 15-3 for a huge upset victory.  I had the upper hand in the mental game and sometimes that makes all the difference.  Ambush successful!  I play Ron Thursday night in the semis while Tyrone and Noah duke it out in the other semi-final match. 

Day 1546

Monday, April 10, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m., then work, then to Alice's where Kathryn and Tom joined us for the evening.  They were in Napa for the weekend visiting friends.  I took N Judah and stopped off at Irving for San Tung chicken wings.  Alice made rice and vegetable and Kathryn brought wine.  It was wonderful evening catching up.  We chatted until ten, then time for bed.

Day 1545

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Woke up at 4:30 and came home to pick up bedding for Kathryn and Tom tomorrow, and also do a few chores.  Drove back to SF at 10.  We went to Alice's grandparent's grave in Colma and paid our respects, then had lunch in South San Francisco at a restaurant that makes good dumplings and soy milk with donut.  We got groceries, then came home and relaxed the rest of the day. 

Day 1544

Saturday, April 8, 2017

In SF all day, reading more about Syria and watching YouTubes on the war and Aleppo in particular.  Talked to Gwen in the afternoon.  She picked up her car in Seattle.  She did not interact with Greg, though he was hoping to do so.  She didn't take the bait, which was a huge step in the right direction.  Alice, Austin and I watched the Jason Bourne film on Apple TV.  Alice loves the Jason Bourne films and over-the-top action/adventure stories, which is kind of funny, seeing as she's not into violence of any kind.  Maybe when it's not real, she can tolerate it.

Day 1543

Friday, April 7, 2017

We went to see Dr. Chan, Alice's doctor, to get an assessment of her hip, which is still causing her a lot of pain.  Dr. Chan took and x-ray and everything was healing properly, which was good.  He said pain and physical healing aren't necessary connected, and it could take another three months before the pain subsides.  If Alice's pain is still with her by the end of July, they'll explore other therapies for her.  With Alice in so much pain, our China trip in May may be cancelled.

I arrived at work around 11:30 and apparently there was a little bit of drama with rush documents going out and someone needing my assistance.  Everything was fine by noon and the rest of the day was quiet.  

Day 1542

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I slept in until 6:20, then did my thing until the end of work, when I took the N-Express bus to Alice's.  We're going to see her doctor tomorrow, so I'm here in SF.  

Day 1541

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m.  With Steve gone, it was a quiet day.  Glenn, Kirk, and I played singles with each other for an hour.

At work, Mario and I went to a PowerPoint training class today, which was loads of fun.  We learned a few things.  I enjoy Danielle's classes.

After work, I went out to dinner with with Lillian, Jessica and Robin, who's retiring at the end of the month.  We went to Le Cheval and had a great time telling stories, laughing and eating good food. I had calamari and fresh vegetables.  It was very good.

I made it home by 9 and talked with Chris for an hour.  We talked about the state of the world, Syria, Russia, Trump, the loss of moral high ground among our political leaders and what Trump might do, if anything, about the chemical attack that killed all those children.  It's a dark time in the world and the US isnt able to champion certain things anymore.

Not doing anything suggests tyrants like Bashar al Assad can get away with launching chemical gas attacks on civilians.  When there are no consequences for such behavior, it seems to put chemical weapons on the table for anyone to use.  I think that's wrong.  I'm not sure what we can do about things, but I do want some kind of response for Tuesday's attack.  It's just wrong.  Gas attacks are so vile, especially when children are involved.  The Syrian conflict goes on and there seems no end to the madness.  Meanwhile, Trump continues to blame and provoke Obama, blaming him for the Syrian conflict.  That isn't helpful.

How will history judge Obama not acting on his red line remark when Assad used chemical weapons against a Damascus suburb in 2013?  Assad's outlandish use of chemical weapons again seems to be a potential mistake that he might live to regret one day.  He's testing western sensibilities.  We'll see what happens next.

Day 1540

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Work was busy today.  I read there was an assumed chemical attack in Syria, which is amazing to me considering these attacks are still going on.  I don't know the details but if it's true, it feels like a big mistake by the Syrian gov't.  We'll see.

Day 1539

Monday, April 3, 2017

Up at 4, racquetball at 5, work at 8:30.  Mario was back at work today after a two month family leave.  It was nice to see him.  I had lunch with Rossana at one of the open space buildings on California, 6th floor.  It was a nice spot to eat lunch and not crowded at all.  Finished reading Burning Country, so my mind is on Syria and what could have been done to prevent the complete disaster facing that country. 

Day 1538

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I read most of the day.  We had a wonderful dinner at 6, watched 60 Minutes at 7, then played two games of cribbage before bed.  I like these kinds of weekends.

Day 1537

Saturday, April 2, 2017

Went to Costco, got gas, then bought meat, curtains, batteries, pizza and a hot dog.  I went to the library after noon and picked up a book on Syria called Burning Country. It's very detailed about the Syrian conflict and several personalities from throughout the country.  It gives a good overview of the situation.

The regime has been oppressive from the beginning.  Syria will be Obama's worst international blunder.  I think after reading this book that some kind of response should have occurred when Assad used sarin gas in the 2013 attack in a Damascus suburb.  The country is destroyed and I'm not sure how things will improve.  Assad is in power indefinitely.  Thanks to Russia and Iran, he's firmly in power and won the civil war.  Sad, because this guy is a monster.

Watched Bill Maher in the evening and went to bed soon after.  A quiet weekend, my favorite kind!