Year of the beard comes to an end


I heard Trump didn’t pick John Bolton as Secretary of State because he hates facial hair. So, on January 1st 2017, I stopped shaving and grew a real beard. I did keep it trimmed, but managed to keep the beard for a whole year.

Today, I shaved it off and now I feel totally out of place here in Norcal as every guy over 30 seems to have one. Also, it’s been a year, and the moron is still in office, though not much longer. Here’s to hoping shaving didn’t jinx anything.

642 things to write about


My Secret Santa got me a booked called “642 Tiny Things to Write About“. I thought Id use it as a way to get unstuck when writing blog posts.

The first two entries are:

  • Write yesterdays fortune cookie. It got everything wrong.
  • Write last years fortune cookie. It got everything right.

Im assuming some people have fortune cookies on New Year’s Eve. I don’t. So I’ll pretend I did. The last fortune I can remember was when I was a kid. It said, “Be kind to pigeons and they’ll make a statue of you.” I was probably about 8 at the time, so I thought it meant pigeons would build the statue, presumably out of turds.

If it got everything wrong
I picture the scene from “High Anxiety” whell Mel Brooks runs, but he can’t hide, from all the pigeons in the park. It’s a parody of “The Birds”. He seeks shelter in a shed, but they find a hole in the skylight.

If it got everythign right
I picture them erecting a statue of me in the park. I’d be wearing a DeKalb seed corn cap. When I was a kid, a pigeon shat on the bill of mine. All I heard was a loud tap, and felt the wet fresh plop. I eventually ripped the bill off that hat.

The Shape of Water


The last movie I saw in theaters was “Hidden Figures”. That means I don’t get out enough, or I won’t see anything unless it has Octavia Spencer in it. We checked out “The Shape of Water” at our local arthouse theatre. It’s one of those places that serves alcohol and food while you watch.

Overall, I dug the movie. It was Guillermo Del Toro had written, directed, and produced “Splash” meets “E.T.” The plot was predictable, but the scenery and attention to details recreating an early sixties cold war vibe worked. I especially liked the ratty apartment above the Balitmore theater Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins characters lived in.


Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer

As for the actors, Octavia Spencer’s character was a 60s cliché, Sally Hawkins was corny, but effective, and Richard Jenkins was a decent funny sidekick (I still can’t think of him as anything but the dad in Stepbrothers).

The best performance was Michael Shannon who just looks like he was drawn as a villain for a comic book.


Michael Shannon

The movie is worth seeing whether you like special effects or weird human on humanoid action.

Low-key New Years again


As has been the tradition, or norm, over the past couple years, we stayed in for New Years and made homemade pasta. This year, like last I made meatballs too.

The last time, we really made an effort to go out was 2000, and maybe a couple more after that.


Drying pasta on the laundry rack.


My homemade meatballs.

Our day was more interesting. We got a few things done around the house and I tried to take Sadie for a jog with little success. She wasn’t up for a steady pace, but she would sprint ahead if I threw a stick or chunk of bark. There’s a rodeo park in town we like to go to. I took her inside the barn and she loved running around in the spongy dirt.

Before dinner, we walked into town and grabbed a glass of champagne with the dogs. Since my school is never in any bowl games, I won’t be watching TV. So today will probably be a lot like yesterday.


Toasting in 2018 at 4:15

Quick afternoon hike


We took Sadie and the Westy out for more off-leash practice at Sycamore Grove. It’s the site of Olivina winery. It was one of the first in California.

One of my Christmas presents, already paid for itself as we had to jump the Westy to get home. I thought it was the starter, but I’m starting to think it’s something to do with the battery.

Sadie found a hole


Old walnut trees

Olive grove