12-30-07 (21:35)
  • did a lot of cleaning and organizing today; that's always a good thing.
  • seen almost 320 movies this year. i've had a strong december to make up for some weak months.
  • currently working on the top 10 of the year. meryl's done with her's and mine is in the finishing stages. that said, i think i'm going to give the list a week's worth of grace time to catch a couple flicks that deserve consideration.

  • 12-29-07 (12:58)

  • worked every day this week except christmas. don't think i'll go in today. got the main chunk of the slate project done, but there's lots left to do. the good thing is that i think i've come up with a suitable method for approaching the remaining sections. i'm almost out of slate, though, so i'll have to hunt for some more suitable pieces for the project.
  • still broke, but some xmas money and working during the week that the alumni house was closed will help. should be able to pay off the credit card by the time the bill comes.
  • the asu/texas game was another pac-10 disappointment. i went into this year thinking that the pac-10 was the second best conference in the country (behind the sec). at one point i even thought that the pac-10 was as good as the sec. both the sec and the pac-10 ended up being worse than i thought. around the time cal fell apart, so did my hopes for pac-10 dominance. ucla lost to teams like utah and notre dame, usc lost to stanford, oregon lost dixon which changed them from the best team in the nation to a team that lost three straight games without him. oregon state was somewhat of a surprise, but i expected them to be pretty good before the season started. asu was a nice surprise during the year, but proved to be overrated. we're 0-2 in the bowl games. i haven't seen the emerald bowl yet, it's on the tivo which is now at meryl's dad's. i'm trying to avoid learning the score of the game so i can watch it later tonight.

  • 12-24-07 (23:47)

  • christmas eve doesn't have the same allure and anticipation that it once did. such is life.
  • scraping by isn't fun.
  • went to the alumni house to work on the slate patio. may go again tomorrow, we'll see. definitely will return on wednesday, though, to see if i can make some major headway on the project that won't end.

  • 12-23-07 (23:48)

  • worked a bit today at the alumni house on the slate patio project. think i've found a good solution for the worst part of it so that's good. more will be known tomorrow though. also did some painting there yesterday; it was a small painting project and i don't mind those so much. actually this slate patio is going to keep me busy this week while the alumni house is closed and that'll bring some much needed dough next time i get paid.
  • saw three movies in the theater today. worked out pretty well, saved some money, got to check three flicks off the list.
  • ucla/byu game was good, but had a disappointing outcome. blocked kick with time expiring. 1% chance that happens. the worst thing is that a million mormons in utah thanked the good lord for reaching down and changing the trajectory of the ball; and they believe that's what actually happened. goddamn fucking byu.
  • niner game today was good. they won and that's nice, but i can't help but feel like the win wasn't for real since tampa brought in their second stringers half way through the game. nevertheless, the niners put together some nice plays and i was encouraged by their defense. the qb position needs to be completely scrapped. alex smith hasn't shown me much thusfar and i'm not on the shaun hill bandwagon either. half the writers and commentators in the bay area think mike nolan should be fired and half think that shaun hill is the second coming of christ and the third half think the whole team is in the shitter. i'm a member of the fourth half because i believe that nolan should stay, hill is so-so and they need an offensive coordinator who can call a decent game.

  • 12-18-07 (14:37)

  • two-lane blacktop is a good movie and i was happy to hear a while back that it is coming to criterion in the near future, however i wouldn't ever pay the $200+ that it was going for on dvd before criterion made their announcement.

  • 12-18-07 (12:09)

  • sweet ride.
  • don't like the rain. snow is great. don't mind it being cold, but rain and wind are crap. maybe i'd rather live in a place like ohio where winter brings snow and very cold weather, rather than just overcast skies and rain. nothing fun about that.

  • 12-17-07 (13:19)

  • no work today or tomorrow. worked saturday. will work wed-sat this week. could use the money, but also like the time off to get things done. reviewed a bunch of movies, going to cut my hair, going to drop the bug off for some servicing, and cleaned up a bit.
  • huckabee seems to have momentum lately. perhaps it's because of his religous credentials, something i thought would give mccain an advantage (because he was courting falwell et al) over romney and giuliani in the early states, esp. south carolina where he lost to bush in 2000. some conservatives think that huckabee is a dem's dream, though, because he'd be easy competition. this is one reason why i like listening to what the crazies are saying.

  • 12-14-07 (14:49)

  • the stock market is just legalized gambling; it's also bipolar. this wouldn't bother me if people acknowledged this fact and didn't put so much importance in its daily whims. it's been up to about 14,000 and down below 13,000 in the last month or so and every day people make a big deal about point swings. up 150 one day, down 180 the next. nit-picking over fed rate cuts, or not. bad earnings reports from a couple companies, etc. it's silly.

  • 12-11-07 (00:58)

  • never enough time or money to get everything done.
  • maybe i need to stay up late more often so i can get everything done.
  • went to la. had some really good greek food. saw my family. saw john. picked up the bug. drove it out of the mechanic's garage (after handing him $1400 in cash) and it died as i pulled onto the street. tried to start it back up to no avail. figured i flooded the engine so i waited and tried again. nothing. walked over to mechanic and told him what happened. he was surprised. looked at car and found loose wire. fixed problem, all has been well since. close call, thought i was going to have to kill someone. all told the car has cost me over 2k when you take into account the bills from both mechanics, the new battery, the lost wages, the new club, the john muir book (the other john muir) "how to keep your volkswagen alive," gas, etc. that said, it's up here and running well. need to take it into the shop one more time to get the oil changed and valves adjusted. normally i'd do both those things, but the engine's warranty is void if that doesn't happen within 600 miles so i want to get some documentation to that effect.
  • lots of stuff to do these days. i hate all the maintenance that goes on in life - haircuts, nail clipping, oil changes, grocery shopping, bill paying. i'd much rather trade all that for seed planting, harvesting, milking, slaughtering, raking, plowing, fence building, etc.
  • completely broke again. i was doing well for a month or so. xmas is killing me too. haven't done any shopping for others and the alumni house is closed from dec. 22 to jan. 1. might be able to swing some hours during that break to work on a couple bigger projects, though. so, while i won't get my full 20 hours/week during that time, i should be able to obtain a few hours to keep the ship afloat.
  • need more freelance work. need more skills and tools and contacts. taking a class next semester at laney should help a small bit with the skills. the americorps money might help with money for tools. establishing contacts is sorta happening slowly.
  • cleaned out the bug today. all my sister's stuff is gone. next step is giving it a proper cleaning inside and out to restore some of its self-confidence. after that i hope to prep for carpet and then install some good loop carpeting. i'll also fix up some of the minor interior touches like finally giving it some sun visors, a new rearview mirror, correctly installing the stereo i took from the corrado, installing a new glove compartment, and replacing some lost/broken knobs/hardware. that stage should take a few months and require under $500 assuming i do it all myself (which i will) and nothing goes horribly wrong.
  • the drive up was good. it drove as well as it has since i've had it which makes sense since the engine was essentially rebuilt. it took me 9 hours because i stopped 4-5 times to give it some time to cool off. during that 9 hours i didn't have any music (because the stereo that's in there doesn't have a face plate) so it was a fairly boring drive up the 101. the 101 is better for a few reasons, but, considering how well it did, i probably should have taken i-5. along the 101 the hills are less drastic than those through the grapevine. the gas is cheaper. the service stations are more frequent (important to consider when driving a car that might break down). the air is cooler (important when driving an air-cooled engine).
  • note: i was formerly impressed by the first mechanic i took the bug to because he could tell that i wasn't using 20w-50 oil in the bug just by listening to it. in fact, the noise he heard was loose rivets on the camshaft. i took the box of old engine parts and looked at the camshaft...i'm no longer impressed.

  • 12-5-07 (22:36)

  • november was a down month for movie watching. gotta get my shit back together to finish the year strong and reach the annual 300 movie goal.
  • busy as usual. did some work for my aunt this week. the alumni house has been busy as well.
  • going to la to pick up the bug on friday. if all goes well i'll pay for it that afternoon and drive it up to oakland on sunday. after that the restoration begins. i plan on starting on the inside and working my way out.

  • 12-3-07 (21:56)

  • j.a. andande and mike wilbon have both echoed my sentiments that hawaii deserves to be in the national championship game.
  • adrian peterson is insanely good when healthy. if he played every game for the next 12 years he'd have all the important running back records and would surpass barry sanders, emmitt smith, and jim brown as the best running back of all-time. however, he's probably going to only have a few good years and a lot of injury problems along with a crappy quarterback that won't be able to give him any space.
  • karl dorrell is gone from ucla. that sucks. i'd upgrade the defensive coordinator and bring in a new guy there. i'd also like to bring in troy aikman as a qb coach with the idea of grooming him for offensive coordinator (because the current one sucks) and possibly head coach eventually.

  • 12-2-07 (20:40)

  • ucla lost to texas today. it was a close game and texas got a lucky win so i'm not too broken up about it. augustin took a shot as he was going out of bounds and he airballed it. luckily one of his big men was in position and turned the miss into a dunk. the ap saw it differently than i: "With Darren Collison guarding him, Augustin gave up the ball to James in the low post." um, no, not at all. it was an airball and james did a good job of following up the shot. but to say that augustin "gave up the ball" as if he had planned it is a stretch. mbah a moute had a shot to win the game as the clock expired, but he missed it. a fun game. ucla was down by 12 at the half and they fought back as they always do so, again, i'm not too depressed about it.

  • 12-2-07 (09:47)

  • regarding the espn stat that usc beat only 2 winning teams this season compared to some sec teams that beat 5 or 6...first of all, usc beat 3 teams with a winning record: oregon state, oregon and arizona state. second of all, usc went into the season with a tough looking schedule - a lot of road games against good teams like cal, nebraska, oregon, asu, and notre dame. and a tougher non-conference schedule (nebraska and notre dame) than most sec teams. lastly, sec teams rack up easy victories against cupcake teams like troy, western kentucky, florida atlantic, miss state, la tech, tulane, middle tennessee, new mexico state, tennessee tech, and a slew of other crappy teams. after racking up easy victories they look like they have a bunch of good teams so that when they play in-conference games both teams look as though they're winners so even the loser of the matchups of games like auburn/lsu or florida/georgia, look as though they're really good. in the pac-10 everyone plays everyone. usc plays everyone in the pac-10 as does stanford, cal, ucla, asu, etc.

  • 12-1-07 (22:44)

  • well, #1 and #2 lost again this week. if hawaii pulls out the win vs. washington and i had a vote i'd vote osu #1 and hawaii #2. fuck lsu, va tech and everyone else. hawaii would be undefeated and i think that's more impressive than two losses and a couple close wins, which is what lsu has. georgia and kansas are ranked higher than lsu, but they didn't win their conference or division so putting them in doesn't seem right. espn showed a stat that usc has only beaten two teams with a winning record this year. that's somewhat surprising, but i think a testament to the fact that the pac-10 really beat itself up this year. cal tanked big time. oregon beat up everyone and then lost the mvp in the country and went 0-3.
  • my guess is that it'll be osu and lsu, but i could see it being any of those teams in the top 7 that didn't lose today.

  • 12-1-07 (20:00)

  • good usc game today. karl dorrell is on the hot seat, but i hope he's around to coach ucla next year. he's a good coach/recruiter and seems to be a solid guy. the knock on him is his coaching down the stretch, but you gotta cut the guy a bit of a break because the usc game is always the last game of the year for ucla, and losing to them has been a foregone conclusion the last 6 years. this year he lost his two best qbs and the starting rb, as well as a few other players. yes, they should have done better against teams like utah and notre dame, but i still think they should give him another year. usc's offense looked so-so today, their defense looked great as usual. they allowed 7 points, but it came on a great catch at the end of the half when i think their guard was down a bit.
  • i expect arizona to give asu a run for their money today. az is a bit underrated and asu is a bit overrated.
  • i'm watching the missouri game right now and it's 0-0. my guess is that oklahoma will win which means osu would play west virginia (assuming wva beats pitt, which isn't necessarily going to happen in spite of what all the prognosticators are saying). i would like to see an osu/usc matchup because i think osu's defense is the only defense in the country as good as usc's. i think that one would be a 21-17 type of game.
  • a lot has been said agains the bcs system lately. i'm the first to admit it's flawed and difficult to understand, but i'm not at all in favor of a playoff of any sort. this is coming from someone who would have loved to see usc play lsu in 2003 when they shared the national title. i also would love to see usc, who is playing well right now, have a chance to go up against cupcake teams like kansas this year. so despite it benefitting my favorite football team, i still don't like the idea of a playoff in college football and there are a couple reasons why: many proponents of a playoff system (usually 4 or 8 teams) say "every other sport has a definitive champion, college football should too." they see the uniqueness of the college football format as a weakness; i see it as a strength. no other major american sport has a system like college football and i think it affords a unique experience which also heightens the regular season games. this is a major component for me as a fan of college football - in what other sport does every gametruly matter the way it does in college football? the answer is undoubtedly none. even in the nfl, where only 16 regular season games are played, you can enter the race for the championship having lost half your games. the nba doesn't start getting interesting until the last month of the season. the same could be said for hockey or baseball.
  • i'm not saying that the bcs is without it's problems. i've been a supporter of smaller conferences since my mind was changed a couple years ago when i took notice of boise state. i think strength of schedule should be a smaller compenent of the computer's rankings, and hawaii this year and boise state last year are perfect examples of why this is true. the truth is that the big ten and big 12 aren't as good as most people think and the wac isn't as bad as almost everybody thinks. the bcs did a good job when it decided to not calculate the top 25 until the fifth week or whatever it is. the old way of ranking teams from week one gave too much consideration to the big schools like osu, usc, michigan, florida, lsu, etc. i think the ap would be wise to hold their rankings until the third week or so as well. this year it was proven that the experts don't know what the fuck they're talking about anyway. ucla, nebraska, louisville, rutgers and florida state were ranked, kansas, oregon, bc, asu, illinois, and missouri were not. so, the bcs needs tweaking, yes, but i don't want a playoff. the other thing about a playoff is that no one will ever be happy. which four or eight teams would you have in a playoff this year? it's not any more clear than who should be #1 or #2 under the bcs system. the current system is unique and allows for a year that is filled with drama and meaningful games.

  • 11-30-07 (15:39)

  • got off of work early today.
  • got a new dvd burner the other day. the old one i had was slow and inconsistent. if you want it, it's yours. i also have another dvd reader and a floppy drive if anyone's interested. getting a new harddrive soon too.
  • been changing my flight schedule on a nearly daily basis. at first i was going to fly down to la tomorrow, then it was a week from tomorrow and now it's a week from today. flying down next friday is best because it'll allow me to meet the mechanic, pay him in person, and get a cash discount. it also makes the weekend a little less compact. i'll still get some work in that day at the alumni house, too, so that's always good since i'm as broke as ever.
  • my theory is that life is pain, it's just a matter of what kind and when it happens. for example, you can choose voluntary pain in the form of working out and self-denial in your eating habits, or you can have the pain forced upon you in the form of a heart attack and achy joints because you weigh too much. no matter what, though, you're going to hurt. i think it's the same way with money to an extent. you can scrimp and save and always feel bad for spending money, or you can spend money recklessly and then feel like shit when rent's due and you don't have any money.
  • enrolled for a class at laney college this week. also applied to get my americorps reward. that would be nice because it would more than cover the cost of school and supplies. on top of the americorps reward i submitted a form that allowed for my school fees to be waived since i was (well) below the poverty line for the last tax year.
  • i'm currently mulling over my class options. there are a few classes i'm interested in, two of them would require my not working on either monday or tuesday and the other two would take up tuesday and thursday evening. i'd rather take the ones that run all day monday or all day tuesday, but then i wouldn't be able to work as much and have as much money for bills, food, projects, etc. there's just not enough time in a week and not enough money in my bank to do what i'd like while pleasing everyone at the same time.
  • worked at a house today that had some major water, ant and foundation issues. the foundation is probably strong enough to not work, but there's a lot of cracking. water's seeping into the house and causing rot and mold issues galore. to top it all off there were about 100,000 ants living in the cracks in the foundation and the gaps of the rotted wood. a harmless reflooring job turns into a major issue so quickly. kinda reminds me of my new car which is now going to cost me $1400.
  • went to the city of oakland parking permit division the other day. saw a sign posted above a copy machine that read: "this copy machine is for city of oakland department of parking and permits employees only." i found it to be a perfect symbol or microcosm of governmental waste. where "do not use" or "employees only" or "employee use only" would have done perfectly well, then went with "this copy machine is for city of oakland department of parking and permits employees only." while i was there i overheard someone who took issue with the permitting policy of the city. he rents a room from an old lady and she takes care of the utilities for a flat rate of $75/month. sounds harmless enough, but to the city this means that he is unable to get a parking permit for his new car. he doesn't have a utilities bill to prove residency so he's s.o.l. a rental agreement is okay in a pinch, apparently, but they try to only use those during the first couple months of a person's occupancy. but since their rental agreement was something they just scratched on a piece of note paper and he's been living there for 11 months, that wasn't good enough. this is one of many ways in which the government's cookie cutter regulations annoy the shit out of people who don't live perfectly typical lives.

  • 11-26-07 (22:55)

  • luke correctly pointed out that illinois, not michigan, would get the rose bowl in the event that osu went to the national title game. that would be more exciting than michigan/usc again. illinois is good and has one of the better running backs in the country; then again, mike hart is even better. i'm liking the short running backs these days.
  • looks like the bug is in need of an engine overhaul possible rebuild. we'll see how bad it is tomorrow when the mechanic cracks open the engine and looks at the heads and everything else. worst case scenario i'm out a month's salary. at first i was very depressed by this, then i realized that it cost just as much to get the struts done on the camry so it's a relative bargain. of course it sucks to spend money when you'd rather spend it on making the car look good again, but the main priority is getting it running well and a rebuild would certainly do that. i think it's needed major work for a while now so i guess it's not a complete surprise. if it's something complex then i won't be flying down to see the usc game and pick it up. if it's something simple then i will. if it does turn out to be the worst case scenario then i'll end up working this weekend for don which will help offset the costs somewhat.
  • it's important to know that my lot in life is that nothing will ever be simple or cheap and i'll never be rich enough that those things won't be an issue. the sooner i accept it, the easier my life will be.
  • i think i should have been born a farmer or something similar. my mentality is to work hard and subsist. i'm not motivated by profit, i'm motivated by living a comfortable, stress-free and simple life. having two jobs and two cars is definitely a departure from the rest of my life in that regard.
  • i wonder if it's better for the environment to buy a new hybrid or simply stick with your old, less efficient car. it takes so much energy and resources to make a new car that i wonder how long you'd have to have it to make it beneficial environmentally and economically. i also wonder about the long term concerns of the increased number of batteries. i know they recycle them, but i wonder what that process entails. california charges $10 when you buy a new battery which you can get back if you bring in your old battery. hopefully this practice is adopted by all states because discarded batteries are pretty bad stuff.
  • saw a bumper sticker the other day that read "heroes drive hybrids." heroes are apparently 1) drivers 2) relatively well off.

  • 11-25-07 (22:24)

  • can't wait to get the bug up here and get to work on fixing it up. going down to la next weekend to pick it up. looks like i'll be able to catch the final usc game of the season while i'm there too.
  • a bit surprised by the bcs rankings that came out today. i thought that west virginia would edge out missouri, but if you look at the score you can see that they're very close to each other. i'm also surprised to see asu drop so much after their loss. i thought there was actually a chance they would be ahead of usc, despite usc beating them. this thought was actually confirmed in the computer rankings which has usc at #10 and asu at #9. luckily the human polls have usc at #9 which makes sense because a human can factor in one of the losses coming with the backup qb and the other coming when the starting qb broke his finger and half the offensive line was injured. so if teams in the top 8 win out then it'll be missouri vs. west virginia for the national championship. however, i think the oklahoma could definitely "upset" missouri in the big 12 championship. in which case the championship would be west virginia vs. osu. which would then make the rose bowl between usc (if they beat ucla) and (probably) michigan (again). usc played (and beat) michigan in 2003-4 and 2006-7. another rematch would be fairly boring, even though the rosters are different and usc vs. michigan is somewhat of a rose bowl tradition (it's occurred 8 times in rose bowl history). i think that usc has a better chance of beating michigan, but i also don't like the idea of the same matchup three times in 5 years. we'll see what happens.
  • hawaii is unbeaten and is ranked behind florida which has three losses. i know all about strength of schedule, but i think hawaii (and the WAC in general) is better than people are giving them credit for. boise state beat oklahoma last year. hawaii beat boise state this year and played well when they were healthy; give them some respect.

  • from the usc/cal game a couple weeks ago:

    11-23-07 (11:06)
  • the milsap vs. trinity game that ended in 15 laterals that eventually led to a touchdown is clearly the most unlikely finish in college football. a couple years ago there was a michigan/nebraska game that was just as amazing, but the final man was tackled by the last defender who was paying attention. the things that separate the cal/stanford game "play" are: the historical rivalry, the radio call by joe starkey, and the band being on the field. those three things are why that play (which had a third as many laterals) will always be more impressive than something like the milsap vs. trinity play. i guess another thing that separates the cal/stanford play is all the controversy. stanford fans dispute a few of the calls, one is a technicality, one is a tackled player and one is an illegal forward pass. they even change the games outcome on the stanford axe plaque whenever it is in their possession. i've also heard that many of their publications keep the final score of that game as 20-19 stanford. the other thing that occurs to me about that play is the stupidity of the stanford team. they were down 19-17 and called a timeout with 8 seconds left to attempt a field goal, which they made. standard practice now is to wait until there is 3-4 seconds left so that the field goal attempt is the final play of the game. maybe this game made that practice the standard. sucks for them.

  • 11-22-07 (21:19)

  • usc game was good. they played a very good game and got a great outcome. there were still discipline/penalty problems and they didn't run the ball all that well, but their defense played a great game and booty had one of his best games. special teams essentially allowed 14 points - 7 on a punt return and a short field on a blocked punt. asu responded well to usc's initial push and then usc went on a 27-0 run to basically seal the game. now usc needs to finish the season by beating a tough ucla team. if they do then they'll have a share of the pac-10 championship. if oregon loses (to ucla or oregon state) then usc would get the rose bowl vs. osu. that would be a tough tough challenge for usc's offense which looked as good as it has all year. they've yet to put together a great, balanced game on offense. their routing of nebraska was basically all on the ground and this victory was all through the air. i think there's a good chance asu will lose to an underrated arizona team. zona almost beat usc and did beat oregon. they lost to stanford two weeks after they beat usc. those second tier pac-10 teams (ucla, osu, arizona) have upset ability, so asu better watch out.
  • i also have to say that the game ball should go to steve sarkisian for finally calling a dynamic offensive game. this was by far the best game he's had as the offensive coordinator.
  • i don't know what this means for usc's ranking. they should move into the top ten and i think that the convincing 20 point victory will give them extra consideration in the human polls, but i don't know how high they can go. maybe #9, maybe higher if someone else in the top ten loses. #2 or #4 will lose since they play each other, but neither is likely to drop out of the top ten.
  • right now i think cal is out of a bowl game. if they beat stanford in the big game then they might be tied for sixth place which would mean a berth in the armed forces bowl; at least that's how it's supposed to go, but rivals.com has cal projected as a sun bowl participant. i'm not sure how that would happen. the sun bowl is supposed to be the #3 pac-10 team which is mathematically impossible for cal. the best they could do is tie for fifth so far as the conference record is concerned.
  • cal has to be the biggest turnaround/disappoint of this insane season. their defense has been consistently mediocre (generally allowing about 24 points a game), but their offense has let them down, scoring under 30 in all of their losses. this after scoring over 30 in their first five games when they were 5-0 and #2 in the nation.
  • the xo laptop is like an ibook in its design and simplicity, but it costs 1/10th as much. it's also got some unique features like being more energy efficient, is capable of being charged via a hand crank, and is very durable.

  • 11-22-07 (12:29)

  • there are four two loss teams that are more highly ranked than usc. i don't have a problem with oregon being on above usc, but i do have a problem with oklahoma. they lost to colorado and texas tech which is worse to me than losing to stanford and oregon. oklahoma lost their qb in the loss to texas tech, but usc basically lost their qb in the loss to stanford (booty broke his finger and then threw 4 interceptions in afterwards). considering the individual circumstances and that one of usc's losses was against the best offensive team in the country (oregon), i think usc should be ranked higher.
  • the pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, but all the teams play all the other teams so i guess they don't need one. however, when you look at a conference like the sec you see the advantage that comes with that extra game. it strengthens the schedule by pitting two of the better teams in the country against each other. for example, this year it might be oklahoma vs. kansas which would make two top 10 teams play each other and the winner of that game would be even more poised to be in the bcs game. the loser wouldn't really suffer because losing to another highly ranked team doesn't generally translate into a great slip in the polls. of course the final advantage is the fact that those teams will have played one more game than teams from the pac-10 or big-10. overall, i think it inflates the value of the conference.
  • looking forward to a few games this week - usc/asu, boise state/hawaii, missouri/kansas. i'm also hoping for losses from oregon, wv, and va tech.
  • i hate fox sports coverage. joe buck is a conservative idiot.
  • one of the nice things about using google search toolbar is that it automatically gives you some suggestions as you type in a search. so if you're searching for "sony" it will list other popular searches like "sony ericsson" or "sony vaio" or "sony psp." when i searched for eric mangini it came up with "eric mangini weight loss" and "eric mangini sucks." "eric mangini over-rated" should be on there too.

  • 11-22-07 (10:02)

  • watched a bit of the new producers movie. what crap. not sure why anyone liked it. it's good for two things: bringing awareness to the original and making you realize just how good zero mostel and gene wilder really were in the first one.
  • thank goodness for football and planes, trains, and automobiles on thanksgiving. big usc game today. they play on the road again. big test and the only way they'll get a shot at the rose bowl.
  • saw the ucla basketball game the other day. what a game. michigan state played better almost the entire game, but started missing some shots down the stretch. ucla played the way they have typically played under howland - long stretches without offensive production, but always staying in it with excellent defense and rebounding. i love watching this team play. kevin love is really solid fundamentally and can score anywhere on the court. when ucla gets collison and rolle back we'll be great again.

  • 11-17-07 (16:02)

  • not sure what to say about the pac-10. cal is losing to washington right now. longshore has thrown the ball well in the 4th quarter, but hasn't had help from the receivers. what's the deal with the playcalling of cal? 2nd and 15 when they're down by 14 with under 7 minutes to go and they call a sweep pitch to the backup running back? what the fuck is that? cal's defense took another step backwards as well. 37 points to washington without locker at qb. washington and stanford are the worst teams in the conference and they beat the teams that were expected to be the best teams in the conference. people at work are getting ready for the bowl game and were saying that the holiday or emerald bowl would be most likely. at this rate, cal will be lucky to make the armed forces bowl. the pac-10 is such an enigma to me. what a topsy turvy world.
  • big news of the day is that i sold the corrado. didn't get shit for it, but i'm happy it's gone and i think the guy who i sold it to will treat it well. i just realized that the car probably needs gas and that it needs a jump to get going. hopefully he filled it up and was able to get a jump. also forgot to get my old parking permit off the bumper.

  • 11-15-07 (22:43)

  • been as busy as ever lately. feels like i should be able to be less busy after i get a few things taken care of, but then a few more things come up. guess that's modern life. not sure i like it.
  • haven't had time to update the page or watch movies at all.
  • decided to go down to la for thanksgiving, only going to be there a couple days. then i'll come down again a week later to pick up the bug after leaving it at the mechanic for a while.
  • hope to get rid of the corrado before i bring the bug up.
  • need to change the oil for both the camry and the odyssey this weekend.
  • watched the democratic debate tonight, first one i've seen so far. i like biden as a secretary of state. kucinich would be good as an advisor, but i wouldn't want him as president. obama is good all-around. i've heard a lot about richardson, but i wasn't impressed with his ideas. the rest were also so-so. it's like college football - lots of mediocrity, no true greatness. looks like i'm still amongst the ranks of the undecideds. honestly i wouldn't mind an obama/clinton ticket. obama as the leader, optimist and visionary and clinton as the saavy political mind with connections and experience; it's necessary to have, but i wouldn't want her to be the head honcho as she is too beholden to corporate/special interests.
  • oregon lost today. dixon was out and stewart was out the last part of the game, but that didn't matter as much. i'm not sure if it's better for usc to have oregon lose or not. if oregon continued to win then they would compete for a chance at the national championship. kansas would probably need to lose, though, for them to get the #2 spot by the end of the year. if that happened (oregon winning out and kansas losing at least one game), and usc won out, then usc would be in the rose bowl. however, now that oregon has lost they join usc as two loss pac-10 teams. asu has one loss so they control their own right to the rose bowl at this point. honestly i'm not sure what happens if usc beats asu and there are three pac-10 teams with 2 losses. i think that would mean a three way pac-10 championship and the rose bowl committee would have the opportunity to choose whichever team they want. in that case they'd likely pick usc or oregon over asu. the pac-10 has really beat itself up this year. big 12 is looking better than i think anyone expected, but there's still a couple weeks left. i haven't seen any of their top teams play so i can't really comment.
  • oregon looked like the best team in the country to me. they had turnover problems in this game and their defense needed to be great, but wasn't. the defense actually only allowed 20 points (one td was a pick-six and the other was a punt return, both by cason), but needed to be even tougher since they lost dixon early. rough game to lose, but it happens. booty three four interceptions in the second half after he broke his finger so i understand the disappointment. brady leaf is an awful qb; guess it runs in the family.
  • "It's really unfair to pile on a college quarterback who is competing the way Nate is competing and who has done so much for us. I thought it was very big of Nate to shoulder the responsibility for the loss, but in no way, shape or form was it all on his shoulders." -Cal coach Jeff Tedford, defending Longshore, who struggled in a 24-17 loss to USC last week.
  • starting to get excited about college basketball. last night meryl and i went to a cal basketball game with her boss and his brother in law. an odd mix, but it wasn't altogether awkward in spite of her multiple warnings. hardin is good, but too full of himself. patrick christopher looked like cal's best player to me, but hardin is the one who's getting the hype. christopher is tough on both sides of the ball. southern miss was athletic and well-coached, they put up a good fight, even led by 6 at one point. hardin is sort of a "tweener;" that is, he's between positions when it comes to the nba. he plays like a big man and, at 6'8", is big enough in college to be a shot blocking threat and interior post presence, but i don't know that he'll translate in the nba. i don't think that he's really quick enough or good enough when facing the basket to conver to a small forward. he doesn't have the kind of outside shot that you see from other small forwards in the league and he doesn't have the size that you see from the good power forwards. i've only seen him play one game, but i don't think he'll do very well in the nba unless he's able to hone his rebounding and on the ball defense (he's already a good roaming, off the ball/help defender). i've read that he's expected to go in the first round of the draft next year which was a surprise to me. christopher is more of an nba player to me. he's 6'5", seems mature, quick enough, a good defender and just a sophmore. he needs to continue to work on the fundamentals - his shot, finishing around the basket, and seeing the floor, but i think he's got a bigger upside than hardin.

  • 11-13-07 (18:05)

  • it seems that many cal fans have laid the blame for saturday's game on longshore. in reading the daily cal newspaper and talking with cal football fans, it seems that longshore is liked when he's good and hated when he makes mistakes. conversely, when riley made a bone-headed play to lose the game against osu, fans were more critical of tedford for not taking the field goal than of riley for running instead of throwing the ball away. i don't care about longshore, but it's lame to make him the scapegoat. what about the defensive line for not stopping chauncey washington? what about the defense for recovering only two of the four usc fumbles? how about the 1st and 2 they had in the 2nd quarter which only turned into 3 points because of a false start on second down? booty has had problems this year and carroll made the adjustments against cal by limiting his attempts and putting more of the burden on the o-line and washington. the bottom line is that it's a team sport and it's never as simple as one person fucking up. i noticed in that game that hawkins played in the slot quite a bit and that he was generally covered by safeties or linebackers, which accounts for some of his big game. on the other hand, if it wasn't for his diving catch, longshore wouldn't have had any touchdowns in that game.
  • some people/factors that i feel were more to blame for bush beating gore in 2000 than ralph nader. i came up with these in about ten minutes while driving from la the other week. there are probably more: gore, lieberman, katherine harris, rove, bush, cheney, bill clinton's sex scandals, butterfly ballot, tipper gore's social conservatism, gore's handlers, sandra day o'connor and the other assholes on the supreme court who ruled against gore, jeb bush, fox news, james baker, david boies, god.
  • there was some radio piece on the radio that was talking about a book by some guy who tries to deconstruct popular sports by pointing out that winning formulas aren't adapted because they're not very marketable. it was somewhat intriguing, until i started thinking about it. his examples were the supposed facts that a baseball team could have a team of midgets that would make it impossible for the opposition to throw strikes (because of the reduced strike zone). his other example was the fact that no hockey team had ever hired an extremely obese goalie. in the baseball case a midget team wouldn't have the fielding prowess, speed or power that a normal sized team does. they would have to be in the american league because they would have problems pitching. overall, it just wouldn't work. the obese goalie idea wouldn't work either. even with the pads, though, he probably wouldn't be big enough to block the entire goal so he would still need to make some stops on his own. he'd be slow and in poor shape; unable to make saves on slapshots coming at him at upwards of 100 mph. he probably wouldn't be able to withstand the rigors of a full season either. the best goalies in the league are actually very fit guys, not overweight at all, and they save over 90% of the shots they see.
  • bought my first mp3 album today. buying the cd would have cost $111.60, so i opted for the digital version.

  • below are two pictures i drew a long time ago. the clown picture was drawn in 3rd grade, not sure about the first one. these are bad photos, but you get the idea.
    a snowman with earmuffs and candy in his pocket. also in his pocket is a package labeled "steak." not sure why he's carrying steak with him.

    clearly drawn by a disturbed child

    11-11-07 (09:38)

  • usc/cal game was great. it was raining all afternoon and night. we got there about an hour and a half early and sat around getting good and wet before the game actually started. before the game i figured that the rain favored the power of the cal running game and hampered the speed of the usc defense. i figured the game to be a pick 'em game because of the weather (usc were 4 point favorites). the game was tense the entire time and each defense seemed to stiffen up at the right moments. cal, in particular, forced a couple turnovers within scoring distance. one at their own 2 yard line and one at around their 30. usc's defense also stepped up. thomas had one really nice pick deep in usc territory. it felt like usc was gaining more yards, but turning it over at the end of their drives. in reality, though, cal outgained usc by 31 yards. usc's final 96 yard drive was the back breaker and game winner. chauncey washington was huge as he was all game, but stefon johnson came in and got some critical yards to keep the drive alive on 3rd and 2 while washington got some rest. he also scored the touchdown from the 3 yard line. both forsett and washington were huge all game. forsett had 31 carries, 164 yards and 1 td. washington had 29 carries, 220 yards, 1 td and 1 fumble. booty managed the game fairly well (except for the two timeouts in one drive early in the third quarter) and only attempted 20 passes (9 fewer than longshore). penalties were still a problem for usc. they had 8 penalties for 40 yards, but one of those was a holding penalty for 10 yards that negated a 40 yard pass to turner, so that was essentially a 50 yard penalty. another offsides penalty kept a drive alive for cal. just as it's important to make timely defensive stops, it's important to not commit untimely penalties. usc seemed to make good stops on defense when they needed to, but they also made penalties when they couldn't afford to.
  • all in all it was a great game and the most rainy game i've sat through. the rockies game we went to on the baseball trip was more rainy, but we ended up leaving because the delay was too long and we needed to get across the country the next day.

  • 11-10-07 (10:02)

  • going to the usc/cal game today. should be an interesting matchup. usc's flailing offense will hopefully get something done against the mediocre cal defense. cal's offensive line, though, will probably slow jackson, ellis and company. might rain. i'm definitely going to get shit for wearing the usc shirt. got plenty of crap at work this week.
  • high school football and basketball shouldn't be televised, it's just ridiculous.
  • one thing about sports that's never really appealed to me is trash talk. i've just never been a fan of giving it out or taking it. good natured ribbing can be fun, but there's a fine line.
  • woke up with a headache and a non-working ear. yay.

  • 11-8-07 (20:12)

  • had one potential buyer look at the corrado today.
  • this old house may be the second best show of all-time. kevin o'connor has a few seasons under his belt now so i think it's fair to grade him. i like steve thomas more than bob vila, which some find sacrilegious. steve took the role of the layman rather than the expert who constantly inserted himself into the process, as vila did. steve was sometimes goofy and looked inept, but he was actually quite knowledgeable and was well-spoken and well-versed in the area of design and architecture. kevin plays the role of a newbie apprentice. the contractors (norm, tom, roger and richard) show him how to complete tasks. in this way he takes the role of the viewer who is seeing the process for the first time. he has a boyish/amateur quality which is sometimes obnoxious (his over-exuberence in the carlisle project comes to mind), but can also add to the comic relief of the show (for example, when they make fun of his laziness on "ask this old house"). he's slowly coming into his own and may eclipse bob vila with time, but i think steve thomas will always be my favorite.

  • 11-8-07 (17:40)

  • energy saving version of google: http://www.blackle.com/. guess i was ahead of the curve on that one.

  • 11-7-07 (21:47)

  • the utah jazz could be a threat in the west this year. they have the coach (sloan), the point guard (williams), the interior presence (boozer), and role players (millsap is underrated, and ak-47 is a great off the ball defender). they play solid defense and pass the ball well. they did well last year and should be just as good this year.
  • worked on getting the corrado sold. nothing's easy. might try to get it gross polluter status (in which case i could get $1000 from the state, at least that's what i've heard). or i could try to fix the check engine light myself and sell it to someone. or i could take the easy way out and sell it for parts. tried to get it converted to a planned non-op registration, but the dmv couldn't do it because i registered it too recently.
  • upsets from division II and lower level division I schools in college basketball and football shall no longer be surprising or amazingly upsetting. parity is going to be the story in college sports for the foreseeable future. the days of dynasties seem to be over.

  • 11-6-07 (20:30)

  • georgia is overrated. they're #10 in the bcs, but they only have one quality win (florida) and two losses. the sec is tough, but i wouldn't put them in the top ten unless they beat auburn and kentucky (who are coming up). i think auburn is a better team, but they have a worse record. we'll see this week. i think michigan is better than georgia right now. they lost to the best team in the nation (oregon) and appalachian state in the first game of the season; obviously a horrible loss. however, both of those were spread offenses and michigan has a new defensive coordinator this year so you have to consider that. i think that michigan right now is very different than the michigan of 10 weeks ago. texas is also overrated, but that's because i think the big 12 sucks.
  • in looking at the top 25 there are really only a few really good teams and none of them are amazing all-around teams.

  • 11-6-07 (18:00)

  • went to the tool lending library today for the first time. got a tile saw and a couple hand tools for three days, all for free. great place. maybe the best thing about the bay area.

  • 11-3-07 (10:07)

  • going to the usc/osu game today. booty is starting which is unfortunate. i felt like they took a step forward for next year by starting sanchez, now they're taking a step back. booty won't be around next year and sanchez is around for two more years. usc should win of course, but osu beat them last year and osu beat cal this year. the pac-10 is an enigma to me right now. i can't decide if it's really good up and down the conference or really overrated. their non conference schedule has been weak - michigan, tennessee, and nebraska were the big matchups and then there were plenty of weak ones like louisiana tech and idaho. nothing really challenging. we'll see what they're made of when the bowl games shake out.
  • took care of the car on thursday after driving all night on wednesday to get here. there was a bike locked to the front bumper, the battery needed replacing, and i changed the oil and put in some fresh gas. it didn't turn over at all so i cut the lock off the bike and got it towed to a mechanic. by friday morning it was running again and had had a valve job. sarah says she's going to give me the car which is nice of her. she's getting dad's old car (because he just got a new (used) bmw for $3,000). sounds too good to be true, but that's his headache. now i really have to get rid of the corrado in order to make room for the bug. sarah certainly could have tried to sell the bug, but instead she kept it in the family and gave it to me so that's nice of her. considering its condition i don't think one could get any more than $1000 for it. so it looks like i'm going from one vw project car to another. the good thing about the bug is that i can do some of the work myself since they're easy to work on and parts are so much cheaper than they are on the corrado.
  • also found out from the mechanic that the average car's oil runs at about 220 degress fahrenheit. the bug runs at about 260. this is not the interesting part, though. what's interesting is that i was told that the corrado, which was running at about 220-230 was running 50 degrees too hot. this turns out to be false so that's nice to know.
  • looking forward to the much hyped colts/pats game tomorrow. i'm thinking pats all the way, but the colts are really tough at home. i haven't seen enough of either team this year to make a real judgement.

  • tomorrow i'm going to see john which will be the first time in a long time and the first time since they had jane.

    10-30-07 (20:06)

  • just had a little quake. big enough to feel, but not big enough to do anything. this from usgs:
  • An earthquake occurred at 8:04:54 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.

  • The magnitude ? (not yet determined) event occurred 8 km (5 miles) NNE of Alum Rock, CA.
    The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Magnitude ? (not yet determined)
    Time Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 8:04:54 PM (PDT)
    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 3:04:54 (UTC)
    Distance from Alum Rock, CA - 8 km (5 miles) NNE (31 degrees)
    Milpitas, CA - 11 km (7 miles) E (91 degrees)
    San Jose City Hall, CA - 15 km (9 miles) NE (45 degrees)
    Sunol-Midtown, CA - 17 km (11 miles) NE (45 degrees)
     Coordinates 37 deg. 26.0 min. N (37.433N), 121 deg. 46.5 min. W (121.776W)
    Depth 8.8 km (5.5 miles)
    Location Quality Excellent
    Location Quality Parameters Nst= 25, Nph= 25, Dmin=3 km, Rmss=0.05 sec, Erho=0.2 km, Erzz=0.6 km, Gp=50.4 degrees
    Event ID# nc40204628
  • turned out to be a 5.6. bigger than i thought.

  • 10-29-07 (18:14)

  • usc's defense did a great job against oregon. held them to 339 yards and 24 points (lowest of the year for oregon). cal also held them to 24 points, but i don't think their offense turned the ball over at the ten yard line either. cal allowed 497 yards in that game. clearly the usc defense isn't to blame for saturday's loss. that oregon offense is so dynamic (they passed less [about 20 fewer attempts] against usc than they did against cal) and explosive that holding them to 24 is an accomplishment. usc's offense just didn't take care of the ball and made some bad playcalls. sanchez's two ints didn't help either. he's still the better qb, though. 4th and 1 and they ran an end around to mcknight. that's the time when you bring in chauncey washington and run it up the middle. or, as they did later in the game on 4th and 1, fake a fullback dive and pitch it to mcknight. the offensive coordinator is learning, albeit slowly. unfortunately when you're looking for a national or pac-10 championship the room to learn is basically zero. in the nfl you can lose up to 8 games and still make it to the playoffs which gives you an opportunity to win three and, thus, the championship. in college football you can't afford to lose 2 games. even if you go undefeated you might not make the national championship. sometimes you can win it with one loss, but rarely will you see a team make the big game with 2 losses. the margin of error is just too small to have a rookie coordinator, qb, rb, etc.

  • 10-28-07 (17:28)

  • oink was taken down the other day. one news report about it incorrectly said that it people paid to download illegal mp3s. oink never charged anything, though they did accept donations, but those donations didn't effect your ratio at all.
  • bother noticing that all the postseason teams are using the rally towels these days? nothing's organic anymore. that's not to say that the rally monkey or any other shtick ever was, but at least it was created at the team level and filtered down to the fans. with the thunder sticks and rally towels it seems like some corporation makes a deal with mlb and gets the exclusive rights to the year's rally equipment. so lame.
  • the only time i hear from my sister is when she needs something. that said, i don't really bother contacting her much anymore either because our conversations don't really go anywhere.
  • speaking of which, i'm going to la next week to see if i can get her car up and running again. it's been left in my dad's driveway since she left for college. it's rotting away and probably needs a lot of work, but i'll replace the battery, change the oil and see what else i can get done. also going to see the osu/usc game.
  • oddly, this is the same weekend that luke planned a football game amongst friends. guess i'll be missing that one. i miss playing football and basketball with friends. it really hasn't been since college that i've done that more than a couple times a year. pathetic.
  • speaking of pathetic, world series is on right now. boston is already up 1-0. the 8 day lay off for the rockies was pretty lame. so is the 40 day lay off for the teams that play in the college football national championship. who plans these things? assholes and morons.

  • 10-27-07 (21:09)

  • usc lost. bye bye rose bowl, pac-10 championship, national championship. now begins the build-up for next year.
  • gotta work tomorrow. yay.
  • seen two movies in the theater in the last two days.
  • corrado's got problems. what else is new?

  • 10-27-07 (12:02)

  • biggest game of the year so far for usc today. oregon has an unusual offensive scheme and usc's only weakness on defense is its secondary. all three great linebackers are healthy (cushing and maualuga both coming back today after injuries). i don't know who's starting at qb, hopefully it'll be sanchez. oregon is very fast, faster than cal from what i've seen. if i'm carroll i rely on a power rushing game and stout defense to win this game on the road.
  • cal plays asu today and we'll see what both teams are made of. is asu for real? is cal? is cal going to stop the bleeding? great year for college football and this is the best week for the pac-10 to date.
  • bought some lumber for a new dvd case. building it right now. wish i had a finish nailer and air compressor, would have been done by now. not having the right tools and enough space have been hallmarks of my career as a carpenter and handyman. never in my life have i had all the right tools and enough space to work in. "a good carpenter doesn't blame his tools." but the other part of that saying is that a good carpenter has good tools and a workshop.
  • looks like sanchez is starting. yay.

  • 10-23-07 (11:15)

  • got sick yesterday. not sure how it happened. came upon me suddenly. took the day off. i can't recall the last time i called in sick to work. i only did it a few times while at tower - i'd usually work through it.
  • listening to the soundtrack for into the wild it occurs to me that the soundtrack belongs in a good movie, too bad sean penn didn't hold up his end of the bargain.

  • 10-22-07 (22:05)

  • looking for cal to rebound this week at asu. they're too good offensively to lose three in a row. their defense is definitely suspect (they've allowed 23+ in all but one game), but tedford is a good coach and college football is a coach's game. asu is highly rated, but they haven't been pressed yet.
  • usc is 21 on the computer, but 12 on the bcs and in the top 10 in the human polls. i expected them to be in the top 10 of the bcs, but i was wrong. the computer ranking will move up a lot if they run the table against ranked opponents - asu, cal, ore, and (maybe) ucla (if they continue to play the way they have against pac-10 opponents). bill plashke wrote an article about a qb controversy for usc. at the end of last year i called for sanchez as the starter and it's looking now like he'll be seriously considered to take the job from booty. the nd stat line is deceiving, though. he had 4tds and no ints, but he wasn't making amazing throws and, for once, the receivers were helping the qb. that said, i'm still backing him as the starter for the rest of the year. he's more of a leader and, as mentioned before, is more mobile than booty.  booty could come in and provide excellent backup work in a blowout or calm down the team if sanchez is having an off game (which he is susceptible to because he's so excitable).
  • oregon is doing well right now in part because of their big victory over michigan, a team which is in the top 25 again. cal, meanwhile, is suffering from losses to two unranked teams and the low ranking of tennessee. they're currently unranked in the computer (as are texas and hawaii, who are higher than cal).
  • in watching the lsu/auburn game i thought they were equals. lsu is getting too much respect, if you ask me. many are questioning the decision to go for the td in the final seconds of the game. i don't question the decision because they had plenty of time and an incomplete pass would have stopped the clock and they would have still been able to take the field goal. i do, however, question the way they did it. they came up to the line so slowly and without urgency that it looked like they didn't realize how much time was left. they should have rushed it a bit more and given themselves some breathing room in case of a sack. other than that, though, i don't think they're as crazy as some sports writers.

  • 10-20-07 (21:00)

  • watching the auburn/lsu game right now. they look pretty even to me. lsu is up by 3, but homefield advantage is big for them, especially at night. the sec is like the pac-10 in terms of the top 4-5 teams being able to compete with anyone nationally, including each other.
  • party at don's was decent. lots of people, most of them were at least 40 which was odd.
  • looking into getting some edumacation at laney college next year. i get opportunities to work on homes for people, but don't have all the skills, tools, experience required to help them out. if it were my own house i wouldn't mind trying to install hardwood floors or tearing down walls and patching the remaining area, but i don't want to charge someone so i can learn, and make mistakes, on their home. i've learned a good deal from don when it comes to how to do a quality tile job, but i'd like to have the same opportunity to shadow other subcontractors. since that's not likely to happen, going to school is the next best thing.
  • red sox are right back in it. game seven is must see tv.

  • 10-20-07 (15:00)

  • cal/ucla game is good right now. ucla makes some good, aggressive defensive calls. blitzing on 3rd down and the like. cal just got burned on a halfback pass. safety sagged to play the run and got beaten deep. this one will come down to the last few minutes.
  • usc/nd isn't the same as it's been the last 80 years or so because nd is so shitty this year. that said, with these kinds of rivalries you can't ever say a game is a lock. so far sanchez has looked good and the receivers have been solid. i've also liked the offensive playcalling. defensively they haven't allowed a point, but that's as much because of nd's bad offense as it is because of usc's good defense. sedrick ellis just sacked nd's qb. next play they triple-teamed him and sent a pass on the flat to the other direction. usc then forced a fumble. two great plays in a row.
  • desean is in the midst of his second 100+ receiving yard game of the season and he had his longest reception of the year (39 yards) today. longshore being back definitely helps them. now their defense needs to step up. that said, i'm rooting for ucla. desean just got a handoff for a hb pass and ran backwards about 20 yards before running for a 3 yard loss. in that same play the ref went down with cramps in his legs and received some stretching help from a trainer. don't think i've seen a ref on his back getting his hamstrings stretched by a trainer before.
  • usc is up 24-0 now. ucla lost big to nd at home. this is such a strange year when ucla can lose at home to a shitty nd team, but then push cal to a six point deficit in the 3rd quarter. kentucky is losing to florida, but that was predictable in spite of the rankings. usf lost to rutgers, that was also somewhat predictable. they may lose to louisville as well. south carolina lost to vanderbilt which was not predictable. alabama beat the overrated tennessee vols. pete carroll said that booty wasn't starting because the extra time off would help him heal. i think that he's giving sanchez another shot at the starting gig. based upon his performance so far i think that sanchez should remain the starter.
  • ucla looks like the ucla i expected this year. strong defense, some talented receivers, good coaching. they've only allowed more than 20 points two times this season. cal has allowed 21+ in all but one of their games and ucla has 20 against them right now. call is at the 4 yard line so it looks like ucla is going to allow more than 20 for a third time this season. nbc's camera work is rather poor. too close, doesn't follow the ball well, etc.
  • i expected michigan state to make things uncomfortable for osu in the first half, but i was wrong. they're making it uncomfortable for them in the second half, down by seven in the 4th. not impressed by dan fouts or the play by play guy on nbc.
  • going to don's birthday party later today. hopefully will finish the cal game first. pick six. game should be over.

  • 10-17-07 (23:28)

  • busy as usual these days.
  • right ear hasn't been working the last few days. decreased hearing. was better today, but not back to normal. some say it's an earwax blockage, which i find hard to believe, and some say it's a pressure buildup that will be fixed by taking sudafed. no insurance means going to the doctor is an expensive venture. i've been using a two pronged attack to try to ameliorate the problem, but have seen only mild gains in hearing. yay.
  • back hurts as always.
  • looking forward to the weekend.
  • usc is looking to bring back booty for next week against nd. not my personal choice, but then again i don't get the big bucks.
  • meryl's car had the check engine light go on. my corrado didn't start up today, probably the battery. seems to be an electrical drain on the car that kills the battery after about two weeks without being driven.
  • wish i was rich.
  • juggling two jobs has been an occasional pain. might work half a day at alumni house and half a day at don's tomorrow. blah.
  • hopefully the alumni house makes some money in the budget to make me full-time with benefits. that would be ideal.
  • talked to an electrician the other day about the price of copper (through the roof in the last few years) and he said that it's because of the war in iraq and the increased demand for it over there. not sure i buy it, but it's the best theory i've heard so far. it's a mystery to me how one of the most abundant elements in the earth's crust could all of a sudden triple in price.
  • mike hart is my pick for heisman at this point.
  • good article in the dailytrojan about the injury problems. it cited this one scary fact: "USC, however, has yet to field the same offensive or defensive unit in any two games this year. " they only have one offensive lineman who started the first game and will start against nd this week, and he's got a cast on his right hand.
  • the thing about college football is that people get so upset or worried or whatever about every little move in the rankings from week to week when none of it really matters until: 1) you've played all your conference games 2) you've played all your ranked or almost ranked teams 3) all the teams in front of you have done the same. until that happens (usually the last week, sometimes the penultimate week), nothing's really settled.

  • 10-13-07 (19:40)

  • the cal game is interesting. if they win, and they should, they'll be #1. oregon is up by 10 now, but cal is explosive.
  • cal just scored and has a good shot of coming back.
  • osu has it with about 2:20 left and it's 3rd and 9 and the radio announcers are saying osu should run it if they're smart. this is retarded. a smart team knows that 2 minutes is an eternity in college football. you have to throw it an hope for a first down. a run here takes off half a minute, but gives you basically zero chance of a first down. they decided to throw, but didn't get it. it gave them options at least.
  • i talked with meryl about this game yesterday and mentioned osu's ability to play up to better competition. they did it a few years ago against cal after they beat usc, they did it to usc last year, and now i'm told they've actually won the last four games at cal. ball at five yard line. second down now. 1:13 to go. plenty left. :49 left, 3rd and 17. bad mistake by riley to spike the ball, worse mistake to take the sack. 4th and 17 now. great 4th and long plays: usc vs. notre dame - leinert to jarrett. usc vs. stanford - stanford converts and goes on to win the game. they converted. they've got a good chance of tying it up at this point. if they do they'll probably win in OT. they have the momentum and are at home. :24 left now. i would bring a zone blitz here to confuse riley who's a freshman. i actually would have done that on the 4th down play. you force him to make a quick decision and it'll likely be a short pass.
  • i've thought all year that ohio state was better than cal and with this close game i wonder how the ranking will work out. of course none of it matters at this point; all that matters is what you're ranked at the end.
  • the radio announcer is super pissed off at riley right now for running instead of passing it. i think they just lost. holy shit, that's a massive mistake. it's amazing how foolish some of these guys can be sometimes. usc was at something like the 2 yard line earlier today and they ran a pitch play to mcknight and he dropped it. rather than jumping on the ball and preserving possession he picked it up and tried to do something with it. luckily for usc nothing bad happened, but it easily could have. of course you have to think about chris webber calling a timeout as well. these young guys who just don't know what the situation is really kill me sometimes. it's amazing that they can be good enough to get this far on good teams, but still be so absent-minded at key points in the game.
  • well, cal lost. i'm not too upset about it. luke rubbed the stanford loss in my face and cal was pretty smug this week so...
  • usc looked good and bad today. sanchez should remain the starter because he has a bigger upside than booty, who is a game manager at best. sanchez brings a mobility when plays break down that booty lacks. he had a huge run towards the end of the game that kept a drive alive for them. he also had two interceptions, but i think he learned from them. that said, i think usc's best case scenario this year is a pac-10 championship. name one other team that had national title hopes at the beginning of the season have had injuries such as: 4-5 offensive lineman (spanos has a torn triceps and six stitches on his hand, but is playing; and they lost sam baker in this game as well), two of their three best running backs (johnson still out), their two best linebackers (lost maualuga today, cushing is still out), their starting qb (a heisman hopeful up until a couple weeks ago when they lost their first game, a game in which he broke his finger in the first half), and at least two defensive backs. frankly, with all of those things in mind, i have no hope of them regaining their dominance this year, but i do hope they can gain some chemistry and find some leadership and make a run at the pac-10 championship. it's up to them at this point. if they beat oregon, asu, and cal then they should get it.
  • besides injuries and a weak offensive coordinator, i think they lack leadership. it's something they had the last few years with quality seniors like palmer, fargas, various offensive linemen who weren't constantly injured, smith, jarrett, and leinert. someone needs to fill that void and it's not booty. i have nothing against him as a person, but he's not a leader. maybe sanchez is. mcknight was the spark today, though. they had been breaking him in really slowly thus far, but they leaned on him a bit today and he stepped up. he's got plenty to learn, though.
  • happy to see lsu lose. i'm sure my nemesis, marc, would say that they were screwed somehow, but i don't buy it. there were two people in the usa today poll that were voting for ohio state as #1 all year, today their votes were validated. their defense is the best in the country. still beatable though.
  • been painting the last room in my aunt's place since yesterday. there was a big problem because of some painting over wallpaper. wall is all messed up so i had to skim coat one of the walls. got some practice on my trowel and hawk technique. need to sand it once more, then prime, then paint. need a little more work on some of the trim as well. the bad thing is that this weekend is one of my more busy ones. i "volunteered" for the cal homecoming from 6a-10a this morning, then painted from about 11a to 5p with some football watching in between.
  • tomorrow we have meryl's grandpa's wedding to go to which means i won't be able to work on the painting until tomorrow night, and only for a little bit. first wedding i've been to since my parents' second; that was about 20 years ago. jon and monique had a reception, but not a real wedding in the traditional sense. i'm not a big wedding/funeral person. anything formal isn't for me.

  • 10-9-07 (21:07)

  • busy day at work. there are all sorts of projects that are going to take some time to complete. we're also looking into fairly major upgrades of the infrastructure and they (the human resources/facilities director (my boss's boss) and the executive director) wants to make me project supervisor of them. that would mean overseeing the implementation of about $200k worth of funds to do all sorts of construction projects throughout the building. one thing i've learned in the last week is that $1 in the residential market equals about $5 on campus. in other words, a project that might cost $1,000 in a person's house would cost five times that on campus, in large part because they don't bid any of the projects. on the one hand this ensures accountability and quality (because you're only getting work done by university employees), but that also means not being able to shop around for competitive prices. and frankly i can't vouch for the quality of some of the work i've seen done around my building.
  • jeff tedford (cal football coach) is the highest paid employee in the UC system, and no one even comes close. this was on the front page of the daily ucb newspaper the other day. a couple head doctors as ucsf were #2 and 3. #4 and 5 were also doctors one from ucla and one from berkeley, i think. i'm pretty sure that tedford actually makes more than $1 million more than the #2 person. according to espn.com, ben howland (ucla basketball coach) makes less than $1 million a year, but could make a bit over that because he has bonuses tied to graduation rate, making the final four, winning coach of the year and the national/pac-10 titles.
  • another issue on campus is the debate regarding the expansion of the football stadium. they want to cut down a bunch of old oak trees on campus and some people have taken the matter in their own hands by pulling a julia butterfly hill - i.e., camping out in the trees so they can't be cut down. i've yet to come across anyone who supports the tree-sitters or their cause, which is pretty pathetic given the activist history of ucb. i guess it's indicative of our times in general though. i don't know enough about the specifics of the controversy - how integral the trees being cut down is to the plans, how many trees are scheduled for murder, etc. so i don't have a solid opinion on the issue. i think losing trees, especially older growth oaks, is a shame though. ucb recently won their first legal battle to get the tree-sitters out and move on with the construction. though it's not over yet, i think it's just a matter of time.

  • 10-9-07 (08:19)

  • another day another dollar.
  • mnf was good, first round of baseball playoffs was not.
  • been as busy as ever at work.

  • 10-7-07 (16:20)

  • "Booty cracked a bone on the tip of his middle finger on his throwing hand when he hit it on a helmet in the second quarter, but played on. "He fought through it and was doing all right," Carroll said. "We could have made a change but we went with our guy. I don't know about next week."" that's the best news i've heard since last night. to his credit, though, the offensive line has been beaten up the last couple games and his receivers are basically crap.
  • the thing that vexes me more than anything else is why usc is losing the turnover battle so consistently this year. it's been a forte of theirs under carroll, yet this year they just don't seem to force turnovers or hold onto the ball like they have in the past.
  • there definitely aren't any unbeatable teams in college this year. parity has been a theme in big college sports the last few years - from appalacian state to george mason - smaller schools are putting forward better teams.
  • niners are back to sucking. the offensive line has issues, gore can't do much, smith is injured. defense is better at least.

  • 10-6-07 (19:43)

  • usc just lost. it's frankly not that surprising to me. the fact that it happened at home against stanford is a surprise, but not that they lost. booty just isn't a very good qb. he's a decent game manager, but not the kind of guy that really wins a game for you. the receiving corps is very weak this year. the secondary is suspect. but the injuries probably hurt more than anything else. two centers out, plus another offensive lineman, one of the best linebackers in the country (cushing) is out, two of the best three running backs are out and a couple defensive backs as well. they're hurting big time. that said, there really isn't any excuse to lose to stanford at home. stanford is a lot better this year than they were last year, but there just isn't any excuse. i think usc needs a new offensive coordinator because his calls the last couple years have been quite poor, especially when filling in for someone as great as norm chow. i also have to say that i liked stanford's blitz on first down when usc was trying to come back. that's the kind of call that very few defensive coordinators make, but it's what winners do - play aggressively to the end. i'd also like to point out that the john david booty age has been marked by less than stellar offensive play. in all their three losses with him at qb, they have had a chance to win the game, but in each instance the last offensive possession was: pass deflected vs. osu, pass deflected vs. ucla, pass intercepted vs. stanford. in other words: booty sucks in crunch time. time to bring sanchez in as the starting qb.
  • lsu is down 10 right now and they might fall to florida which means that cal will be #1 and osu will be #2. if lsu loses this is how i'd rank the top five: osu, cal, florida, lsu, south florida.
  • lsu won which is kinda good because it means i don't have to hear it from the smug cal fans at work quite as much.

  • 10-5-07 (17:45)

  • played meryl in minigolf on meryl's birthday. i won once and we tied once. our all-time record is now at meryl: 3 chris: 2 ties:1.
  • busy as usual.

  • saw into the wild the other day after finally finishing the book. awful.

    9-30-07 (10:36)

  • didn't watch the niner game today, but the outcome was expected. their offense really isn't working the way we had hoped. losing norv turner was bad for the niners and bad for the chargers (who hired him). both teams suck as a result.
  • cal pulled out a squeaker against oregon. honestly, oregon looked like the better and faster team, but they made a few more critical mistakes and sometimes that's all it takes with teams that are evenly matched. fun one either way, especially since i didn't care who won.
  • long day of movies today.

  • 9-30-07 (14:06)

  • i am a fugitive from a chain gang is a great film.
  • usc looked pretty bad yesterday. i'd rank the top five as: lsu, usc, osu, cal, oregon. injuries to the #1 linebacker, two cornerbacks, and two of their five offensive linemen (among other smaller injuries) really hurt them yesterday. plus, they're never that great on the road. the usual things worry me: their secondary and their receivers. more than anything though, they need to be healthy. that's true for all teams that hope to compete for a national championship on any level. losing that many players just kills your chances. add the injuries to the fact that they were on the road and seemed to all be out of it mentally, and you have a close close game. i felt bad about the game pretty much right off the bat, i'm just happy they eeked out the win; mostly thanks to their defnese.

  • 9-30-07 (09:45)

  • study came out recently that showed la as the worst place for traffic with the sf/oakland area in second place. i was surprised that sf/oakland was so high on the list because it has bart which people seem to tout highly. for california it's pretty good, but nationally and globally it's really nothing to write home about. the study found, and i'm not sure how these calculations were done, that people in la wasted an extra 72 hours in traffic per year, compared to 60/year for sf/oakland. this study piqued my interest in each city's public transit systems. the bay area has the well known bart system and la has the newer and less well known metro system.
  • bart (founded in 1972) has 104 miles of track, 43 stations, and a daily ridership of about 323k people. 7.2 million people are in the bay area. la metro (founded in 1990) has 73 miles of track, 62 stations, and a daily ridership of about 277k people. 12.9 million people are in the la area (though the metro doesn't come close to reaching all of them because la is so spread out).
  • bart uses wider tracks which means more costly expansion. meanwhile, the metro uses a standard gauge track which makes expansion and renovation/maintenance much less expensive, and this translates to lower fares for riders: the metro costs $1.25 per ride and the bart uses a variable fare system that ranges from a minimum of $1.40 to $7.65. unlike most public transit systems in the country, bart does not have a unlimited ride card available, the metro, however, does.
  • there are two expansion projects for the metro in la that are currently underway. given the two current projects expanding the line into santa monica and further into east la as well as the aforementioned limitations of bart's expanding, i think that the la metro should get more ridership than bart within the next ten years; and could double by the time it reaches bart's current age of 35 (la's metro is only 17 years old). i've written to ted lieu (representative for torrance/west la) in the past to praise his support of the expansion of the light rail system. hopefully those in power follow his lead and continue to support the expansion of the light rail/subway system.

  • 9-28-07 (11:28)

  • bought two pairs of shorts for a total of $8 the other day. one pair was just $1 because the lady behind the counter made me wait about 20 seconds while she put away some stuff she was working on. they were originally $5 and she said she gave me a discount because i had to wait. bad for sears, good for me.
  • i'd like to point out that despite my support of reggie bush, he averages less yards per carry than his former usc teammate lendale white, who i liked more and thought was a steal in the second round of the draft.

  • 9-27-07 (20:10)

  • there's a new study out that links alcohol consumption to breast cancer. not binge drinking or getting drunk, just the occasional glass of wine. you know - the kind that they once recommended for a healthy heart. this is the kind of bullshit i've come to hate about the scientific community. i already had a rant about this though a couple weeks ago so i won't repeat it.
  • today was fairly productive. had a half day at the alumni house but didn't have any work for the tile guy. was able to run some errands and cross some things off my list. also got a check in the mail from the bureau of unclaimed property. a day after my rant about that and over a year after starting the paperwork process, the headache is over. yay.
  • a lot of people are jumping off the reggie bush bandwagon lately. there are a couple things to understand when rating his value for a team. the nfl is a two back league these days. the two teams to make the superbowl had two running backs that they relied upon. a thunder and lightning system and having fresh legs late in the game is what it takes against nfl defenses these days; especially in the playoffs after the wear and tear of an entire season. sure, tomlinson and a couple others will always have their value, but i think that teams that adopt a two back system are going to be better off. bush is part of a two back system and doesn't get very many games with more than 15 carries. last year he had a total of 155 rushes (89 fewer than mcallister) in 16 games, but he's more than just a running back. he also had 88 receptions (a team best) for 742 yards/2 tds, and 216 yards/1 td as a punt returner. his 9 touchdowns for the season was one shy of the team lead held by mcallister.

  • 9-26-07 (23:30)

  • tried dealing with government bureaucracy while at work today. called the city of oakland about getting my ticket reversed. also called the bureau of unclaimed property about getting my disney stock back. when i was about 12 my dad's mom gave sarah and me some disney stock. over the years that stock split to the point where we now have 24 shares each. because of some lame (and now illegal) program that idle property was taken by the state. for the last year i've been trying to get the stock back in my name. first my dad had to fill out paperwork and get his signature notarized. then we waited a few months. then we heard back from them and they said that since i was over 18 i had to do the whole thing over again. i did that and called back a couple times, but the woman who was working on my case was out of work because she was sick for a few months.
  • these are some of the reasons why people don't trust the government and become republican. i was wrongly ticketed and getting justice requires a lengthy process. in the meantime i'm subject to more tickets, especially since there's essentially no free parking in the entire bay area. rather than rolling the dice by leaving my car on the street, i took it to the garage at meryl's work. it also means that i have to take the camry to work because if i leave it unmoved for more than two hours i may get another ticket for having an expired permit. our permits, by the way, are free and when i talked with a representative about renewing my permit a few months ago he said that they'd be sending out renewal notices, but that they had a large queue so he wasn't sure how long it was going to take. rest assured, he said, tickets wouldn't be given out until after the permits were renewed.
  • then with the case of my disney stock - the government stole my property and has kept it for years and instituted a lengthy and costly program for retrieving it. npr featured a story on this that actually made me feel lucky. they told the stories of california residents who had their safety deposit boxes ransacked by the government and their belongings sold online. this happened without notification (in spite of the people being easy to reach i.e., having the same address/phone # for many years) and often when the property had been idle for even a very short period of time. this is ridiculous and criminal, but the fascists march on.
  • speaking of fascists, some of our citizens are being taken to guantanamo and held without trial for indefinite periods of time. this is so much like nazi germany and yet no one really cares. i mean, we care and we're aware of it and pissed off enough to vote for the other guy (kerry), but not angry enough to wage any meaningful protests or rebel in any effective way. we're as complicit as those in 1930s germany, the numbers are just different, at least for now.
  • dell is the first computer company to be carbon free or have zero emissions or something like that. i find this practice to be disingenuous, somewhat promising, and yet underwhelming. when companies say they're carbon neutral or that they have no carbon footprint or however they choose to word it, all it usually means is that they've purchased "carbon offsets." all that usually means is that they paid someone to plant trees in their name. those trees, presumably far away from the factories that do the actual polluting, supposedly suck up enough carbon to offset the carbon that those companies spew into the air. the calculations of this aside (e.g., do they count all the paper they use and the carbon required to make/ship that paper?), i think it's probably a bogus practice. if i were a logger in canada or the northwest or wherever, i would be faced with local laws that require me to plant one seedling for each tree that i chop down. many states/provinces have these sorts of laws on the books. if i knew that i were going to have to plant 1,000,000 seedlings at my own cost, i would love an opportunity to pass on the cost of that to someone else. enter: dell. dell feels bad about itself for whatever reason, or maybe just wants to feel better about itself, or maybe just wants some indie cred or a boost in its profile. so dell says that they'll pay me to do what i was going to do already and it's a win-win. i don't have to pay for what i was legally required to do, dell gets to pay their way to a sin free existence (sounds like catholic "indulgences" all over again) and consumers feel better about the world and dell. all the while no new trees were actually planted. all this is based upon speculation, mind you, but it's perfectly plausible and if it wasn't happening on some level then i'd be shocked.
  • went to sears today to get a replacement for a broken 1/4" drive ratchet. they exchanged it without fuss in under one minute. craftsman tools are great.
  • bonds's last home game was tonight. i saw him make a couple of bad plays in left field and also saw his last at bat which ended in a long pop fly that looked like a homer for a second. i feel bad for the guy on a human level. he's persona non grata pretty much everywhere now. he's going to have a depressing next 20 years, even more so than pete rose who people generally think should be in the hall. it's been amazing to see how quickly the fickle giants fans have turned on him this last week. they like the memories he gave them, but generally have a "good riddance" attitude towards him. i've gleaned this in talking with them, listening to them on sports radio and reading the sf chronicle, so this isn't coming from nowhere. this is more or less what happened to jerry rice towards the end of his career and, as a niner fan, i never liked that. i had many conversations about this, in fact. in this case i don't care too much since i don't like the giants and i don't like barry bonds, but i think it's lame of the fans to discard him after all he's done for the franchise. i generally think that if a player as closely associated with a franchise as rice and bonds were with their respective teams wants to continue to contribute, that team should allow the player to do so with reasonable compensation. rice went on to a few more productive years and another superbowl appearance. bonds will go to the al (home of dried up sluggers) and get another 20+ HR to make it that much harder for a-rod or pujols or whoever gets the record next. one of the worst things about sports is how quickly a team turns on a player when he is no longer useful. i hate it, and green bay's refusal to do it with brett favre is one more reason i love that team.

  • 9-25-07 (17:32)

  • learning a little bit at a time about tiling and whatnot. currently looking into carpentry/construction management programs at the local college. need to find out if my $1500 americorps education credit is for real or not. if it is, i need to find out how to get it and if it extends to learning materials or only tuition.
  • got another couple tickets this week. one was mailed to my mom, which means they got the license # and just sent the ticket instead of putting it on my windshield. the other was for an expired permit which is funny because just about everyone on the block has an expired permit. 1) we don't pay for our permits and 2) when i went to the office the guy said they were backed up and would send out renewal notices when they could. i'm going to contest that one.
  • definitely could use a weekday off.

  • 9-24-07 (22:36)

  • schedule got turned around a bit. working for tile guy tomorrow, alumni house wed. and thur. friday is up in the air.
  • worked on the corrado today. got the trunk working reliably. not sure if it has some remote capability, but there's some bar attached to the trunk latch that is connected to a little hydraulic pump. it's an odd car. hopefully i'll get that thing working well enough to sell by the end of the year.
  • was pretty productive today, but there's still so much to be done. always.
  • planning on making a trip to la next month probably.
  • new ipod came out recently. 160gb=enough space to fit all my music; assuming i re-encode everything to 128/kbps.

  • 9-21-07 (09:59)

  • working two jobs makes the week drag.
  • haven't been doing anything productive outside of work lately.
  • tgif.

  • 9-17-07 (22:17)

  • yesterday we spent a few hours at the hospital. meryl's digestive system went on strike and caused great discomfort. it had been getting steadily worse for a while so we figured it would be smart to rule out anything serious. turns out that she just needs some rest and fluids. she's feeling better now, but still not great.
  • at work today i worked on a solution for a broken axle on our golf cart. getting a mobile tig welder is more difficult than anticipated. tomorrow i'm going to rent a truck and trailer and take the job to the welder. also worked on installing a portable 16,000 btu a/c unit. looks like it needs a 20 amp outlet, though, so that's going to be outsourced.
  • 49er game was pretty fun. they were outgained about 2:1, but still ended up winning. those are the games they were losing last year and the year before that. naturally, the raiders found a creative way to lose to the broncos once again. they suck so bad.
  • biked to work today for the first time. it's a bit longer than i'd like, but i think i'll do it from time to time. coming back home is a fun ride because telegraph has a gradual incline the entire way.
  • into the wild comes out on friday. i'm going to try to read it before we see it. need to get back into the movie groove again. had a slow week.
  • later this week i'll have some work with the tile contractor. incidentally, my boss at the alumni house is named donna and the tile contractor is named don. it's odd that i found two jobs in the same week and both of them have "don" in the root.

  • 9-17-07 (17:55)

  • the great tony reali was born exactly one year before i was - july 4, 1978.

  • 9-14-07 (15:53)

  • found a way to download and save youtube videos, so i've been having fun with that. i like having the stuff for myself in case it's taken off the site (as happened with the teaser trailer for the hills have eyes 2, though it gets reposted from time to time) or the internet isn't working. i'm an archivist at heart.
  • the sopranos final 9 episodes trailer is one of the best trailers i've seen, but it wouldn't appear so unless you had seen the show. it's odd in that sense because it's amazingly effective at preaching to the choir, but doesn't do all that much for people who are interested in getting into the show. of course that makes sense since jumping into the show after six seasons isn't likely to happen.
  • finished painting the bathroom at my aunt's place. one room to go. so far i've done: two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, entry/hall way, and three bathrooms.
  • in seeing the game last week and having not seen any usc games this year, i would personally vote lsu as #1 ahead of usc. this is based primarily upon their performance against #9 va tech and the fact that i think john david booty (qb for usc) is overrated. don't get me wrong, they're still my favorite team and i love their chances, but right now they should be #2. if they beat nebraska at home tomorrow, especially if it's a convincing win, then i think they should go back to #1.
  • new amon tobin is solid.
  • one thing that has definitely gotten better over the years, in terms of film production, is the quality of the trailer. if you watch older previews they were pretty much trash. there wer longer takes and there was little attempt to mask what the film was about. all the artistry went into the making of the picture and the trailers looked like they were made by amateurs. film posters, though, were far superior prior to the 80s.
  • last night we worked on a video for meryl's video 1 class. this is the second one she's done so far. i like helping with ideas, but i don't like actually having to execute them.
  • some good (old) movie posters:

    some good nintendo-related t-shirts:
    9-10-07 (22:51)
  • 49er game was a fun one; ugly, but fun. at the end of the game the play by play guy said that alex smith (b. 1985) was the youngest starter in the league which isn't even close to being true. he's not even the youngest starter on the team. patrick willis starts at lb and was born in 1985. he may be the youngest starting qb in the league, but that'll probably change next week when quinn starts for the browns.
  • my fantasy baseball team backed into the playoffs by losing at least the last three weeks. but i made some changes and pulled out a 6-5 victory over the 3rd seed. his team was one run away from tying and he owned the tie breaker (era) by a small margin so he would have won. of course that goes the other way too. if i had one more run i would have won 7-5. this week i face my arch nemesis (marc) who had a bye week last week and comes in as the #2 seed.

  • 9-9-07 (23:29)

  • went to the solano stroll today. it's a big fair, parade, festival type thing that they've held around berkeley/albany for the last 30+ years. it was a fun way to spend a few hours. got to see (the great) barbara lee as well as a couple state representatives.
  • yesterday we took my cousin emily to her soccer game. she was shy about being on a new team at first, but she got settled in quickly enough. then we came back home and had pizza and played video games until her parents came home. a good time was had by all.
  • working monday through wednesday this week. hopefully i'll get some work on thursday and friday. if not, i'll paint one of my aunt's rooms. just two to go.

  • 9-7-07 (23:54)

  • had lunch with johnny and vern on campus today.
  • going to do some babysitting tomorrow for my aunt.
  • power's been weird tonight. had a few quick off/on cycles that affected the lights and microwave clock, but didn't shut down the computer.
  • as has become the standard, i find that a lot of right wingers have taken to the "hypocrisy" excuse on the craig issue. i've heard a few reports of republican congressmen saying that others in congress have been busted for equal crimes and haven't been vilified in the media. i don't remember what specific instances they referenced, but i think the big issue is their own hypocrisy when it comes to so-called morality issues.
  • thompson has joined the race after a long time of deciding whether or not he was going to run. during this time he didn't need to report fund-raising, so that was a pretty sly move. plus, he continued to stay in the polls and horse race (er, news) coverage. he's the truest conservative of the bunch so it should be interesting to see what happens. it definitely hurts mccain's chances now since thompson is more likely to get the base than mccain. so now i guess it's a race between the left and right wings of the right wing party.
  • finished the last episodes of the uk version of the office. good show, but not as good as the us version. the writing is solid and occasionally better, though they have the advantage of being able to show dildos and use bad words), but the characters aren't quite as well-rounded. the us version has better actors for the most part. jim and pam (us) are better than tim and dawn (uk), the bosses in the two are about equal, and the tertiary characters are better in the us version. both are funny and more interesting than, say, everybody loves raymond or whatever else has been popular in the last five years.
  • watched the first season of twin peaks this last week. not worthy of the hype, but it was an influential show in some ways and was definitely unique in many ways. that said, it reminded me a lot of some of the daytime soap operas, especially those that get into weird magic crap like passions.
  • i think that people who look at stock prices every hour are part of the problem.
  • there was some peta lady on the bill maher show the other day talking about "the real problem behind global warming." it's funny how much the focus has shifted over time. cafe standards, suvs, china, energy, foreign oil, and now eating local food. it's definitely a concern and may be the biggest of those listed. of course she also added that meat uses more energy to produce than vegetables, which is also true. what's most funny about these debates, though, is the reluctance and blindness of people to face the biggest problem - humans won't stop fucking. i guess nature will balance things out for us in one way or another eventually.
  • it's a bit annoying that the media reports basically any study that academia produces. the latest idea surrounding the honeybee not being able to find its way home is that a virus is causing the problem. some think that genetic tinkering will solve this. of course, earlier this year they thought that the problem was neonicotinoids in the environment. how can one have confidence in the media or in science when bullshit studies are pumped out several times a year. some saying that smoking pot reduces the risk of lung cancer, some saying that honeybees are lost because of chemicals, some saying that nutrisweet causes cancer, others saying that masturbation decreases the chances of prostate cancer. yes, those are all true studies that i've read/heard about in the last couple years. of course, beyond scientists who want glory and a media system that doesn't discriminate at all, there's the problem of stupid people who take things to heart without confirmation or in-depth study. all this is part of the reason that some people are wary of the idea of global warming. they hear that scientists had earlier thought the globe was cooling and that now scientists think it's warming and they're fed up with all the bullshit so they just don't believe any of it. of course, most of those people are probably just stupid, old, selfish and rich so they can't be bothered with worrying about their impact on the world.
  • somewhat geeky debate about apple being the new microsoft. good stuff. commentary and response. i think that apple is good at packaging and making things clean and user-friendly. i also think they sell their brand very well and their market (rich white kids) has enough money to pay a premium for stuff that's essentially been available in japan for 5 years. i don't think they're amazingly innovative, but they've sold that image fairly well. the control for the ipod, for example, is the same thing as the dial on my sony cd player, only flat. the iphone was billed as a leapfrog technology, but it seems like a simple extension of all the other blackberry type shit that's out there. on a related note, i heard that apple is working a penis enlarger that's supposed to revolutionize the market; it's called the "isuck." okay, that was cheap and easy.

  • 9-6-07 (17:29)

  • i've gotten more tickets in a few months in the bay area than in my entire life. not kidding. had to go to a long lunch and to the alumni house's storage area so i wasn't around to feed the meter. biggest reason i drove today was that i had my car in the shop and i just drove to work after picking it up. the check engine light came on and two days and $494 and a $30 ticket later everything's back to normal.
  • feels like the old college days when i couldn't ever feel comfortable monetarily. i need to angle for more hours at work or get the tile contractor to keep me busy on thursdays and fridays. thanks to the car trouble i'm back in debt again. that's always a wonderful feeling. hopefully i'll have enough to pay it off in full by the time the statement comes.
  • also have to pay for registration on the corrado and insurance on both the cars. i got the trunk key cut for the corrado a couple weeks ago and checked that off of the list of things to do before i sold it, but now the key isn't working anymore. treading water is fun.

  • 9-4-07 (00:00)

  • mom came up for the weekend so we had dinner at my aunt's this weekend.
  • johnny came back from the glacier yesterday as well.
  • went over to ryan and vern's the other day and we hung out.

  • need to go to the theater more often.

    8-31-07 (15:17)

  • jimmy cliff's "harder they come" is ripe for a hip-hop remake.
  • worked at tom's place today. finished the deck. it was a satisfying project - sanded it down with a drum floor sander, he did the edges with the random orbit sander, then i did the side deck with the random orbit sander, cleaned out the spaces between the planks with a putty knife, rolled linseed oil on it, wiped off the excess, and stood back to admire a job well done. also did some landscaping. best of all, i got enough money to pay the rent (barely).
  • i feel like i've done a lot of work at the alumni house, but i've yet to get a paycheck. should get paid on the 6th.

  • 8-29-07 (18:16)

  • work was a bit annoying today. don't have any tomorrow though so that's nice.
  • meryl's first day of mills was today.
  • not much to report.

  • 8-28-07 (16:59)

  • half day of work today.
  • after work we went and did some shopping and took care of some stuff at mills.
  • today i got a call from a construction company that i was supposed to have an interview with (but they found someone before i had the chance), and they said that they're hiring for the position again. all of a sudden i have too many opportunities. i can't just quit my job at the cal alumni association and these people probably won't hire me for two days a week. lame.
  • finally purchased return of the jedi and empire strikes back on dvd. got the versions with the original theatrical cut.

  • 8-27-07 (22:35)

  • i worked this weekend on various projects for a friend of my aunt's. his name is tom, he used to be a painter, but now he teaches english and does landscaping during the summer. he's a good guy and he needs to get a bunch of work done by labor day so i figured i'd help him out. got to operate a floor sander on his old deck, so that was a new experience. meryl was busy with stuff for school so it worked out pretty well overall. it was also nice because i got some cash. i've been working at the alumni association for what seems like a while now, yet i haven't gotten my first paycheck, so i'm pretty strapped for cash. down to my last $100. rent and insurance are both due soon.
  • today i had work at the alumni association. afterwards, meryl and i went to vern and ryan's. we ate out and then came back and played on the wii. pretty fun console.
  • went to lunch with a guy from work today. he's nice enough. it was somewhat strange, though, because, after exchanging the usual get-to-know-you type banter, he asked where on the political spectrum i was. the conversation quickly turned towards what we each thought could be done to make the world a better place and from there it went into a conversation about whether or not human life has an inherent value. this isn't an out of the ordinary conversation for jon and me, but it was strange to have it with someone i just met. he asked a lot of questions about my thoughts on the role of government and human nature. hopefully he's not the mass murderer type. i don't think he is, though, if not for the simple reason that he seems too social to fit in the cho, harris, etc. mold.
  • got meryl's rear struts replaced. next i think my front brake shoes are going to need replacing. also going to give her car a simple tune-up.
  • my back has been hurting lately again. in part because of the work i'm doing and in part because it just has been off since i came back from ohio.
  • took the bus back from work today. it's $1.75 each way which is steep if you ask me. i'm going to look into getting a cal students' ID and making a copy of it. cal students ride the bus for free so that's the way to go.

  • 8-22-07 (00:29)

  • had my first full day of real work today. got all sorts of random, minor tasks done. bought a new chair for some guy, changed some light bulbs, inventoried some old copies of the "blue and gold" yearbooks (we have almost all of them dating back to 1877), did some shopping for some tasks i'll take care of tomorrow, etc. i was busy all day and worked 7.5 hours so it was a good day. the parking situation is on the crappy side. taking the bus is likely in my future. the commute isn't much longer and 3.50 round-trip is actually a bit cheaper, on average, than i'd likely pay for parking in the immediate area.
  • finished my dad's vhs to dvd project.
  • meryl's still in texas having a good ole time. actually, she's bored stiff.
  • luke's in north carolina and he called me the other day. we had a good talk.
  • finished the first season of the wire. i had plenty of problems with it, most of them boiled down to unrealistic writing in the details and poor acting. i may or may not give the second season a try. the first season of any show is always spotty so i guess you have to look at the potential of the characters, the premise, and the writing. that said, i think the first season of law and order was better than the first season of the wire. imdb.com users voted the wire a 9.7 and the sopranos a 9.5.
  • having to wake up in the morning by a certain time has never been a love of mine.

  • 8-19-07 (18:35)

  • was listening to air america last night and they had a infomercial about all the great things vitamin c can do - prevent colds, get rid of hemorrhoids, cure insomnia and cancer and all sorts of outlandish claims. it was funny because about a week ago i was listening to the conservative station and limbaugh (i think it was him) was talking about a recent study that found that vitamin c did not prevent colds, as has often been claimed. i'm used to hearing conflicting reports on these stations about immigration and iraq and global warming, but vitamin c? was it a coincidence or is there something more to this?
  • just got back from seeing the new version of invasion of the body snatchers. there are some significant differences, but it's still a remake and belongs in the family of four.

  • 8-19-07 (13:51)

  • i've been thinking about this for a long time now...why, when we're watching a movie or reading a fiction book, do we hope a character does a certain thing, or act a certain way, or not get whacked in the end or end up with his high school sweetheart or whatever? 1) the story has already been written, hoping does even less than usual (see quote at top of the page for more on that). 2) why do we bother caring about something fictional? and i don't mean that question as a cheap jab at religion, which is primarily about believing in a creation of someone's fantasy, either. i've never really understood my own feelings in this regard. i suppose you have to give your feelings to a work in order for it to work, and once you do that you can't help pulling for, or rooting against, characters.
  • finished the west wing last week. the ending was a bit disappointing, but also fitting. season seven was a bit of a return to form for the show from a writing standpoint, but it was too much about the horse race between alda and smits. those first four seasons, though, were freaking great.
  • today i finished the sopranos. i'm going to talk about the ending so stop reading if you don't want to know anything about it. i've been watching a few shows a day for the last several days. the show peaked during episodes 9-13 of season five, but the entire run is good. unlike most people, i liked the ending. it reminded me of the film "limbo" by john sayles in that you're given enough reason to think the characters will live or die, but you're not given an answer. i think anyone who says tony clearly lives or dies is being myopic, it's a nice thought exercise, but i think there are plausible clues implying both. i tend to like finality, but i don't mind a cop-out ending (let's not mince words - that's what it really is) if it's done well or suits a purpose. i think it was done well here and it may serve the purpose of making us the jury on tony's fate. or maybe we're finally put into his shoes - looking at everyone suspiciously. i think it works well so i actually liked the ending. regarding the show on the whole - i think that tony soprano may be the most textured, multi-faceted and interesting character in tv history. that said, i'm not a huge tv person, not by a long shot. you also have to consider that his character was able to flower and develop over the course of 8 real years, 6 seasons, 86 episodes and more hours (because each show is about 54 minutes long, and 86 episodes is a long run by most standards) of tv than 90+% of fictional tv personalities. it's a great show for a lot of reasons - the characters and their many arcs, the music, the subjects that were able to be discussed because the show was on cable (interesting that we have to pay for uncensored art, hmmm...), the writing, the fact that it acknowledges its many influences early on and honestly, and more. it grows redundant in isolated places, the soprano kids couldn't act for shit for the first couple seasons, and it received too much hype, but it's a great show nonetheless. it's incomparable because it was made for cable (so you can't compare it to other great dramas like the west wing), and it was on tv (so you can't compare it to the godfather or goodfellas).
  • one question i do have regarding that last episode is why he was dressed differently when he walked in than when he was sitting in the booth. it was edited as if he was watching himself at one point, and i couldn't really figure out what the point of that was.
  • was dubbing a ucla/duke basketball game from vhs to dvd when an old excedrin commercial came on. it featured the father from malcolm in the middle (also the dentist in seinfeld). old commercials are funny.
  • they also had a dunk contest during halftime and it featured mike conley, among others. afterwards, conley went to the sideline with his son (mike conley, jr.) who went to ohio state and was drafted #3 this year.
  • meryl got an mp3 player as an early birthday present from her dad. i was in charge of reencoding all the mp3s (because the ones on my computer are encoded at too high a quality) and transferring them to the player for her. at 128kbps you can fit about 18.5 hours of music per gig of space. using that figure i calculated that i'd need about a player that could fit about 120 gigs to fit all my music. right now the largest ipod fits 80gigs. i'm hoping that the increased use of video will push mp3 player makers to produce devices that can fit 100+ gigs of media.
  • excited about the new invasion of the body snatchers. each one has something to say about society in that place and time. it's directed by the guy who did downfall (which i own, but still haven't seen) and das experiment (which is great).

  • 8-14-07 (13:00)

  • had the interview at the cal alumni association today. seemed to go well and she said she'd like to hire me. the guy whose job i'd be taking over is leaving within a week so i think that's part of the reason i'm going to get the job; desperation.
  • also going to finish painting the last two rooms in my aunt's place tomorrow. also got a call from the tile contractor and he needs some work done tomorrow. i'm busy all of a sudden. hopefully all these things pan out and can be scheduled in such a way that i stay busy and profitable.
  • three more episodes of the west wing to go. finished curb your enthusiasm the other day (new season to begin next month, i think). 26 more episodes of the sopranos. after that i'll start the wire. might give deadwood a try as well.
  • updated the cold count. first cold of the year and it's an odd one. mostly in the throat and lungs. lingering, but mostly in the morning.
  • worked on my sister's laptop yesterday. it was running slow and had some problems. needs a new battery and ac adapter, but seems fine otherwise.
  • also working on selling my uncle's corvette. engine's seized, two tires are flat, sunroof is broken, inside is trashed. the 4+3 transmission and body are good. let me know if you're interested.


  • 8-13-07 (15:08)
  • today met with a tile contractor in san leandro who my mom knows. he's looking for some help and that may start as early as next week.
  • also got an interview with the cal alumni association for a handyman position. i applied for that one weeks ago and called them, but hadn't heard from them until now. having both would be pretty ideal since they'd both be part-time and i think both would keep me busy with different types of construction work. of course it could turn out that neither pans out.

  • 8-11-07 (22:33)

  • came up from la on monday. on my way back i visited my paternal grandma for the first time in a long time. they have a nice place in watsonville now. we ate at a place in soquel that's a couple miles from webb ranch. never knew they were that close to luke and family.
  • today meryl and i went to her grandfather's 80th birthday. had a big meal at buckhorn, with all the courses that come with a proper dinner.
  • almost done with the last season of the west wing. it's still a good show, but the drop off in writing, character development and plot are all noticeable after the departure of aaron sorkin.
  • still looking for work, still not finding anything. might have a lead with a tile contractor that my mom knows. other than that i don't have any leads. pretty soon i'm going to start looking for some part-time chump work that'll pay the bills. being wealthy would be preferable.
  • still converting vhs to dvd for my dad. should be done with that in a couple weeks.
  • bonds broke the record. assuming a-rod doesn't have any major medical problems, he'll break the record in 7 years or thereabouts, so all this controversy around him and the record will be just a memory.
  • i hate loud motorcycles. noise pollution is so lame.
  • some guy is writing a book about steve smith (the wide receiver for the panthers who went to high school with me) and he wrote an email to me to see if i had any information about smith. kinda interesting.

  • 8-8-07 (15:44)

  • finally downloaded some stuff from my camera.

  • lassen photos







    dodgers vs. giants

    gas station at olympic and robertson. this is a block away from the school attended prior to 2nd grade, which is no longer there.

    8-08-07 (11:29)

  • gums are bleeding, should go to a dentist. might have a cavity. need insurance.
  • pretty broke these days. going to start looking for work, rather than a career (which has been a complete failure so far).
  • got two tickets today because of the once a month street cleaning. $96 down the drain. yay.
  • i hate money because it is so frequently the thing that keeps me from being stress free or happy or unburdened or whatever.
  • got a sore throat the other day and it's still with me. i'm not sick, but there's definitely something that isn't quite right.
  • i think the only way to unload the corrado and get anything decent out of it is to put a little money into it to make it worth buying.

  • 8-04-07 (11:26)

  • in la now. went to the three dodgers/giants games on tuesday, wednesday and thursday. bonds played all three games, but wasn't effective and obviously didn't get the record-tying HR. it was a fun time nonetheless. the dodger fans were brutal to the giants fans and bonds. chants of "barry sucks" and "steroids" were heard when he entered left field, the on deck circle and the batter's box. anytime he got near the ball he was booed and every out he caused was met with cheers. there were occasional skirmishes throughout the games, but nothing too drastic, that i saw.
  • i've been thinking about going to the padres game tomorrow to see if i can't get lucky and see bonds hit his HR there. still not decided on that. luke and ryan are in san diego now and were in la during the dodger series, but i didn't see them.
  • probably coming back up in the next couple days. i have a couple things to take care of down here first.

  • in the late stages of the fourth season of the sopranos. if you're interested in getting into the series i would recommend going about it this way: read a detailed summary of the first season written by someone who has seen the entire series. watch about half the episodes of the second season, and 75% of the episodes of the third season, and read a synopsis of the missed episodes. so far all but one or two episodes of the fourth season have been worth watching. the sopranos has gotten better with each season, whereas the west wing got worse after sorkin left (at the end of the fourth season).

    7-30-07 (11:51)

  • went to lassen this weekend. we left friday after meryl got off work and drove for a couple hours until we got to fairfield. the traffic was bad pretty much the entire way so we decided to eat dinner and wait out the traffic. as a result of the long dinner and the shitty traffic, though, we didn't get to lassen until around 11pm. we went to a couple camp sites and they were completely full which was unexpected, but not the end of the world. rather than going to some crowed cookie cutter campsite (alliteration) we decided to camp out at a picnic spot which was empty and still had a pit toilet and level ground for the tent. we set up camp in the dark and got to bed around midnight.
  • the next day we broke camp and had a clif bar and water for breakfast; yum. we drove to the lassen summit parking lot which is around 8,500 feet in elevation. from there is about 1,950 feet and 2.5 miles to the summit, making for a 5 mile hike. the sign posted at the base of the trail says it takes 4-5 hours round trip, and i think johnny said it would take us about 3-3.5 hours. i was a bit concerned because i'm out of shape and elevation takes it out of you even more quickly. thankfully, though, my body tends to answer the call despite my not keeping it in the greatest condition. i was tired after less than a quarter mile, but i plateaued and never got really tired. we stopped several (7?) times on our way to the top, and twice on the way down, to take pictures, rest and drink water. we made it to the top in 85 minutes and back down in 53 (with about 20 minutes of enjoying the view and eating another clif bar at the summit). so the entire hike was only 2hrs 18min and we were both satisfied with ourselves for that. afterwards we drove to the bumpass hell parking lot and walked to the thermal features they have there. that was another 3 miles round trip with a 700 foot change in elevation. all told we hiked 8 miles at elevation with a change of about 2,700 feet. frankly, i don't think either of us thought we would have done that - me because i consider myself in pretty bad shape and meryl because her knee still isn't great after the surgery. plus, i didn't think we'd have much energy after doing the lassen summit. i'm not even sore, i've got some tightness in my lower calves and some chafing, but i wouldn't mind going ahead and doing it again.
  • after doing that we decided to change the plan and leave lassen to visit chico (because neither of us had been there before) then drive to clear lake state park and camp there. chico wasn't as bad as i had always heard. certainly the outskirts of the town were depressed, but the downtown area was nice enough. we stopped at a little pub for an early dinner and had a good meal. the pub even played immortal technique, ice-t, and mitch hedberg. afterwards we went to some root beer/ice cream joint that had dozens of sodas and good ice cream sundaes. having had our fill of chico, we left for clear lake and (hopefully) a nice place to camp for the night.
  • the drive there was nice - we took a lot of minor highways, parts of which reminded me of the blue ridge parkway back east because of how fun they were to drive (fast road with turns and hills). it's a good thing i got my rear suspension taken care of before the trip. the landscape varied from the barren heat of chico to the wooded areas around clear lake to the farm roads alongside vineyards that were reminiscent of napa. finally we arrived at clear lake state park and inquired as to the cost and availability of camping. there was only one spot left and the cost of camping was $29. we opted to continue on the road in the hopes of finding something better. it's definitely disconcerting that, as taxpayers, the price for a camping spot in a state park is $29. there are hotels in many spots throughout the country that are $20-30. why should it cost $29 to set up a tent and sleep under the stars? edward abbey is turning in his grave.
  • after driving around for a while and not finding a suitable place to set up camp we elected to drive back home.
  • yesterday was a relatively lazy day - we watched a couple movies and i watched the rest of season six of the west wing, as well as a couple episodes of the sopranos, season 3.
  • tomorrow i leave for la. i'll be there for a while to watch the dodgers/giants series (bonds isn't going to play for at least 1 out of the 3 games, i hate that guy). what the hell does he get paid for?
  • bill walsh died today. unlike lombardi and some other football geniuses, walsh left a legacy of coaches in his wake - shanahan, holmgren, hackett, green, seifert, fassel, and many others who worked under those who learned from him. he also crafted the most successful offense of all-time and had a nose for talent - young, montana, rice, haley, lott, craig, etc.

  • 7-26-07 (17:40)

  • it's interesting to note which people brought up the pat tillman death, and at what point. at first it was guys like limbaugh and hannity, and they brought it up to drum up support of the war and in the spirit of jingoism (it recalled the old poem "dulce et decorum est..."). now, though, people on the left, like olberman and those on air america, bring it up as an example of the politicization of tillman's death and corruption (because of the cover-up of the truth behind tillman's death - friendly fire, and, according to his mother, possibly murder by someone on our side).
  • obama said that he'd visit leaders like castro if he became president. today the clinton camp attacked his decision to commit to such a thing and called him naive. the whole thing has become a two-day story, which is pretty silly if you ask me. both candidates' spokespeople looked pretty petty when they debated it on hardball today.
  • going to lassen (again) this weekend. hopefully we'll be more prepared this time. plan on hiking to the summit, seeing some sights and then driving back.
  • noise pollution isn't talked about often enough. they need to come out with some bullshit study that finds posits that noise doesn't have a deleterious effect only while the noise is being heard, rather that it causes internal stress that haunts those affected by it for hours after exposure. then they can come out with another study that identifies a disease (let's call it noise sensitivity disorder, aka NSD) that leads to heart disease, diabetes, and erectile disfunction. maybe then a debate about noise pollution can begin.
  • seems like everything is a disease these days.

  • 7-25-07 (00:25)

  • tivo's great and all, but the software could be so much better. ease of use, an undelete feature, more control over the options, etc. would all make it a real winner.
  • lindsay lohan is pathetic.
  • tcm is great.
  • bored. not tired.

  • 7-23-07 (18:58)

  • took the car in today to get the rear struts replaced (finally). over $600 later and it's done and i can finally stop worrying about it.
  • working on my aunt's kitchen this week. she's got three layers of wallpaper on the wall which is unusual, and annoying, but it'll get done nonetheless.
  • had a little phone interview with a contractor today. he does mostly commercial stuff, though, so it wasn't really what i was looking for. while i was talking with him my cordless phone ran out of battery life so i hooked up the other phone and called him back. after doing that we got disconnected a couple more times. it was a disaster in more ways than one.
  • if i had a truck i'd pick up people's trash and take it to the dump for them, at a cost of course. the strike seems to still be going and it's affected different areas to differing degrees. my aunt has had her trash picked up twice and we've had our trash picked up once. some places still haven't gotten any service since the strike began.

  • 7-21-07 (17:21)

  • went to lafayette to sell my old sony receiver. kinda sad to see it go. i got lucky driving out there though - had all lanes open east through the tunnel, and looked at the traffic coming back with dread knowing that i was in for a long wait. but by the time i got the money from the guy and he tested it out, the traffic had cleared and all tunnels were open going west.
  • yesterday i had a short work day because i only worked on touchups and cleaning up the workspace. got a call from my sister around 1130 telling me that my dad (who has been to northern california to visit twice in the ten years i've lived here) was coming to town and that we'd go out to eat lunch because he was only an hour away. after some dawdling and getting lost, the two of them showed up at my place at 3:30. we went out for what ended up being my only meal of the day. afterwards we came back to my place for a bit and talked about movies and such. meryl came home from work and then we decided to go to the a's/orioles game. sarah had to wake up early so we dropped her off first. the game was pretty uninteresting except for ellis breaking up a no-hitter in the 7th inning with a homerun. i've been to about six games at the coliseum and the a's have only won once; against the bosox in the 11th thanks to a chavez walk-off homer.
  • meryl's with her mom this weekend doing arts and crafts. i'm here catching up on sopranos watching, movie reviewing and mp3 sifting.
  • updated the afi list to include a color-coded marking of films i haven't seen as well as those that appear in my top 25.
  • seen 22 movies in the last 21 days and that's a better pace that i've had over the last few months.
  • going to watch beckham now...

  • 7-20-07 (11:13)

  • there was a 4.2 earthquake around 4:30 this morning and the epicenter was pretty close to us. i was having trouble sleeping last night and felt dizzy and nauseous and then the earthquake woke us up. afterwards i looked around the apartment and looked outside, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary so i tried going back to sleep. i still felt dizzy, though, so i didn't get much sleep until around 6am. i still feel a little nauseous right now so i'm not sure what's going on.
  • finished up the laundry room at my aunt's place today. looks like the kitchen is next, that's going to be a bit tougher.
  • the move on the part of the democrats to get a bill passed that would bring the troops home was a good one. i don't think it was a good move in terms of bettering iraq or our standing in the world, but from a political point of view it was wise on their part. the democrats don't want to inherit a problem if they get into the white house so if the bill had passed then the troops would have come back and iraq may not have been front page news everyday. even if they didn't get the required 60 votes (and they didn't, they only got 52), they still won because the war is unpopular and it makes the administration and the republican party look unresponsive and unwilling to change course. so, it was good politics, but, as usual, that's not what makes the world better. to me, the move is just further evidence that both parties play the partisan game when they feel it will help them win in the future.

  • 7-16-07 (22:09)

  • neighbors had some fight tonight. it was entertaining for a couple minutes, but it was essentially an unstaged episode of jerry springer heard through the front door.
  • haven't been too lucky in my job hunt. part of this is because i've been picky and part of it is because i haven't been checking as many sources of jobs as i should.
  • got a couple more offers on the corrado, but nothing over $500.
  • going to sell my copy of "my dinner with andre" on dvd. it's been out of print for a while and fetches upwards of $100. i've heard from a couple sources that criterion owns the rights and that they plan on releasing it on dvd in the future, so it seems to make sense to get what i can out of the dvd while it's still rare. i actually have several dvds that are worth $50-100+ because they've gone out of print.
  • still working on converting my dads vhs to dvd. i've got about 170 to go which means about 340 more hours.
  • taking my car in next monday to finally get the rear shocks taken care of. the front shocks cost about $700 so i'm expecting the rear to be the same, if not more (because they're in worse condition).
  • finally got a few long film reviews in after a couple months of shorter reviews. watching good movies helps.
  • saw an ad for a professional organizer the other day. i don't know how much she charges, but it seems like something i could do, i just never knew there was a market for it. i love organizing and archives and storing things. unfortunately i don't have enough stuff to keep me busy with projects like that. if you know anyone who could use an aspiring professional organizer (or handyman/utility guy, for that matter), then lemme know.
  • been having slightly more fun with cooking than usual. i think having copious cloves of garlic on hand helps in that regard. in general, i think being good at anything is as much about creativity, experience and knowledge as it is about having the proper tools.

  • 7-16-07 (14:22)

  • started looking for ways to unload the corrado. pick and pull offered me $121 for it. a single door handle is worth more than that.
  • haven't gotten much done today.

  • 7-15-07 (17:04)

  • been watching more movies lately, that's always good. saw the newest die hard flick today. according to imdb.com the director of the newest installment was born in march of 1973 and was 13 when he first watched die hard. obviously this is impossible since die hard was released in july of 1988.

  • 7-14-07 (18:03)

  • ran a bunch of errands today. washed the car, went to amoeba, got some stuff for the baseball scrapbook (which still isn't completed), dropped off some stuff at goodwill, etc.

  • 7-11-07 (16:53)

  • this week i'm working on the second bedroom in my aunt's place. don't think she has anymore work for me after that. been following up other job leads - one with a tile contractor, but i'll have to wait a couple weeks on that one before i know the verdict. the other is for the cal alumni association. called the lady and i think she called back, but she didn't leave a message. it's easier to look for a job when you're actually unemployed, but then you don't have the money so...
  • ladybird johnson died today (or yesterday?). she was one of the more important figures in the environmental movement so it's sad to see her pass.
  • caught up on my movie review queue today. i feel like i'm always busy these days.
  • much has been made of john mccain's trouble these days. i still think he'll emerge as a top two candidate in the republican party, but i've been known to be wrong. i think he's closer to the base than giuliani and i think romney's war chest is bloated because of his personal wealth and (i suspect) his rich mormon contributors. i also think that, like it was for bush in 2000, south carolina could be a turning point for mccain. he's been courting the christian coalition vote for well over a year now and i suspect he'll get better support in the more conservative states which could help him raise more money and give him greater momentum leading into the home stretch. i also think that playing the underdog has proven fairly beneficial - you don't take the heat like the front-runner, for one. bush, kerry, and clinton were all behind in the early polls and found ways to win their pary's nomination.
  • i also have to say that i disagree with the people who are advocating pulling out of iraq. that's an unpopular stance for a leftist to take, but i don't think that leaving the mess that we've created is what's best for the region or the world. i also think that the politicization of this decision is unfortunate and is, ironically, what got us into this bullshit in the first place. i don't believe in the reasons for going into iraq, i don't agree with the way in which it was executed, i don't like anything about it, but i do believe in commitment. i think leaving would create a vacuum that would likely end in genocide and civil war and a destabilization of the region. of course anything we do over there is tainted so we're more or less stuck. i think that our troops need to be considered peace-keeping forces and be at the control of the iraqi "government." there are all sorts of ethical considerations and implications to a policy like that, but we've destroyed the country and thrown it into a state of chaos so we need to do every peaceable thing we can to get their systems (power, water, sewage, governmental, etc.) back up and running efficiently while keeping the peace. hopefully that would include a greater focus on lending our knowledge on implementation of governmental systems like schooling and economic stimulus than policing the populace.

  • 7-8-07 (20:16)

  • watching ferris bueller's day off.
  • chipotle is probably my favorite place to eat out. it's cheap, tasty, and healthy.
  • finished the fifth season of the west wing yesterday. aaron sorkin wrote for the first four, but left after that. it's still good, but the characters have changed and the writing isn't as smart. i'm onto the third season of the sopranos as well.
  • meryl made me breakfast on my birthday. afterwards we went to santa cruz. we played some kickball (which ended in a tie), ate, and watched the best private fireworks show of my life. luke always does a good job. also got a nice birthday cake to take home.
  • got a bunch of stuff this year. a few books, a bunch of posters (national park and movie themed), some dvds, and more.
  • worked on painting my aunt's living room last week, going to finish that and move onto one of the bedrooms this week.
  • new seven wonders of the world were released yesterday. the easter island statues didn't make the cut and that's a shame.
  • ferris bueller car.
  • been looking for carpentry jobs, but haven't had any luck so far.

  • 7-3-07 (23:08)

  • i think not having a fixed schedule is nice on the one hand because it allows me flexibility to run errands and work on projects and do stuff at my leisure. on the other hand i don't have a fixed time when i watch movies or update my page, etc. i watched the most movies when i was working nights at tower and would eat dinner and watch a movie. it was a good schedule and the routine lent itself to getting plenty done. without the routine my life seems to go in more pronounced ebbs and flows - i'll be really busy for a couple days and then have one lazy day. today's a busy day. i had three ebay auctions end, i've gotten a lot of email, i got a bunch of blank dvds in the mail (for the vhs to dvd conversion i'm doing for my dad), etc. hectic.
  • the whole libby situation is predictable. it's funny, but not because bush commuted libby's sentence, rather because of his reason for doing so. in his speech he said that the punishment was "severe" which is funny because he said early in the investigation that he would be tough on whoever was responsible for the leak. it's also funny because bush was the governor of texas which doesn't think it's too severe to give the death penalty to mentally retarded murderers. it's looking as though he'll likely pardon libby in his final days as president. i didn't hear any of the right-wingers talking about bush's decision, but i would expect their line to be something like: "the left's outrage over this is hypocritical because clinton pardoned more people during his presidency, including one of his donors." this is a typical tactic employed by the right - when they can't be outraged about the principle of something and when the facts aren't on their side, they accuse the other side of being hypocritical. this is what many of them do on the global warming issue, for example. i've heard limbaugh talk about al gore's private jet and how polluting it is, for example.
  • worked at my aunt's the last couple days. finished the entryway and one wall of the living room. doing it one wall at a time is a bit slower, but much better from a mental standpoint because i don't get tired of doing a single task over and over again.

  • in the process of uploading my updated pictures page. it's almost 10 gigs, though, so it's going to take about a day.

    6-26-07 (09:40)

  • working on converting a few hundred vhs tapes to dvd for my dad. that'll take me a long while.

  • fish camp:

    just outside of fish camp at the "rim of the world" overlook

    saw this on the drive up the other day

    6-25-07 (15:43)
  • drove the corrado up on saturday and it did fine. along the way i stopped at channel islands national park to scout it out. didn't spend much time there because there isn't much to do without going to the actual islands (there are five of them), but i did talk with a ranger and look at their exhibits. it counts as a visit so i've officially been to all the national parks in california.
  • the drive took about 8 hours because i took the 101 freeway and stopped a few times to allow the car some time to cool off. yesterday meryl and i went to concord because that's where the nearest fry's is (i had to return something) and we took the corrado. it drives well and is such a joy. on the way back the coolant light started flashing. we pulled over and i topped it off with coolant and everything was fine after that. there wasn't any noticable leak so i'm not sure what happened. that car is so funny sometimes.
  • today i went and got a parking permit for it along with doing some other errands.
  • a while back meryl and i went to an a's/red sox game that went into the 11th inning and was ended by an eric chavez walk-off homerun. the next day i went to santa cruz and watched a little league game with luke. it was the a's vs. the dodgers and the dodgers won in extra innings with a walk-off homerun. later that night we watched a giants/diamondbacks game and the diamondbacks won the game in extra innings with a walk-off homerun. three extra inning games in 24 hours that ended with a walk-off homerun. pretty lucky streak.

  • 6-21-07 (23:38)

  • tuned in on time to see the top ten of the afi top 100 movies show last night. there were some major changes - casablance dropped one place, the graduate got kicked from the top 10 and raging bull got a major jump: from 24 to 4. i know that ebert places it in his top 10 of all-time (which includes foreign films). i also noticed that third man and several others are no longer on the list. perhaps they finally realized that third man was a british film, or maybe they just realized that it's overrated. i'm currently working on a list of the films and their rank on the original and most recent lists. vertigo is another film that has been getting a lot of hype in recent years and this is reflected in the list: it went from 61 to 9. it's also interesting to note that stagecoach was at 63 on the original list, but didn't make the cut on the most recent one. citizen kane was #1 on both lists and orson welles said that he learned everything he needed to know about directing from watching stagecoach. kurosawa also called john ford (director of stagecoach) "the master."
  • painting is finally moving along. the prep and priming took forever. the drywall sucked up about twice as much primer as paint.
  • finished the afi list. here it is.

  • 6-18-07 (17:48)

  • flew down to la on thursday night. later that night phil came over and picked up the corrado. he's going to a mechanic's school and they were looking for cars to inspect. the next day he drove it back and gave me the news - according to their inspection there are several problems with the car. a couple of the things are fairly minor (an oil leak that's barely worth noting, for example), a couple of things are worrisome and a couple things are bad. i'm mostly worried about the fact that the oil gets hotter than it should and that the electrical system seems to slowly drain the battery. today i worked on a couple of the minor things that had bothered me - the driver's side window doesn't roll up all the way, the trim on the passenger side window is loose, and the sunroof leaks. i fixed the sunroof leak - turns out that there's a drain on the roof that leads to a tube that leads to the front of the car where it drains. the drain and the tube weren't connected so i glued them together and the problem was fixed. too bad the mechanical issues can't be solved so easily.
  • on saturday i went to a dodger game with my dad. they played the angels so it was a pretty rowdy crowd and there was at least one fight. the dodgers lost 3-0. one couple sitting next to us showed up in the fifth inning with nachos, hot dogs and beer. around the sixth inning my dad got up and went to the bathroom. as he was walking by the girl (who didn't stand up to let him by) he accidentally kicked over her beer (which was mostly full). she sorta whined about it, but he didn't hear her. for the five minutes or so that he was gone she talked about it with the people around her, including me. she asked if he was my buddy and i said he was my dad. she asked if he was "a kind hearted gentleman" and i said yeah i guess. when my dad returned she told him that he knocked over her beer and that it was full because she had just purchased it. she insisted that he pay for a new one and my dad said that he didn't realize it and he was sorry, but he wasn't going to pay for a new one. he'd pay for half because she didn't get up to allow him room to pass and she said that worked for her. he handed her a $20 bill with the understanding that he'd get his change back. she left with her boyfriend to buy the beer and i thought for sure that my dad had seen the last of his $20. but they returned with another beer and even some change for my dad; though it wasn't the agreed upon $15 (a beer costs $10) - it was only $10, so he ended up paying for the whole beer after all. he didn't press the issue, though.
  • after the game we went out for dinner and then watched a movie (hostel 2). when we got back to his place we watched another movie - cool hand luke - and then i slept over his place because we had plans to go to another game the next day. cool hand luke is one of my favorite films of all-time and luke jackson is one of cinema's greatest characters. many of my favorite characters (in life and literature) are very moral, anti-establishment renegades of sorts - colonel dax (kirk douglas) in paths of glory, the aforementioned luke jackson (paul newman), tom joad (henry fonda), gandhi (kingsley), etc. they don't conform, yet they're not hopeless rebels like hopper and fonda in easy rider. sure, those two are symbols of freedom, and i appreciate them for that, but i don't see the purpose and greater cause behind their motivations as i do in the likes of tom joad or colonel dax.
  • sunday was pretty much the same as saturday. went to another dodgers/angels game and they lost (this time 10-4). afterwards i went over to james' place and we had dinner and watched a movie (another sequel - ocean's 13).
  • the plane ride didn't treat the laptop very well. when i opened it up and tried to connect to the internet i discovered that the network card wasn't receiving any power. i took it out and put it back in to no avail. i went to fry's and bought a new one, but it didn't work. apparently the pc card slot is dead. went back to fry's and stood in line for 15 minutes to return the card, then bought a usb wireless device, tested it at a nearby starbucks and it worked. brought it up to my grandmother's and i'm having problems with it.
  • one of these days i'll come to la and not have technical problems and not have to work on someone's house or computer or audio system. maybe.
  • upper back still hurts after sleeping six hours or more. this is a new-ish problem, but it's a relief from the lower back pain that has haunted me from time to time since senior year of college. it's not as painful or debilitating and it goes away once i walk around and stretch it out. so life's great.
  • got a call back from the construction place that i applied to last week. will call them tomorrow.
  • received word from sarah price herself that summercamp! will be coming to dvd shortly. great documentary done by price (who also worked on american movie) and beesley (who worked on that flaming lips documentary whose title i can't currently recall). summercamp! was screened at sxsw 2006 and 2007.

  • 6-12-07 (17:16)

  • ended up not going to the ranch because luke was busy. worked out pretty well because meryl was feeling pretty crappy yesterday and she took the day off. also got the opportunity to run a bunch of errands which had been piling up for a while. for someone who doesn't have a real job, i sure seem to keep busy.
  • going to la in a couple days. looking forward to getting the car up here and painting my grandma's old bookroom which has recently been converted into a rentable area. will hopefully finally stop by channel islands national park on the way up.
  • dropped off an application for an apprentice position at a construction company in oakland. also looked into a construction program at laney college in oakland.
  • watched two films from 1951 in the last two days.

  • 6-10-07 (16:43)

  • spent most of last week working on the ranch. did a lot of cleaning and mowing. going tomorrow as well.
  • this weekend we went to tuolumne fish camp near yosemite with meryl and her parents. played a lot of board games, did some crafts, read, and just relaxed in general. it was a good time.
  • getting to the campsite took longer than it should have because of excessive traffic on the eastbound 205 freeway. when we finally got to the campsite a honda odyssey slowly drove out into the middle of the road and caused me to stop behind him in the middle of the road as the driver figured out what the hell he was doing. after a short pause he put the car in reverse and drove within inches of my front bumper. as i went to change gears, meryl reached over and slammed on the horn. unfazed, the driver continued in reverse towards my front end. luckily i floored the car into reverse just before he hit us. afterwards he stopped, and went forward down an adjacent road, completely ignoring us the entire time. meryl guessed that he came within one centimeter of hitting us, i think it was more like 2 inches.
  • today meryl feels like crap because of some prescription nsaid medicine she's taking for her knee. talked with a triage nurse and got the scoop so she should be okay by tomorrow.
  • haven't been very good about updating or watching movies because of my transient lifestyle. also haven't gotten a great night's sleep in over a month.
  • this weekend i'm going to la to pickup the corrado and bring the annoyance up here. there are a couple minor things to fix which i should be able to do myself, but that's assuming i can get the parts. damn that car.
  • nba finals are pretty boring. i hate how much people focus on individual players like lebron and duncan. i think this undermines the fundamental truth that these games are team games. even in game five when lebron scored something like 25 of his team's last 26 points, the team is essential. he didn't get every rebound or defend every player, and that was only one, spectacularly unusual, game.

  • 6-3-07 (10:47)

  • the eastern conference finals were competitive, but disappointing. game 5 saw a great performance from lebron and showed that sometimes one person can defeat five. i have absolutely no interest in watching the finals. lebron is way too over-hyped and san antonio is boring and full of complainers. flip saunders isn't a very good coach.
  • hamburger dave's has the best hamburgers in the east bay, at least in my limited experience thus far.
  • monday i'm finishing up my aunt's dining room.

  • next weekend i'm going with meryl's family to something called "fish camp."

    5-31-07 (23:11)

  • been working on my aunt's place the last couple days. hopefully i'll finish this stage of it tomorrow, but i'm not counting on it; lots of trim/brush work.
  • next week i'll be at the sanders/webb ranch.

  • 5-28-07 (11:08)

  • our trip to lassen was a failure. we forgot all sorts of things and didn't plan it out at all. ended up going there just for one day and sleeping in the car. we'll go again soon enough, and this time we'll bring the proper supplies.
  • meryl's radiator was cracked and spilling coolant last week so i replaced that. cost to do it ourselves: $200, cost for someone else to do it: $700. it took about 3 hours so that wasn't too bad at all. both our cars still need the rear shocks to be replaced.
  • i also need to insure the corrado before i drive it up in a couple weeks. money is tight as usual.
  • saw spider-man 3 yesterday.

  • 5-25-07 (10:25)

  • going to lassen today for the weekend, should be fun.

  • 5-22-07 (16:34)

  • got an email today from the sca about mt. rainer. would have been nice to see the park after this had happened.
  • some guy on the street asked me to sign a petition today and i did. i was wearing an alamo drafthouse shirt from austin and he asked if i knew who alex jones (renowned conspiracy theorist) was. i said yes, he told me that jones (or at least his movies) made appearances at the alamo drafthouse. afterwards we talked about conspiracies.
  • i need to register to vote at this address.

  • 5-22-07 (12:35)

  • updated the movies list and the glacier trip page.
  • back in oakland now. need to start looking for a job again.
  • tonight we're going to replace meryl's radiator. it's got a crack in it and starts spewing coolant after about 15 minutes of driving.
  • going to la to pick up the corrado in mid-june.
  • haven't shaved in 23 days.
  • haven't eaten in 18 hours.

  • GLACIER TRIP HERE

    4-29-07 (10:45)

  • leaving for canada tomorrow.
  • nfl draft wasn't without drama. randy moss got traded, quinn fell to 22, and there were plenty of surprises in between. the draft is great because every team has hope on that day. for those two days you feel as though your team has a good chance for next year.
  • poison oak has mostly subsided. i'll try staying away from that crap from now on.
  • won't update page for a few weeks, but there should be plenty once i do.
  • here's where i'll be.

  • 4-27-07 (14:52)

  • worked on getting some old disney stock in my name. my grandmother gave my sister and me two shares of disney a long time ago. eventually that turned into 24 shares, but because my dad didn't do anything with it, it somehow became "unclaimed property." now i have to go through a bunch of steps to get it in my name. this has been a 6+ month process so far. tomorrow i'll get the last of the paperwork notarized and then things should be done on my end.
  • ran errands today.
  • i wonder how often "independently wealthy" people are actually independently wealthy. more often than not i would guess they're wealthy in large part because of some inheritance. i don't have a problem with inheritance, but i do have a problem with the term "independently wealthy" simply being used to describe someone who doesn't have to work because they have money.

  • 4-26-07 (17:52)

  • going out tonight with meryl. not sure what we're going to do.
  • spent the last four days at the sanders ranch. tuesday was really rough - worked on freeing the stumps of several juniper bushes. overall that project took us about three days. luke, gabe and gabe's uncle all worked on it at different times. today we worked on a neighbor's fence. she wanted a lattice fence topper to be added to her existing fence because of her neighbor's annoying dogs. it only took us a couple hours, but we didn't finish the entire thing because the lumber yard was out of the lattice toppers. i also got to see the rest of the property today. we took a hike down to the creek and took the steep way back, blazing our own trail. five acres is a lot of land.
  • the next few days will be dedicated to gearing up towards my trip to canada.

  • 4-23-07 (08:46)

  • planning on going to the sanders ranch today.
  • two year anniversary with meryl on thursday.
  • leaving for canada on monday.
  • this weekend we went to meryl's parents' place. they've gotten into beekeeping so we got to see them load their first two batches of bees. honey should be ready in six months, if memory serves. pretty neat. we saw fracture and went out to eat. i watched some of the nba playoff games as well. the warriors winning was a welcome surprise. i don't think they'll win the series, but it's nice to see dallas hurt a little.
  • poison oak didn't keep me up too much last night. that's a good thing. i think it's on the down swing by now. hopefully it's completely gone by the time i go to canada.

  • 4-20-07 (14:27)

  • columbine anniversary today. 4.20 is bad for a few different reasons.
  • finished painting the first part of my aunt's place. still several rooms that could be painted.
  • the feedback form on the millersmovies page has gotten a couple hits. had some guy from india write to me asking about a liam neeson movie. also had a friend of a guy i met at cuyahoga email me his praise.

  • 4-19-07 (22:47)

  • been playing a lot of super mario bros lately.
  • started watching a movie today called confetti and thought it was crap. the movie-less streak continues. argh.
  • last day of painting at aunt's is tomorrow. having dinner there afterwards.
  • next week i'm going back to santa cruz to work on the sanders ranch, should be fun.
  • got the car back today. it was a hundred less than expected for the front struts because they didn't need to replace the tower bushings. still need to get the rear struts done. good thing i got my tax return yesterday.

  • 4-18-07 (22:41)

  • been busy lately.
  • meryl's car needs struts and a new radiator. yay. my car gets front struts tomorrow and i'll hold off on the rear struts until i get back from canada.
  • been at my aunt's all week working on painting her place.
  • johnny and ryan came over yesterday and we ate at barney's. i thought the burgers were good, but not as good as those at fenton's. played some super mario kart on snes.
  • haven't seen a movie in a while, should fix that tomorrow.
  • poison oak still has a hold of me. it sucks.
  • this whole virginia tech shooting is obviously unfortunate. a lot of the fallout is pretty pathetic. people use it as a reason to jump on the anti-gun lobby or talk about depression, etc. there are a lot of factors that lead to a thing like this, but most people seem to want to reduce it to a single factor. it also made me think about depression and thoughts of suicide. i've heard a lot of people talk about the fact that cho had suicidal thoughts, etc. personally, i think someone who hasn't had suicidal thoughts is less healthy than someone who has. if you haven't thought about your own value in the world and whether or not your life is worth living, then i think something's wrong. i heard one caller on npr suggest that colleges screen potential students for mental illness and depression and require treatment before they could attend. this is the kind of overreaction that annoys the hell out of me. i know it's crass and tasteless, but i'd rather endure a few school shootings every couple years than have this kind of intrusion on tens of thousands of depressed high school seniors.
  • heard about a holocaust survivor who was one of the victims of the shooting. it's pretty sad that a guy survives the nazis, but falls victim to some overachieving asian kid who read too much sylvia plath.
  • too soon? sorry.

  • 4-13-07 (17:39)

  • back home.
  • working in santa cruz has been pretty good so far. we've gotten a lot done on the ranch. we've taken out countless shrubs and plants, trimmed trees, removed brick, cleaned the garage, and taken a few trips to the dump and salvation army. still plenty of work to be done.
  • also need to help my aunt paint some of her house.
  • going to try to get both our cars into the shop in the next week or two.
  • in a little over two weeks i'll be on the road towards canada with johnny and vern. i'll live on a glacier and help johnny with his research for a couple weeks, then i'll come back down and resume the job search. the next few weeks should be fun.

  • 4-09-07 (19:51)

  • haven't been watching many movies lately. for the first two months of the year i was on pace to see over 600 movies this year, but that's not going to happen. now i'm on pace for about 400.
  • meryl's at the a's/white sox game with her dad tonight. i should have gone to a movie tonight since there are so many i want to see, but i didn't think about it, so i've missed my opportunity.
  • car didn't start correctly today. took three tries before it started without dying. hope to take care of that and the struts within the next week or two.

  • 4-09-07 (10:11)

  • been fairly busy lately. hope to accomplish a lot today.
  • been getting phone calls from some fax at 5am and 11pm. very annoying.
  • last tuesday jon came over and we hung out.
  • went to the sanders ranch last week to help with landscaping and demolition of various kinds. we also fixed a leaking pipe. overall it was a good and productive time. i have several bruises and abrasions all over my body. i even have a couple little spots where poison oak got me. fun times. going back tomorrow for a few more days.
  • also going with johnny to canada next month. vern and i will tag along to help him with his glacier research. it'll be fun working and living on a glacier for a few weeks.
  • it's good having friends around again. first time in years that i've had more than one friend within a few miles of home.
  • yesterday meryl and i went to a few family gatherings. first we had brunch with my sister and aunt's family. then we went to her grandmother's place and then to her grandfather's. long day of family stuff.

  • 4-02-07 (10:00)

  • called a couple places to see how much it would cost to get the struts on my camry replaced. the consensus seemed to be at least $1500. i can't seem to get a break when it comes to cars lately. it drags when i go over large speed bumps, so i really do need to get it taken care of.
  • went to the a's game on friday and sunday. friday's game was pathetic because it ended in a tie. it was also strange because it was at sf, but they were using a dh. yesterday's game was better because the a's won. johnny and luke came too.
  • saturday's ucla game was sad. clearly the refs screwed ucla, but that wasn't the entire reason for their loss. brewer's length bothered afflalo and ucla's defense didn't lead to any offense. florida is the best team in the country and it's pretty clear. osu needs 15+ rebounds from oden and 55%+ shooting from the team in order to beat them. if those things don't happen then it's going to be a repeat performance for florida. florida killing osu in a national championship? sounds pretty familiar. i'll be rooting for osu, but i don't think they'll win.
  • going to johnny and luke's ranch this week to help out with some manual labor. that'll be fun.

  • allergies are killing me. there's some kind of tree that is here and in davis that gives me allergies.

    3-31-07 (10:02)

  • biggest game of the year today. ucla vs. florida. rematch. good vs. evil. west vs. south. my happiness for the next month hinges on the outcome of this game.

  • 3-30-07 (12:13)

  • only went to one interview the other day. one was in cupertino for a position in fremont and that's 38 miles from home so i figured that i wouldn't want it even if it was offered. the other interview was for the seneca center in san leandro. i got a second interview for that, but i told them i wasn't interested. it's basically a bigger and more involved version of woodland youth services, the shelter that i worked for in 1999. wys was a level 10 or 11 shelter and this one is a level 14 (which means they have the toughest kids in the state). after thinking about it for a while, i realized i wasn't really up for that kind of commitment and emotional drain. i think i'd be good at it and i think i'd get the job, but i just don't want to deal with it. sadly, if i got as much for doing that type of work as an oakland city meter maid, then i'd probably take the job. that's the fucked up world in which we live. dealing with the most abused and neglected kids in the state yields $12/hr and grooming the baseball fields of oakland city parks gets you as much as $17.80/hr.

  • 3-27-07 (15:44)

  • we're mostly moved in at this point.
  • in the process of selling off stuff i don't need.
  • i have two interviews for tomorrow. interviews are lame.


  • 3-26-07 (09:43)
  • big news of the week is that ucla made it to the final four again. they play florida in a rematch on saturday. that's going to be a huge game. ucla is an exciting team to watch because of their intense defense. afflalo had a big game when he needed. before the game i said that afflalo was going to have to come up big because kansas is the best team ucla has faced this year. this is the most fun to watch since last year's ucla team and that was the most fun team to watch since the 2001-2002 sacramento kings.
  • other big news of the week is that i'm pretty much moved in now. there's still some clutter around the apartment, but i'll take care of most of it today. i have too many dvds and books. there's going to be a culling of the dvds at some point in the near future. there are a lot that i got for free which will probably end up getting the boot.
  • ron jaworski is replacing joe theisman on monday night football. this is such an easy call. jaworski breaks down a game like no other analyst, while theisman is about as insightful as paris hilton in the political arena.
  • have an interview scheduled for wednesday night. it's for some tutoring company in fremont. not real excited about it, but it's an opportunity so i'll see where it leads.

  • how old does this guy look to you? 50? 40? 30? he's 19.

    3-23-07 (13:47)
  • been busy. cleaned and lubed my bike. made a couple trips to the storage facility and brought boxes, dvd cases, cds, tools, etc. to my new place. tomorrow we should be able to get most of the remaining crap, including the tv.
  • ucla is in the elite 8 again. i love it. usc and oregon play tonight. osu is the weakest #1 seed. i think florida is beatable too. noah is overrated.

  • 3-21-07 (23:47)

  • if i titled my posts, this one would be called "the ass raping of chris."
  • got a ticket for the corrado about a month ago because i didn't have current registration. i paid for the registration and title transfer ($109), but couldn't get the sticker because of the smog certification fiasco which i wasn't able to clear up until i got back from ohio. ticket cost: $29.
  • yesterday, my first day living in oakland, i got a ticket for parking on the street without a permit. i had the registration form and was ready to make a copy of my driver's license, utility bill in my name and car registration, but i got a ticket before i was able to get copies and send this off. meryl says she's parked on the street a few times without a permit and she hasn't had any problems. ticket cost: $30.
  • went to rasputin music today to sell some vhs tapes. got $24.50 for the tapes, but also got a ticket because i forgot to add money to the meter. sorry, i have other things on my goddamn mind. ticket cost: $30.
  • on february 12th i got a notice of intent to suspend my registration for the camry from the dmv. i didn't get this notice until i returned from ohio and went to la to tie up loose ends. got this letter in my hand when i met my mom for dinner on march 13th. read it on march 14th. the intent to suspend was received because i didn't have insurance on the camry. called 21st century and got insurance on the 15th, but it wouldn't be effective until 12:01 a.m. on the 16th. coincidentally, the dmv made the 16th the day past which i would have to pay a reinstatement fee. so, the fact that the insurance was in place at 12:01 a.m. on the 16th means that i owe the dmv $14. had i gotten the original notice of intent to suspend before the 16th, i could have filed an affidavit of non-use (on california roadways) and i would have avoided the fee. if my insurance had been activated when i called i also could have saved myself the $14.
  • the corrado is officially in my name now. took the smog certificate to aaa yesterday and got the registration sticker. now that it's actually mine i can name it. because it's fast and constantly needs work, i have decided to call it the millennium falcon. called the old owner and told him that he owed me $106 for the smog check and the work that they needed to do to get it to pass and he said he didn't have any money and that a smog check should only cost $40. i explained everything to him (the stock air filter box needed to be installed, there are fees for the certificate and electronic transmission of the results, the fuse panel was in violation, etc.), but he wasn't really interested in any of that. i got him to agree to pay me $40, but i'm not counting on it. i hate that guy. i've gotten so cornholed over this car.
  • got a bill for $35 from the company that handles my ira. he said "If we do not receive a payment for your annual IRA fee ($35.00) by April 15, I will need to liquidate part of your funds to cover the fee from your retirement account for the current year." i replied:

  • i have no money so go ahead and just liquidate $35 from my paltry ira fund to pay for your "services."
    -chris
  • actually, i didn't put services in quotes, but i wanted to.
  • the only good monetary news is that i shouldn't have to pay taxes from last year since i made about $5,000 all year.
  • actually, i guess it's also good news that my insurance was only $183 for six months. i guess being a good driver has its benefits.

  • 3-20-07 (10:44)

  • while i was in la i saw 300 with james. lars ullrich (the drummer from metallica) sat right behind us. also saw dj qualls in hollywood driving a benz while effeminately holding a cigarette out the window.
  • now i'm in oakland. i need to find a job quickly because i'm truly broke. don't have a working phone here so i can't do a lot of the things i'd like to do. plan on making a run to my storage facility today.

  • 3-18-07 (23:10)

  • biggest news of the week is obviously march madness. it's the best time of the year. the flowers are blooming, the frogs outside are croaking and college basketball is at its best. the pac-10 and sec both have three teams in the sweet 16 which means that the pac-10 is officially worthy of its hype this year. i was worried after two teams lost in the first round and oregon (arguably the second best pac-10 team) won by only 2 against a 14 seed. but now that they have rebounded, ucla pulled out a win, and usc destroyed texas, the pac-10 has earned the hype.
  • the ucla game reminded me of their game against gonzaga last year, only they played like gonzaga. i made this observation to my dad about two minutes before len elmore did. this is one reason i like elmore so much - we think alike. of course ucla has a superior defense and their stars (afflalo and collison) took over, whereas adam morrison threw up a couple bricks and disappeared in the game against ucla last year. the ucla/indiana game last night was great if you like defense. only 33 total points in the first half. i loved it. i no longer am concerned about mata in the middle, but i am concerned about their offensive droughts. afflalo and collison need to be a little quicker to take the initiative when the offense isn't working.
  • so far i've been most impressed by unc at the one seed and usc in the rest of the field. i still think that ucla can win it all as well. florida and ohio state look beatable. oden is great, but i think that if osu comes up against a team that runs a lot, then he'll tire quickly and become a non-factor; especially in the tournament structure which rewards well conditioned teams. men's college basketball is just great.

  • 3-18-07 (22:00)

  • i'm watching a show on fox called "hannity's america" and he ends with the famous speech wherein reagan tells gorbachev to "tear down this wall." after the speech sean hannity says that reagan was a great man and in the next line he says, now stay tuned for "war stories with oliver north." this wasn't a joke. only on fox can a person praise reagan in one sentence and then turn you over to a show hosted by the embodiment of reagan's moral failure. hilarious. it's sorta like hannity ignoring the fact that his boy (gingrich) was having an affair while chiding clinton for his doing the same thing.

  • 3-17-07 (9:37)

  • yesterday was a hectic day. i went and picked up the car from my mom's. had to give it a jump, but it cranked up pretty well considering how long it had been sitting there. took it for a drive after putting in some fuel additive that's supposed to clean out the fuel system and help it pass the smog test. drove it for half and hour on the highway and then got an oil change because that's supposed to help it pass as well. filled up with premium gas because a full tank is supposed to be better as well and because i wanted to balance out the old gas that was in the tank. drove it around for another 10 minutes to get it nice and warmed up and then took it to a smog test center. when i got there they noticed that there was a steady leak under the car. turned out that there was an oil leak. it wasn't a loose oil drain plug, in spite of my hope that the oil change center just neglected to tighten the nut completely. so i had the guys at the smog center take a look at it and it turned out to be a $65 repair, which was lucky considering how many things it could have been. i was also lucky that the part was easily replaced, rather than a special order item. so, they fixed that and then i was set to get the smog check. but when they looked at the engine bay they said that i'd fail the visual inspection. it's funny because i've taken the car to two vw dealers, a smog center, and an independent shop, but none of them told me about the loose vacuum tube that would cause an automatic visual fail. what all this means is that my work in getting the carb # earlier in the week was for naught. turned out that i had to put in the original air filter box after all. so i had them do that ($25) and then i was set for the actual smog test.
  • he did a few small systems tests on the car and they passed. then he turned the key to "acc" to make sure all the lights were working. turns out that the check engine light was non-operational, and that's generally a fail right there. but because i had helped him install the air filter box, and because i think he felt a little sorry for me, he basically looked the other way on that one. so i should get that fixed eventually, but it shouldn't be a big deal. then he hooked it up to the computer and ran it at 15 and 25 mph. ended up passing without too much trouble. on most of the measurements i was above the average for passing cars, but well below the maximum. so, after 4+ months of the car being in limbo, it's finally settled and in my name.

  • 3-13-07 (11:07)

  • got a lot done today. getting a plate with a carb # on it. this will allow the corrado to pass the visual inspection. now it's up to the emissions test.

  • 3-5-07 (14:44)

  • in nashville right now. updates will be located on a separate trip page. here.

  • 3-2-07 (20:38)

  • need to pack the last of my stuff into the car and then i'll be all set on my end. tomorrow morning paul will come by and make sure i didn't destroy the place and then i'll hit the road.
  • looking forward to the road trip, but not the job hunt that will follow it.

  • been watching a lot of the west wing lately. hope to finish the second season before i leave tomorrow. great show with great writing. definitely one of the best written shows ever.

    2-28-07 (17:55)

  • not pleased by the fact that my back hurts. driving across the country and then moving will not be pleasant if this persists.
  • which is better - 1 or 2?
  • one thing i really won't miss when i leave this place is the smell of bill's microwave dinners which are generally followed by the smell of shit and "air freshener" wafting from the bathroom.
  • below is an example of a poorly designed console. in particular the heating and cooling controls (which are separated into three dials on the bottom) could have been laid out more intuitively. the dial on the left controls air flow, except for when you want air flow to be off, in which case you have to use the right most dial which is usually used for location of airflow. rate and location have no connection to each other so far as the end user is concerned. while this may make sense for the engineers, i don't think it suits most customers very well. i also don't like the inclusion of a/c and max a/c on the location dial as sometimes it is preferable to determine where the a/c is coming from (at my feet, towards my face, or both) and this configuration does not allow for that level of control.
  • i would also point out that the integration of the radio and air conditioning controls probably makes it more difficult for aftermarket upgrades of the radio. controls on the upper right hand corner for bass, treble, balance and fade would be better located within a single, integrated control, perhaps the seek button which can be found under the volume knob. this allows for a more sightly console and is equally user-friendly. this kind of sloppiness is one more reason why ford isn't doing so hot these days.

  • this photo was taken from a ford taurus wagon.

    a mangled sugar maple, my favorite tree in cuyahoga valley national park:

    found this is a book of colonial games. considering the many names by which it is known and the picture at the right, i find this to be a fairly dirty game.

    photos taken outside my window at no particular interval:

    2-26-07 (18:53)
  • just a few more days left here.
  • saw this on a shirt the other day: "there's no such thing as too much bling." thought it was pretty stupid. oh, the shirt also happened to be on a dog.
  • back still hurts. it had better get better in the next couple days. being on the road with a bad back would hamper my plans quite a bit. sleeping on the floor tonight.

  • 2-24-07 (21:13)

  • just ran the trip through my trip planner. if i made it a straight shot it would be 2,461 miles, but the way i have planned it, it'll be 3,850 miles. both were more than i thought. oh well. the road trip dictates my life, not vise versa.
  • here's the itinerary, though i won't take these exact roads.

  • 2-23-07 (23:58)

  • tonight i planned the stops on my trip back. not sure about how i'm going to space them out, and thus how long the trip will take, but i know the places i'm planning to go. they are: parkersburg west virginia, blue ridge parkway, great smoky mountains national park, knoxville, mammoth cave national park, nashville, memphis, little rock, hot springs national park, tulsa, oklahoma city, armarillo, sante fe, great sand dunes national park, black canyon of the gunnison national park, salt lake city, great basin national park, mono lake, yosemite national park, oakland. after that i'll probably head to la for a short while to see friends/family and get the last of my stuff.
  • those places were picked because they are either mentioned in johnny cash's "i've been everywhere," are state capitals, national parks, or places of personal interest.
  • i wonder how they work out the linguistic differences when drafting treaties with north korea or other non-english speaking languages. there are a couple reasons why this is important. 1) a lot can be lost in translation and 2) unlike translating the spoken word, say at the u.n. or something, the written word is binding. in brown vs. board the use of the word "deliberate" caused quite a bit of trouble, from my understanding. when they wrote "with all deliberate speed" in the decision they meant that integration and equality should be pursued quickly, but some states interpreted the word "deliberate" to mean slowly. there's more to the foot dragging than that, but i've heard that the wording was part of it.

  • 2-23-07 (12:33)

  • in the recap of the ucla/cal basketball game last night yahoo sports said that cal "dominated the first half." this, despite the score being 35-34 with ucla leading at the half. from what i've read cal dominated the first half of the first half - by "opening with a 14-4 run for its largest lead." i suppose it's possible that ucla didn't play as well in that first half, but still was able to make some big shots and thus were "dominated" yet somehow managed to be in the lead in the first half. sometimes that happens, so i'll concede this point to yahoo. however, i cannot concede this line: "Josh Shipp scored 22 points and Mata added a career-high 14 to lead a second-half comeback in an 85-75 victory Thursday night that extended the Bruins' home winning streak to 19 games." how can a team stage a second half comeback when they're winning the game after the first half? answer: they can't. especially when they opened the second half with a "14-6 spurt" and went 25-5 after that. in other words, they were up by one at the half, up by 9 shortly thereafter and up by 26 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. this rules out the possibility of even a comeback within the second half to account for the phrase "a second-half comeback." this is all pretty typical of reporters, though. it's about making the story interesting, rather than giving the facts. see: obama/clinton for more on that. here is the link to the original story.
  • speaking of being overly critical, i was thinking about taking www.theconsummatecritic.com and making into a site that featured all my observations about stupid things in the world. whether it's the above diatribe or a picture of a restroom hand dryer that shows a graphic of someone drying their face, rather than their hands, as if the predominant use of the dryer is going to be people in the movie theater who come there to wash and dry their face.

  • 2-22-07 (23:05)

  • just got back from the cavs/bulls game. quicken loans arena is nice enough. good seats. it's better than the coliseum at oakland, or whatever they call the warriors home. it's also newer and bigger than arco arena. arco gets a lot louder though. the fans heckled a bulls fan that was in my section and not in the fun east coast sort of way. there was a shirt give away and they'd use the jumbotron to guilt people into putting them on. they'd find people who weren't wearing the shirt and put them up on the screen with text like "orange you going to put the shirt on?" or "it's free...put it on" or "are you too yellow to wear orange." stupid group-think shit like that. most of the time the people would comply, the other fraction of the time people would just stupidly wave at the camera, happy they were on a big tv. i was wearing my kings sweatshirt and usc t-shirt underneath that, so, had they put the camera on me, i planned on flashing those for the crowd.
  • the cavs team wasn't all that impressive either. their offense is what i'd dub an "isolate and watch" offense. that is, they isolate a single player and allow him to work against his man. when that doesn't work he'll pass it to someone else and they'll do the same thing. as time runs out they'll take whatever shot they can get and then get back on defense. the bulls play a more conventional style of basketball - more passing, reliant upon the jump shot and solid defense. they're not great, but they're definitely better than the cavs. without ilgauskis (sp?), the starting cavs center, they were exposed inside. ben wallace had about 19 rebounds and several tips to his teammates which don't count on the stat sheet, but retain possession for his team nonetheless. got to see scot pollard (ex-kings backup center) play. to me, he was the cavs' best interior presence, but he's not a scoring threat and he's not real athletic so he doesn't get many minutes.
  • lebron was shitty at the free throw line, per the usual of late. he's got a mental block, i could see it from one of the worst seats in the place so presumably he recognizes that as well and will start seeing a shrink about it. he takes too much time at the line and the recent failure just makes him think about too much. he was most of their "offense," too. they actually had a more team oriented offensive look when he was on the bench. his number indicate his unselfishness and i wouldn't consider him a ball hog, but mike brown needs to develop an offense that incorporates the team more. it can't be "give lebron the ball and get out of the way, maybe he'll pass it to you." that's just not going to work in the playoffs.
  • one clever thing they did was when bulls players were at the free throw line they would sometimes put a michigan "m" (as in the college) on the jumbotron. of course this incited the ohio crowd to boo loudly. capitalizing on the osu/michigan rivalry apparently has no bounds. btw, this was not employed strictly for michigan alumni who play for the bulls. in fact, no one on the bulls roster went to michigan, so it didn't have any connection in that way.
  • during one of the breaks a local weatherman gave the forecast for the night and started his intro with the following line: "hey cavs fans. did you know that cleveland has a higher yearly wind average than chicago? so cleveland is the real windy city." i actually did know that because i had recently consulted that portion of my almanac. off the top of my head chicago averages something like 12 mph and cleveland is somewhere in the 14 mph range.
  • saw the new commercial for windows vista at a movie theater recently. not a fan of the theater commercials, but i digress. the commercial shows things like a beautiful mountain landscape or the berlin wall being knocked down and in each instance people say "wow," to what they are witnessing. the last "wow" comes when some goober turns on his computer and sees windows vista. what a fucking joke. i'm not a windows hater, but from what i've seen and read, vista looks pretty much like xp, but more pretty and with some add-on programs that are now integrated. integrate a touch-panel screen, voice-recognition (using both audio [hearing your voice] and video [reading your lips] to make it more accurate), and a wii-like controller and i might say "wow."
  • made a couple minor changes here and there to the site. the "about my reviews" link on the movies reviewed pages is now a java popup, i now have a feedback form on the millersmovies site, etc.
  • today sees the end of my movie watching streak. went about 30 days straight. tomorrow i'll see my 100th movie of the year which will make it (by far) the fastest i've ever gotten to 100 movies. i'm on pace for over 600 movies this year, about 100 more than any year in the past. but when i get home and have a life the pace will decrease greatly. sometimes having a life is lame.

  • 2-21-07 (00:39)

  • didn't want to be home so i went to see a movie tonight. bought a ticket for the newest installment of the hannibal lecter series and walked out after about 45 minutes. it wasn't very good. turned out to be a bad choice because that led to my watching ghost rider and norbit. early front runners for the worst film of the year award.

  • 2-19-07 (20:19)

  • haven't been enjoying work or home lately. just want to leave ohio.
  • i wonder what situation brought me closest to my own death. what i mean is: we all have those moments when we're driving or climbing a tree or whatever when we barely miss hitting another car or falling. i wonder how close i've actually gotten.
  • fixed sidebar link issue, thanks to jon for the heads up.
  • the millersmovies.com page probably won't undergo any changes for a while. thanks to meryl for the feedback on that.
  • norv turner isn't a 49er coach anymore. singletary could have been the one to go, but san diego chose turner instead. pretty bad for the niners. i'll probably be a packers fan soon enough anyway.
  • speaking of teams that are thinking about moving...the kings could very well be on their way to vegas. this has been in the works for a little while now, but the all-star weekend in vegas and stern saying that the gambling issue wouldn't prevent vegas from having a team, have made it closer to a reality. i won't be a kings fan anymore if that happens.
  • one reason why i like bob knight
  • completed the next two rounds of the best year in film page. only the championship round is left.

  • 2-18-07 (21:42)

  • didn't get to watch the all-star game because the restaurant closes early on sunday. forgot about that.
  • our method for determining the two (only two?!) candidates who will run the country is incredibly inefficient and not all that great at producing quality results. i think a better, but still severely flawed, method would be simply entering all the eligible (age and citizenship) and willing graduates (with a 3.7 gpa or better) from top 25 universities into a lottery. from that lottery you pick two names, give them $50 million of public funds, and let them campaign as usual. i think this method would yield candidates who are far less corrupt and just as capable as the ones we get in 9 out of 10 elections.
  • i wonder what single thing i've done makes me the most unique. for example, hank aaron's accomplishment of hitting 755 homeruns would make him the only person in human history to have done that, at least at the major league level. you get the point. at first i thought that hopping onto a train that later derailed would be mine, but that's sorta two things since it includes both hopping onto a train and being on a train that derailed. either way, not a whole lot of people have done it. i've lived in a national park, which is somewhat uncommon.
  • i think the most important attribute of a president is the ability to be a decerning decision maker. under that falls the ability to ask good questions, change their mind when the facts warrant it, having a keen wit, etc. other than eating pretzels, this might be the thing that bush is worst at. joking aside, i do think that this attribute, which people tend not to talk about (they talk more about views on issues and personality), is the most important thing to consider in a great president. ideas are nice, having similar (to me) views on issues is also important, but i see the president as a judge and administrator. they have to judge what ideas and programs are best based upon the facts as they understand them. because so many people surround the president, and so many more send him research and arguments for one side or another, he basically has unlimited research power. coming up with ideas and historical support isn't a problem, so long as the president is willing to seek it out and make a solid decision based upon those facts.
  • being a supreme court justice is similar. obviously you need to have an excellent grasp of the law and precedent in order to become a supreme court justice, but since so many think tanks and lawyers are willing to give their opinion, you could essentially just adopt one point of view or another. being in a high position has that advantage. naturally that can act as a disadvantage as well because organizations will lie and manipulate the truth and will incessantly give you their opinions, whether they're asked for or not.
  • off the top of my head, there are a couple reasons i think hilary clinton could be a good president. she doesn't have a family. it's funny that we don't think about it in these terms, but the presidency is a 24 hour job and you need to be committed to it completely. her daughter is out of the house and her husband probably is too. ha ha. thus, she would be able to commit herself to the job completely. personally, i don't want "a good family man" as the president. i want an asexual bachelor(ette) who is obsessed with the job. secondly, i think she has a great deal of experience. perhaps i'm being naive, but i view the presidency as i do any other managerial job. if you get to constantly look over the shoulder of a president for eight years, then i think you have a great idea about how the job is, and is not, performed well. in this way i view her almost as someone who was once a vice president. i also think having bill around, especially after he's had some time to reflect upon his presidency, could be of great use. obviously they're well-connected which helps in politics, and he has plenty of advice to give. i think ex-presidents are quite a bit more wise than they were while they were presidents. just being separated from the day to day grind of intelligence briefs and minor daily decisions allows them to look back on their term with greater perspective. i think that many of them have feelings of regret because of the things they didn't do for political reasons. perhaps bill's mentoring could have a positive impact on hilary's presidency, should that happen.

  • 2-18-07 (19:44)

  • went to see a movie last night, but breach was sold out. bought a ticket to factory girl instead and then ended up sneaking into the theater to see breach. sat in the front row all by myself. after the film was over i went outside of the theater to see what time the other movies started and i saw that factory girl was playing in about five minutes. went back into the theater by zipping past a couple who was getting their ticket torn. as i passed them i pointed to the bathroom and mumbled something like "oh, there's the bathroom" and got in without a second glance. watched about 30 minutes of factory girl and determined that it was not worth watching.
  • going to watch the nba all-star game tonight.
  • what's worse: an 11 year old giving a blow job or getting a nose job? to me it depends upon the circumstances. if the nose job is reconstructive in nature, as a result of some birth defect or accident then it's always preferable. conversely, it is always worse if the blow job is being given to daddy, or someone older than, say, 13. but if the blow job is between two consenting 11 year olds, then i'd say that the nose job is worse. the thought of an 11 year old getting a nose job for purely aesthetic reasons, and what that means for our culture, would depress me much more than the thought of an 11 year old doing something a few years earlier than most. i don't know how many people would agree with me on this one though.

  • 2-17-06 (19:38)

  • busy busy day at work today. eight times more busy than it's ever been, literally.
  • got a new roommate today. that's four that i've had so far, as opposed to the zero that my boss thought i'd have.
  • note that i did make some changes to the academy analysis since i saw the illusionist and half nelson yesterday.
  • looks like the font issue is only an issue on my desktop, but not the laptop. not sure why that is. might stick with the old font after all.

  • 2-16-07 (22:25)

  • strongly considering changing fonts again. i like the way this one (microsoft sans serif) looks when i'm editing the page, but it displays differently in internet explorer. when i preview the page in ie it looks too bold and crunched together so i'm thinking about changing to arial.
  • when i first learned the words fiction and non-fiction i was a bit confused. it seemed clear to me that reality should be "fiction" and that non-reality should be "non-fiction." that is, that the terms to describe whether or not a story was real should be relative to reality, rather than make believe. reality should be the base and anything that isn't reality should have the "non" attached to it. this is similar to my dislike for the term "outdoors." it's as if doors are somehow a natural thing and that nature (aka "the outdoors") needs to be distinguished relative to our natural (enclosed) state. to me, it makes more sense to refer to "indoors" as "ex-nature" or "outnature" or something, not vise versa.
  • on the recommendations page i've started giving reasons to watch the film, or "if you liked x, then you'll like this" style one-line descriptions, rather than simply listing it.
  • looking forward to getting out of here.

  • 2-16-07 (10:45)

  • the pac-10 is competitive this year, and i'm hoping it's not because all the teams are mediocre. when i see stanford upsetting ucla and cal upsetting oregon and all sorts of other lower ranked teams beating the best in the conference, then it makes me think the conference is weak, rather than great. especially when they lose to non-conference teams...ucla loses to west virginia, usc losing to kansas, arizona being destroyed by unc.
  • it's amazing how much we allow greatness or, more accurately, talent to dominate how we view a person. someone as crazy or difficult to manage as daniel johnston or vincent van gogh is characterized euphemistically as a "troubled genius," instead of simply "a crazy fuck" just because they produce some nice art.
  • heard on the news that some guy hit all five lottery numbers two days in a row. the lottery officials said that the odds of hitting it once are 170,000 to 1 and the odds of hitting it twice "are virtually incalculable." i thought all you had to do to figure that out was multiply 170,000 by 170,000. which would be 28,900,000,000 to 1.

  • 2-15-07 (17:17)

  • "Lauren Bacall, who made her starring debut in the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have or Have Not 63 years ago, said Tuesday that movies have fallen victim to "mediocrity" over those years, "and I think it's too bad that's happened." Appearing at a news conference at the Berlin Film Festival, where her latest film, Paul Schrader's The Walker, is being screened out of competition, Bacall, 82, blamed television for the decline of quality filmmaking. "I think there are still good people who want to do good work and think that's all that matters," she said, "and I think unfortunately in television sometimes they want to do good work, but a lot of the time they're doing terrible work and I think that has affected movie making badly. ... It's all about ratings now and everything. It should be about the work, and it's not." As for herself, she said, "what [appearing in films] means to me mostly is staying alive. I have too much energy to stop working. I don't believe in retirement. I love working.""
  • there was so much snow at the visitor's center today that i didn't get it open until 11:30. had to wait for the plow guy to come and do his job. all the plowing for the park is contracted out and it doesn't seem like anyone is real pleased about that.
  • "your friendship is a fog, that disappears when the wind redirects." -zach de la rocha
  • added a recent updates feature on the sidebar. perhaps that'll be a good place to post updates. it'll also help fill the large void left in the sidebar frame by the new-ish menu.
  • you'll also notice a link in the lower right hand corner of some of the larger pages like my movies reviewed pages and my best of film page, which will bring you back to the top of the page without needing to scroll.

  • 2-15-07 (00:29)

  • went out and watched a movie. the worst part about driving in the snow was coming back home because our driveway is on a hill and i couldn't get much traction when trying to drive up. five movies on the day.
  • updated movies& index. i have a pretty good movie watching streak going, dating back to january 22nd.
  • updated double features page.
  • new judd apatow film coming out with seth rogen and some of the freaks and geeks/40 year old virgin crew. i'm glad that apatow is getting the opportunity to make films, he's a funny guy and a good writer. freaks and geeks was a great show and i'm actually grateful that it only got to be on tv for one season.
  • next thursday i'm going to see the cavs play the bulls. bought a ticket for myself last week.
  • made some minor aesthetic changes to the millersmovies page. added a temporary contact link at the bottom as well. hope to get a better one up eventually.
  • what's with kids these days watching so much damn tv? actually, it's not the kids who are watching so much tv. stat of the day: the group that watches the most tv, or at least did in the sample month, are women over the age of 55 who watch almost twice as much as children. of course one could argue that, as a percentage of their free time, teens and children watch more than people over 55, many of whom are presumably retired and thus have more time to waste in front of the television. i was surprised to see that men aged 18-24 watch tv less than any other group. i guess they're busy not voting or something.

  • average u.s. television viewing time, november 2005
    Group
    Total per week
    HH:MM
    Men
    33:16
    18-24
    23:01
    25-54
    31:35
    55+
    41:30
    Women
    38:18
    18-24
    27:13
    25-54
    35:37
    55+
    46:52
    Children
    23:41
    Teens
    24:01
    All Viewers
    33:06
  • as taken from world almanac and book of facts 2007.
  • i'ts 1:30 and i'm not tired yet.
  • "a mass of tears have / transformed to stones now. sharpened on suffering / woven into slings." -zach de la rocha

  • 2-14-07 (13:03)

  • normally i'm not a fan of movie trailers or teasers, but one caught my attention recently. the 30 second teaser for the sequel to the hills have eyes. actually it's the sequel to the remake of the hills have eyes. at any rate, it's great because of its simplicity and the song. i wasn't a fan of the original, but i still might give the sequel to the remake a shot.
  • i've been told that we've gotten over a foot of snow over the last 24 hours. roads are still a mess and my car is buried. in spite of that, if there were any movies out that i hadn't already seen, i'd still probably watch a couple today.

  • 2-13-07 (17:06)

  • snowing like crazy outside. supposed to get 7-15 inches in the next 24 hours. the roads are a mess and it looks very gloomy outside. usually we get lake effect snow that comes as a result of clippers from canada. this, though, is an actual storm from the gulf of mexico. lake effect snow, at this point, isn't going to happen anymore because lake erie is frozen over. so, this could very well be the last snow that i see while i'm here.
  • other things i'd like to do for my page: have links to previous viewings of the film at the end of each review. in other words, if i see die hard tonight then at the end of my review for 02/13/07 i would like to have links to reviews from the other dates on which i saw it: 1999, 5-Feb-00, 5-Sep-00, 19-Apr-01, 23-Dec-03, 22-Oct-04, and 7-Dec-05.
  • forgot to add a movie that i saw in january to the list. did that today. also noticed that on my post for 2-1-07 (18:38), i wrote that i watched 51 movies in january when i actually watched 57. one that i forgot (and added today) and five that i watched on the last day, but didn't figure into that post. also forgot to add a movie from november of 2006. that was a stressful time, though, so that one is more forgivable than this recent one. adjusted film viewing stats page accordingly. what a pain.
  • finished the academy awards analysis. will upload when the roads clear. there are still a couple movies that i'd like to see, but i don't know that i'll get to see them before the show.

  • 2-12-07 (19:45)

  • updated movies & index.
  • completed first two rounds of the best year in film showdown.
  • academy award analysis will be complete at the end of the night. i have two movies in the cinematography category to watch. one i'll watch tomorrow and the other i'm not sure about. either way i should have the coverage uploaded within the next couple days.
  • good stuff.

  • 2-7-07 (23:39)

  • finally got around to watching dreamgirls. wouldn't want to miss the review for that brilliant and underrated opus.
  • updated movies& index.
  • got about 20 dvds in the mail from "our man in amsterdam," to quote pulp fiction. actually they're from a guy i know who works for ryko distribution. good thing i got them, too, because i'm running out of movies over here. i have two that i own that i've yet to see and the library always has some, but their selection is starting to bore me.
  • got a lot done today. got the oil changed for $20. under the table, i'm pretty sure. the guy said it would be $33 with a credit card and $20 with cash. the posted price was $29.95 so i went to the atm and got him a 20. i suppose this could make a bad person in some eyes, but i don't really have a problem with it.
  • it seems like the ones who are out doing and advocating the killing are the ones who remember the dead the most. it seems like it should be the other way around.

  • 2-7-07 (11:13)

  • what's the allure of spelling things incorrectly? you see it a lot in rap musik and, unlike many rap conventions, i don't understand it.

  • 2-7-7 (00:36)

  • updated movies & index.
  • something about watching kurosawa films makes you want to just watch all of them again. well, not all of them, there have been a couple that i haven't loved, but after watching seven samurai again today i wanted to watch ikiru, red beard, high and low, rashomon, yojimbo, sanjuro, and stray dog again. of course i don't have any of those with me right now so it's not even an option.
  • i think when i get home and unpack all my stuff i'm going to have to take a couple months to just watch all my movies and read all my books and look at the liner notes to all my cds. i've missed all that stuff. my chair and desk and all that other crap is just that: crap. but all my art work/entertainment/information is essential.
  • through eight episodes of the sopranos so far. it's decent, but not amazing. there are a lot of little filmmaking issues that annoy me. things like people closing the door to go outside to their motorcycle and within 2 seconds of the door closing the motorcycle is started and speeding away, or the bad acting of tony soprano junior, or the nasally voice of tony soprano senior, or mother soprano being annoying, or christopher being a little shit yet being a soldier...i have to assume that the show gets better since everyone seems to love it. i like some of the references, whether it's the godfather or w.c. fields. i'm giving it through the end of the first season. curb your enthusiasm is better.

  • 2-5-07 (21:37)

  • thought the super bowl was crap. probably the worst super bowl i've seen. 7 turnovers, neither team lived up to the hype, etc. the bears were out-coached.
  • my mind has always had a tendency to rush, especially when writing (or typing). for example, for the sentence "the motherboard comes with the computer case" will often be transcribed or typed by me as: "the mother board comes withe computer case." since "with" contains the first two letters of "the" my brain thinks that i'm already onto the next word so i just add an "e" to "with" to form the compound non-word "withe." that's the most common example, but it happens with many other words and in many other ways.
  • tablized the characters section of my movies i love page.
  • first round of my best year in film project is almost done. there are two films from 1954 that i'd like to revisit before making a final decision on the 1954 vs. 1957 matchup.
  • i'm also working on a somewhat historically based analysis of this year's academy award nominations. i'll have my predictions, thoughts and wishes on that page within a week or so.
  • one superbowl commercial caught my eye. the gm one with the unemployed robot wandering the streets as if it were depressed because it lost its job. in the end, it turned out to be a nightmare and the robot was able to return to its job of high quality auto assembly. this commercial got to me for a couple reasons. the personification of robots theme isn't exactly my favorite thing. i dislike the anthropomorphism that occurs with animals, much less with fucking robots. the other thing that got to me was seeing the robot depicted as the primary worker in the assembly plant. what's the message there? just a reminder that gm has laid off thousands of its american workers and replaced them with overseas labor or, in domestic plants, robots. it recalls images of flint, as seen in "the big one" or detroit, as seen with my own eyes.  yay. really makes me want to buy one of their shitty cars. no thanks, i'll stick with toyota or honda. both have a commitment to stay in north america. from what i hear, the camry is actually made of more american labor and parts than the ford mustang. not sure what the breakdown is for gm cars.
  • frankly, i'm torn on the ford/gm problems. i'd like to see them do well because i feel bad for places like detroit and flint and because i'd like to see american workers have good jobs. at the same time, the big three were, in their heyday, one of the worst cartels i know of. working with oil companies to buy up street cars in cities like los angeles, using political clout to undermine the efforts of visionaries like preston thomas tucker, fighting safety regulations tooth and nail, etc. part of me wants to see them go down in flames, but the other part of me knows that if that happens the people responsible for it won't be the ones to suffer. they'll have their golden parachutes and have all made millions (or are dead) by now anyway. the death of ford and gm might foreshadow the death of the u.s. perhaps the same reasons that led to their downfall will lead to ours. hubris, solipsism, complacency, etc.
  • rage against the machine is getting back together. there was a time when i'd care, not anymore. i've seen them twice and loved the performances, but i realize that they're over the hill. their best work is behind them. it's ironic and sad that they were most active in the years 1992-2000, aka the clinton years. 1992 was a g.h.w. bush year and that saw their first, and best album, but all their other albums were under the (relatively prosaic) clinton regime. for the record, i still have to count that first album as one of the best ever. brilliant, raw and timeless. belongs alongside the best punk and hip-hop albums of all-time. took everything that was good about the stooges, mc5, the entire punk movement and, like anthrax, mixed it with hip-hop. it's really too bad that they weren't active under bush jr. and were liked mostly by idiotic young guys who saw "rage" in the title, and nothing more.
  • thinking of rage against the machine makes me think of a name that was once a dirty word at our dinner table: seth freeman. he's the guy with whom i got expelled from elementary school for slashing a teacher's tires. it was actually all my idea, and my knife, but he was more than willing to help. i can laugh about it now. he also had this ancient old mac computer (the monochrome kind that had a dark green background and a light green foreground). on it he had some extremely low-tech comedy/porn program. it was line graphics back then so it wasn't even close to anything we have these days. the setups were fairly basic - a guy licking envelopes and a girl comes along and has a better use for his tongue, etc. because of the graphics it was actually more funny than pornographic so.
  • it's actually nice being part of this generation because i remember what it was like before computers were really a part of society, yet i'm young enough to have gotten into computers on the ground level. i have an understanding of dos and i remember windows 3.0 and all the pain of configuring irq and com settings when building a computer from scratch, so i don't take windows xp, usb, and plug and play for granted. i'm also old enough to have established the habit of buying reference books so i can always have, within arm's reach, access to player stats (in my basketball or football encyclopedias) or a director's filmography (in one of my many film books) or the population of a country (in one of my many almanacs), etc.
  • dad got me an almanac (and other stuff) for xmas. luckily he got me the one published by time, because i already have the world almanac version. so i actually have two almanacs for 2007. in storage i also have a sports almanac for 2006 and world almanacs from 2005, 2006 and a nice big one from the 70s. i like reading the almanac because i have trouble focusing on a single book for any longer than a few minutes. the almanac presents data the way i write, which is also the style i like to read. short sentences that get to the point. plus, i like facts and numbers and learning about things that i might not otherwise be exposed to. you can flip to a random page and learn about any number of things from business to politics or the environment. maybe i should look for a job working for information please or some other almanac producer.
  • stat of the day: hate crime attacks on persons in u.s. in 2004 - (in descending order) anti-black 2,221, anti-white 704, anti-male homosexual 624, anti-hispanic 458, anti-other ethnicity 405, anti-jewish 297, anti-homosexual 180, anti-asian 148, anti-female homosexual 145, anti-multiple races 131, anti-islamic 114. there are many other categories that have under 100 incidents: anti-native american, catholic, protestant, other religion, atheism, heterosexual, bisexual, physical disability and mental disability. they also have a breakdown by crimes against property. blacks are still number one in that category, but jews are #2 whereas they are #6 on the attacks on persons list. this makes sense given their predominant stereotype.
  • it's been bitterly cold lately. 0-7 degrees with wind at 10-20 mph. that brings the wind chill to as low as -22. my hands get numb after about 20 seconds outside if i'm not wearing gloves. they issued a wind chill advisory through about midday tomorrow.

  • 2-2-07 (23:07)

  • one webpage upgrade i've thought of would be several "subject" tabs above the space that normally occupies my updates. writings would then be sorted by subjects like "sports," "society," "film," "updates," "miscellany," and "all." it would be the same concept as an excel spreadsheet and each "sheet" tab would include updates for that particular subject. if you only wanted to read what i said about film then you'd click on that tab and get all the sports-related updates for the month. the default would be "all" which would present things as they are currently presented. but by clicking on those tabs you could filter out any rants about fullscreen vs. widescreen dvds or the bush administration and get straight to the far more interesting posts where i mention that i've "updated movies & index." doing this manually wouldn't be a huge undertaking, but maintenance of it would be time consuming. if i could find some way of making it easy then i would implement it. having each bullet point (<li> in html) have an assigned subject code, and then creating a script that filtered to those codes, probably isn't all that difficult, but i wouldn't even know where to start. if you know how to do this then lemme know.
  • it's funny how often i think about making upgrades to the site considering i've had no more than half a dozen regular visitors since its inception 8-9 years ago. my site administrator assures me, though, that traffic is "just about to explode." he's a good guy. he also got me a great deal on some beach front property in oklahoma so i'll keep him around for a while.
  • speaking of oklahoma. stat of the day: executions 1977-2005 by state: texas 355, virginia 97, oklahoma 79, missouri 66, florida 60, n. carolina and georgia 39, s. carolina 35, alabama 34, everyone else is under 30. california has had 12. 17 states have had no executions during this period. i know this is fucked up to say, and i'm anti-death penalty, but considering there have been "only" 1,004 executions between 1977 and 2005, why is it such a huge issue? to me, the idea of the state sponsoring the killing of one of its citizens is morally wrong, but considering how infrequently it is actually carried out these days (except for in texas) i wouldn't make this an issue that determines my vote for/against a particular candidate. in general i think it's stupid to be a single issue voter, but especially when the actual effect is so much smaller than the noise the issue generates. to put it in perspective, on august 31, 2005 in baghdad 1,000 people died in a stampede out of fear of a suicide bomber on a bridge. that's in one day because of a stampede, not a bomb. 500 more people died on the titanic. what about the number of people who die every year because of drunk driving (over 15,000 in 2004 alone) or homicide with a firearm (11,800+ in 2002)? these are also preventable. of course the principle of the death penalty is immoral, but perspective is needed.

  • 2-2-07 (20:34)

  • boss left for ski instructor training for the weekend.
  • roommate frank left for atlanta.
  • have two programs this weekend. the high on sunday is supposed to be 7. tonight it's supposed to get down to zero, but we'll see about that. i just went out and it's as cold as i've ever felt.
  • people on the local crazy radio network were talking about global warming. they said it was a crazy left wing plot and that it's all about: 1) the need to have some big crisis (funny coming from right wingers who KNOW that the apocalypse is right around the corner) and 2) money. they talked about all the money that can be made on selling wind mills and solar panels. kinda funny since 1) just because there is an economic incentive doesn't mean that that's what drives an idea and 2) solar and wind power are renewable, and thus less profitable than coal and oil. also funny because exxon just posted the largest profit of any american company in history. hmmm. also, i guess they assume that all the world's scientists are either 1) stupid or 2) major stock holders in some windmill manufacturing corporation that i haven't heard of. he also made some offhand remark like: "if you really want to stop global warming then you should outlaw chilies." he went on to explain that human flatulence contributes more to global warming than private automobiles and that "gas is gas, people." while he's right that methane is a greenhouse gas and is of some concern, though mostly from livestock, he's wrong about everything else. i happen to consider the almanac my favorite book and i was looking at this section of it just recently. i can recall off the top of my head that methane gas accounts for less than 10% of total amount of carbon dioxide that comes from the private automobiles. further, not all of that methane gas comes from livestock or humans - much of it comes from landfills and coal mining, which have nothing to do with chili peppers. also, while CO2 has been rising (20% in the u.s. between 1990-2004) methane has been decreasing (-10% in that same time span). in other words, the assumptions their arguments made were all flawed in at least a couple different, significant and provable ways. these people don't want facts, though, they just want god to save them and to continue in their willfully ignorant and reprehensible ways. assholes.
  • on this same station they talk (quite frequently) about the recent law which bans smoking in public places, including bars. i've mentioned before that the rest of the country is about 10 years behind california and other liberal strongholds. ohio, in this case is 9 years behind california. texas, i hear, is looking at adopting a similar public smoking ban. so i guess i was a bit off in my "10 year" statement, forgive me. there is one major argument they use against this new policy: it'll hurt the economy. ohio is in a bad place regarding the economy so i can understand their reticence to do anything that might adversely affect the fragile job market and tax revenues. however, again, the facts indicate that in the case of california and new york and other early adopters of this policy, the economy isn't affected in any appreciable long-term way. further, this is same lame argument bandied about by pro-slavery and anti-gay marriage forces. it's not about what is good for the economy, it's about what is right. if it were really about the economy then there would be legalized gambling (this issue has come to the ballot several times in ohio and has been knocked down every time by the voters, despite being vastly out spent by the pro-gambling lobby) or prostitution (like nevada, aka the cradle of civilization). one caller gave the hypothetical situation that there are 15 bars in a town and that after the ban 8 of them will close and all those people will be without jobs and the tax revenue will be lost, etc. firstly, as i've discussed, this just isn't true; second, what's more important: a few lost jobs and some lost tax revenue, or the health of the citizens? what about the end cost of helping hospitalize or care for the people who are adversely affected by the secondhand smoke? or the days lost to sick leave? oh, right, that's another lie by the money hungry scientists (who own stock in nicotine gum or some such nonsense) out to make sure the poor, innocent tobacco companies never do business here again.
  • fuck the world.

  • 2-2-07 (11:41)

  • when i looked at the ucla game time i neglected to remember that i'm on east coast time now. i instinctually subtracted three hours from the posted time and when i arrived at the restaurant i realized my mistake. for as much as i've gone from time zone to time zone lately, i have been pretty good about not making that mistake. oh well.
  • stat of the day: during the four years that jimmy carter was president the minimum wage increased four times (not 400%). during the eight years that ronald reagan was president the minimum wage increased.........yup, zero times. to be fair, though, the carter increase may have been part of a larger package because the min. wage increased once a year from 1974-1981. i have to assume that this was the result of some single increase over time, rather than new bills that were accepted every year. it's one of those stats, though, that could be used in a debate and would be tough to counter. it's very unlikely that someone is going to look it up and it's equally unlikely that they'll know, off the top of their head, that the increases under carter were likely part of a previous min. wage package. pundits use these kinds of obscure facts all the time to make their case and no one calls them on their bullshit. so, while it doesn't necessarily say anything about carter, the stat does (i think) say something about reagan.
  • back to work.

  • 2-1-07 (18:38)

  • going to watch the ucla/oregon game tonight. hopefully ucla wins after the loss to stanford.
  • updated movies & index.
  • watched my (and the) first ever episode of the sopranos today. i think i'm going to have to watch the entire first season in a day or two. stretching it out will just take too long. if they were 22 minutes like most shows (30 minutes minus the commercials) then it wouldn't be an issue.
  • watched 57 movies in january, a january record. watched five movies yesterday and four the day before. this is bringing back memories of 2004.
  • as a film scholar i respect andrew sarris, but i don't necessarily like his tastes. in 1997, for example, he had boogie nights as the 19th best film. his top ten english-language films for 2001 is equally pathetic. i found a summary of his top ten lists since 1958 here. one should note that he (the compiler, i assume) incorrectly labeled collateral as having been directed by anthony mann, not michael mann.
  • andrew sarris' top ten of 2006:

  • ENGLIGH-LANGUAGE
    01. The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
    02. Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre)
    03. A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman)
    04. Flags of Our Fathers / Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)
    05. Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick)
    06. Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
    07. The Painted Veil (John Curran)
    08. Find Me Guilty (Sidney Lumet)
    09. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell)
    10a. Flannel Pajamas (Jeff Lipsky)
    10b. Come Early Morning (Joey Lauren Adams)

    FOREIGN-LANGUAGE

    01. Army of Shadows (1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)
    02. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
    03. Water (Deepa Mehta)
    04. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
    05. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Marc Rothemund)
    06. Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
    07. My Brother's Wife (Ricardo de Montreuil)
    08. Le Petit Lieutenant (Xavier Beauvois)
    09. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
    10. La Moustache (Emmanuel Carrere)

    NONFICTION

    01. King Leopold's Ghost (Pippa Scott & Oreet Rees)
    02. 49 Up (Michael Apted)
    03. Wordplay (Patrick Creadon)
    04. Cowboy del Amor (Michèle Ohayon)

    1-31-07 (18:39)

  • updated movies & index.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 1-29-07 (16:56)

  • once i went to the website for that awful show cheaters and i noticed that they had live chat support available from shrinks. since about 98% of the people who watch that show (and go to the webpage) are complete losers i guess it makes sense to offer life advice (for a small fee, of course) on their site. maybe i could offer life advice to losers online for $1/minute or something. "number one, get off the computer. number two, stop watching cheaters, judge judy, dr. phil or anything else on daytime television. number three, lose all your stupid friends. number four, stop parking your car on the lawn. number five, stop going out with guys who remind you of your drunken, womanizing, abusive father. number six, take your meds regularly. number seven, stop paying people to tell you what you probably already know."
  • updated movies & index.

  • 1-28-07 (22:14)

  • really tired tonight.
  • had another program earlier today. only one person showed up, but i took one of the volunteers along as well. talked about the ccc and land use issues, as usual. i've actually learned quite a bit since i've been here. i don't think a lot of the information is going to help me with any job i end up getting, but it does give me the confidence that i can learn things pretty quickly and effectively if i'm interested and have someone to ask questions of when i'm curious about something. i think the best part of this job has been the constant availability of park rangers. they all know me and i work around them enough that i can just ask any question about anything from sink holes to nitrates in the lakes caused by canadian geese, whenever i feel like it.
  • yesterday i watched the film that the departed was based upon. made me appreciate scorsese's version even more. watched it at the cleveland institute of art, which i had been to on the baseball trip. we parked outside of it thinking that it was the cleveland museum of art. turns out that the cleveland museum of art was (and still is) under construction so we ended up staying in the car. on my way there yesterday i took superior blvd. and passed by the laundromat that we stopped at while we were on the trip. it's nice to have at least some familiarity with so many places around the country.
  • perhaps i should work at AAA as a travel consultant or something. another job i thought about pursuing is a film projectionist. i don't know what kind of formal training you need to have for that or how you go about getting it, but it seems like a good gig. only trouble is that i'd work nights and i'd rather not.

  • 1-26-07 (23:39)

  • updated movies & index.
  • watched jesus camp today. strangely, the movie made me actually want the apocalypse to come.
  • been cold and snowy all week. tomorrow should be busy. haven't been looking forward to work lately.
  • funny.
  • having a stable source of income is my biggest concern these days. i've been broke my entire life. i've always been able to get by (with varying degrees of indebtedness), but i've never really had disposable income. i quit the best paying job i ever had (tower) as soon as i got out of debt. shortly after that i had more money than i'd ever had and i spent it on a great trip. now i have enough money for about a month's rent and moving expenses. i have a car that works and another car that (still) isn't in my name and sorta works. i don't have a whole heck of a lot in the way of marketable skills or experience either. my internship here is officially in the "nice experience" category, but won't get me a job anywhere in the bay area. the desire to sell out is very strong these days, but i don't even know who i'd sell out to. i think i'd only be truly happy if i worked for myself doing....?
  • i really only need about $1,000 a month in take home money, plus health insurance. so if i find a job that gives me $12k/year and health insurance then i'll be fine from a monetary point of view. of course if i ever want to own a house or buy a car that works, or has less than 235,000 miles on it, then i'd need more. back to the drawing board.

  • 1-25-07 (23:20)

  • watched the ucla/cal game today. ucla is definitely a second half team. in watching them last year and following their progress on the internet this year, it's clear that they don't really get things going until the second half. i love the way they play defense and shorten the game. howland is my favorite coach in basketball these days. collison has turned out to be better than i thought. my primary concern with him going into the year was his decision making. he's a bit too much like jason williams at times in that he can get a bit out of control or push the tempo at inopportune times. it looks like howland has kept that under control and he is in the top two in: three point percentage, steals and assists.
  • going to the library a lot lately. there are two libraries within 8 miles or so and they have decent dvd and cd collections as well as internet access. one of these days before i leave i'll have to take a bunch of photos of the buildings around here. the happy days visitor's center, the hudson library, some of the historic buildings in peninsula, etc. got a batch of dvds today that i'm excited about.

  • 1-24-07 (22:32)

  • got my midterm review last week. boss said i was great and that i didn't really need to improve on anything. he said that i could vacuum the sports center and shave more often, but i'm perfect other than that. he's a funny guy.
  • when i took meryl to fairlawn (the nearest town with sizable theaters and places to eat) she said that it looked like the place we saw "the devil wears prada" when we were on the trip. after looking at the ticket stubs which we kept from the trip, it turns out she was right. pretty crazy that i had been there before and didn't realize it. i go there about once a week to watch movies and upload the webpage at the local kinko's (which we also stopped at while on the trip). goes to show two things: my memory is shit and all these damn strip mall towns look the fucking same.
  • price of gas was at $1.98 yesterday. today, after the state of the union address, the cost was up to $2.09 and even $2.17 at one station that had it below $2 yesterday. why is that? big swing for one day. i think that the price of gas is more closely watched than the price of anything else. as consumers, i think we take it into account a bit too much. if it goes up by 10 cents (a large increase or difference between stations, if you ask most people) then we will comment on it or make note of it. yet this is only a difference of $1-2 per fillup. if you're like my mom and you drive a lot then i can understand, but most people don't drive as much as she does. in fact, most people drive half as much as she does (i think the average two-way commute is about 25 miles). the obvious reason for this is that no other business puts their prices out for display with such regularity and profile, but i still find it interesting.
  • the 2008 presidential campaign is shaping up to be a fun one. two years before the president would take office and things are already heating up. most of the major contenders have formally announced or have announced exploratory committees. the primaries are a year away and i'm looking forward to those. now would be a fine time to buy stock in television companies. sell it sometime in december of 2008, or january of 2009 - after profits are announced. give me a small commission.
  • updated movies & index.
  • didn't listen to the state of the union address yesterday. watched a movie instead. it doesn't really matter, especially with bush. he'll say a lot of nice things (i'm generally not offended by what he says in his big speeches) and then go on doing whatever he feels like. he'll mention global warming as a serious problem and combat it through voluntary carbon emissions cutbacks. he'll appear visionary by talking about sending men to mars or increasing funding to combat aids, and then not act on it or increase funding for faith-based organizations that go to educate africans about aids (and jesus). it's pretty typical. i think speeches are pretty worthless. look at a person's voting record, who they get money from, and what they actually do; that's all that matters. everything else is filler in the ether.
  • i don't know if it's common sense or not, but most americans agree on principles: aids should be gotten rid of, terrorism is bad, iraq should be peaceful, global warming isn't good, etc. most of the debate is about policy. how do we get rid of aids or unemployment, make the economy grow, attain world peace, etc.? some people say we should let the corporations regulate themselves so that the economy will grow and people, through market forces, will reward those companies that act in a desirable fashion. others think the government should play a larger role. speeches don't talk about policy, rather they focus primarily on principle. remember the reaction willie stark (in all the king's men) gets when he tries talking about the nitty gritty details of his policy ideas?
  • there are so many fucked up things in this world.
  • i only get my news from google news and pbs/npr. google is good because it provides a variety of news sources and pbs/npr are good because i think they're relatively objective. i don't have the time or inclination to look into alternative news sources which report on the many news stories that are missed by major news organizations. as a result i assume that i'm missing a lot and let my imagination (and knowledge of history) fill in the blanks. for example, i don't know of this currently happening, but i assume that there are a couple senators who are currently working with large corporations to bring casinos to indian territory. these corporations will take advantage of the indians in some way and this will all be allowed as a result of collusion between corporate power and the government. i also assume that the u.s. military is engaged in a small war in some small country to uphold a dictatorship in spite of popular public opposition. there's also probably a corporation which is working with the u.s. military to secure water or mineral rights in an impoverished part of the world so said corporation can then sell water to the townspeople who once drew from the lake or aquifer for free, or that corporation could use those mineral rights to perform cyanide heap-leaching or any number of other environmentally harmful mining methods. by assuming these things i forego the surprise when i hear, see, or read of them later.
  • cyanide heap-leaching, by the way, is a method of extracting every last bit of gold from a site. they pile up tons of raw ore and spray cyanide over the mountain of rock. cyanide bonds with gold and that solution is pumped to a pond which is then processed and the gold is extracted. generally the leftover cyanide is either combined with more potent cyanide and the process is repeated, or it is merely sprayed over nearby vegetation. 50 tons of raw ore processed in this manner generally yields one ounce of gold. yay for science.

  • 1-23-07 (18:36)

  • watched babel and letters from iwo jima today. my top ten and awards for the year remain unchanged. also watched children of men since the awards and that didn't change my mind on anything either. babel was awful and letters from iwo jima was awful and uninteresting, but slightly better.

  • 1-21-07 (22:52)

  • stat of the day: after the liberal strongholds of california, new york and massachusetts, in which state did nader receive the most votes in 2000? btw, there were only two states that didn't have him on the ballot in that year. the hint is this: the fourth place candidate in the 2004 election (behind bush, kerry and nader) now resides in this state.............texas.
  • indy/new england game was good, but i didn't like the outcome. since peyton manning came into the nfl i thought he'd have a career like marino: great numbers, but no super bowl ring. now he's one game away from proving me wrong. go chicago.

  • 1-19-07 (23:34)

  • been watching a lot of classics lately. as part of my preparation for the quest to find the best year in film history i've decided to revisit several classics which i have forgotten or not thought all that much of in the past. films like gone with the wind, west side story, the godfather, etc. these are films that others hold very highly, but, when i first watched them some years ago, i didn't think were all that amazing. as it turns out, most of these films that i'm reevaluating are around, or over, three hours long. godfather, gone with the wind, lawrence of arabia, godfather II, sound of music... and the rest are over two hours...mutiny on the bounty, west side story, etc.
  • updated movies & index.
  • i think any rap album that doesn't start with an "intro" track is probably a good one.
  • been in the 20s most of the week and looks to continue. there are a couple inches of snow on the ground, but nothing too special. still not enough to go xc skiing. that said, the local ski resorts have made their own snow and are in business. there are two within about 5-7 miles of my house. i guess that would be cool if i liked to ski or snowboard. actually, skiing is nice and i've never gone snowboarding, but the whole venture is far too expensive for me so it's not going to happen.
  • i hope i'm able to find a good job in the bay area. if you're in the area and you hear of anything that pops up, lemme know.
  • the crest's song "the skeptic" is great. check it out.

  • 1-17-07 (23:04)

  • why no one has sampled the spencer davis group's "i'm a man" is beyond me. the opening 10 seconds are perfect for a rap song.
  • there's a part of cat stevens' "matthew and son" that sounds a lot like the gary jules version of "mad world."

  • 1-16-07 (21:20)

  • usually when people "go postal" or are found to be serial killers the media will interview neighbors and co-workers. most of the time they'll say stuff like "he seemed pretty normal. he kinda kept to himself, but was a nice guy. i never would have guessed it." in the case of my roommate, bill, i would have guessed it. so if he ever turns up on the news as having killed his family and raped the family rottweiler, then put me in the "not surprised" camp.

  • 1-16-07 (01:07)

  • had my first hike a couple days ago. it rained most of the early part of the day and cleared up about an hour before the hike. one couple showed up so i conducted an informal program. i essentially just walked with them while talking about different land-use issues and histories of the park. talked about the canal, railroad, private automobile, ccc, richfield coliseum, krejci dump, california, clean water act, superfund, yellowstone, los angeles, fire management issues, deforestation, etc. it was a good first program because it didn't have to be formal and all my research paid off. with the formal program i only have time to incorporate a limited fraction of all that i've learned. with a conversational program, though, it's possible to impart much more information. i'm not looking forward to having to conduct a real program in front of a larger group of people. i have to find some way to make even those programs interactive. even the socratic method has its limits, though.
  • the last few days have been very rainy. it's supposed to get very cold this week, but i don't have much faith in the weather forecasting abilities in this region.
  • today there were only 3 visitors to the winter sports center. i was there by myself half the day so that proved to be quite boring. i brought my laptop and worked on the best year in film list. i have 32 years that made the cut and then i've seeded them against each other in a playoff system to determine the best year in the history of film. i compiled all the films for each year (12 max. per year) and started the competition. it's not going to be finished for a while, though, because there are some films i want to see/revisit in order to give each year a more fair chance. of course i'll have to revisit the entire list every once in a while as i see more films and my tastes change. it's perfectly feasible that one or two films could tip the scales towards a different champion, so it'll be an ongoing effort.
  • besides learning a lot about the parks service, the area and nature in general, i think the best thing about this internship is the free time i have to dedicate to watching movies and adding fairly useless features to my page like the double features list or the stats breakdown or this newest quest for the best year in film.
  • updated movies & index.
  • not looking forward to finding a real job when i get to oakland. i think it would be ideal if someone wanted an apprentice in some interesting line of work and they were willing to pay a livable wage. i've never had anyone really dissatisfied with my work, so i know i'm somewhat capable at adapting to various jobs, it's just a matter of finding the right combination of something that's interesting (and not morally reprehensible), someone who will hire me and getting paid reasonably (anything over 20k/year is plenty for me).
  • speaking of which, i'm happy to see that the minimum wage bill passed through the house. it's about time. they should try to shove through an increased mpg standards bill as well; especially for trucks. i wouldn't mind federal smog standards on new cars being stricter either.


  • 1-12-07 (22:04)
  • updated movies & index.
  • got district 13 today. good movie.
  • tomorrow my first hike is scheduled. two people signed up, we'll see if they actually show up. i'm mostly nervous. right now i'm thinking that being a teacher or ranger is a nice idea, but that i function as an educator much more effectively on an individual level. i wouldn't be able to give a lecture on any film or film technique or anything, but i could talk for hours and hours with a single person or small (the only size there is) group of friends about the same topic.

  • 1-11-07 (21:23)

  • fact of the day: there are 390 units in the national park system. there is only one state that doesn't have at least one unit. i would have guessed rhode island just because it seems an easy choice, but it's actually delaware. speaking of which, i've updated my nps areas i've visited list. i added the two national parks in texas as well as a few national monuments which i forgot about.
  • meryl made me one of the best presents i've ever gotten. she compiled a bunch of info on all the national parks and put it all in one massive, four inch binder. it's hundreds of pages long and has all the info from the individual websites - flora/fauna, geology, cultural history, history of the park, etc. very cool.
  • here's my tentative plan for my trip back to california: cuyahoga to the blue ridge parkway (i want to see it again) to the great smoky mountains national park (reagan called them the "big smoky mountains") then to mammoth cave n.p., nashville, memphis, little rock, hot springs n.p., and onto oklahoma city. from there i haven't decided. it gets a lot more complicated in the west because there's so much to see and things are so far apart. i'd like to see salt lake city. rocky mountain n.p. won't really be open, though, so taking a northern route loses some of its attraction. taking a southern route through great sand dunes and canyons of the ancients national monument and then up to salt lake city is an option, but a long one. of course i could skip salt lake city and hit up a bunch of the national monuments, etc. that i've passed by in the past. northern az and southern utah are rife with nps lands. i'd also like to see boulder dam and lake mead nra again. on the one hand i know i'll be back to the southwest again so i could take advantage of the opportunity to go through salt lake city. on the other hand i like the southwest more than i'm likely to enjoy salt lake city. i also don't know what the road situation will be like from salt lake city to oakland.
  • in fourth grade we were given an assignment to plan a trip. i don't remember what we were supposed to learn or what the limits (time/money) were, but i remember getting a lot of info from aaa and planning out every turn of a tour of california. my mom helped me with it quite a bit and i remember getting really psyched about it. there's not much better than traveling. driving from film festival to film festival would probably be as close to a dream job as i can imagine.
  • finished the rocky series today.

  • 1-10-07 (22:30)

  • updated movies & index.
  • thinking about putting together a series page. it would include reviews from film series like rocky, the bond films, star wars, etc. other than just compiling the reviews in one place, i might include an overview of the films in that series and the importance, evolution, social relevance of the series as a whole. that might be a larger project than i want to undertake.
  • i need to find hobbies that pay. from what i understand, no one is really willing to pay for film reviews these days. so that doesn't really seem to be an option. maybe i could write essays on film for students who don't want to do their own work.
  • i've actually ended up liking the rocky series recently. i never disliked it, but i did, at one point, look down on it as a whole. i've come to respect it more than i thought i ever would.
  • i finished season two of the office while meryl was here. now i have to get season three.
  • james stewart has a new biography out. one of these days i'll have to read it. you'll notice he's atop my list of favorite actors.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 1-10-07 (16:43)

  • the worst thing about the cold weather is the layers of clothing you have to take off when you enter a heated area. it gets obnoxious.
  • meryl came on saturday and left yesterday. we had a good time. i showed her the park and the surrounding area. we went for a hike. it even snowed a little for her.
  • today it snowed about 2 inches.
  • working on my programs a lot lately. trying to make the outlines into a story that flows. right now it's just a series of facts and would be presented in the same style as my writing. short sentences that are to the point, but not very colorful.
  • there has been a bald eagle flying around the park lately. today a visitor said she saw one by hunt farm, which is very close to where i live. i've never seen a bald eagle so hopefully that'll be rectified by the time i leave ohio.
  • national championship was disappointing, both in outcome and level of play. i think that usc would have done a much better job against florida's offense. usc has a proactive, blitzing style of defense that would have shaken things up a bit. osu's defense, meanwhile, is much more of a wait-and-react style that allowed florida's misdirection and speed to dictate the flow of the game. troy smith also had the worst game of his career and their best wide receiver was out after just one play (that one play, though, was a touchdown kick return).
  • got seven samurai (3 disc edition) and the pusher (including "gambler" documentary) in the mail today. those are good additions to my dvd collection.
  • saw rocky balboa again. since the first time i saw it i've seen rocky 1, 2 and 3. will see 4 and 5 soon.
  • meryl and i started watching a movie called thr3e and then walked out. it was unbelievably bad. it was essentially a christian version of saw, done very very badly. the author, dekker, is apparently quite popular in certain circles, though. he's had a couple best sellers and is considered one of the leaders of the christian fiction genre. the film is distributed by foxfaith, a subdivsion of fox. look it up.
  • christian fiction. isn't that redundant or something?

  • 1-5-07 (22:51)

  • too bad the propellerheads never released a second album.
  • updated movies & index. watched four movies today.

  • 1-3-07 (23:38)

  • just got back from watching about 3/4 of the notre dame game. they were losing by 13. they can potentially come back with a turnover and some brady quinn magic like they did against michigan state, but it's not likely.
  • updated movies & index.

  • 1-3-07 (18:15)

  • smart money is on lsu over notre dame, but i'm hoping notre dame wins.
  • found several problems in my movies i own list. for some reason there were some years that were incorrect and directors which were spelled incorrectly. it's a dispiriting revelation. i've fixed the ones i noticed, but there's no telling how many others remain. other than that, it's nice to look over the list. i had forgotten how many movies i actually have. 113 movies on criterion dvds, about a thousand movies/tv shows in total, over 300 foreign films, every film in my top 25 and almost every film in my best of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s lists. actually, i'm only missing three films from the 30s list and two of those were added recently.

  • 1-2-07 (00:59)

  • just got done watching one of the better bowl games i've ever seen. boise state vs. oklahoma. i was rooting for bsu because they're underdogs, i hate oklahoma, and i'd like to see small schools get more equitable treatment in the bcs system. they jumped out to an 18 point lead and then got conservative in their play calling. oklahoma scored 25 unanswered points, including an interception for a touchdown with about a minute left in the game. at this point they were up 7 points and bsu had the ball with 1:02 to go. bsu put together an impressive drive including a catch and lateral for a touchdown. wonderfully executed play, and a truly ballsy playcall. overtime began with peterson scoring a touchdown on the first play. boise state got their shot and sort of stagnated around the 10 yard line after a failed run to the right by johnson. on 4th and 2 the qb (zabransky) went in motion and became a receiver. the ball was hiked, the new qb bootlegged towards the sideline and threw the ball up to the tight end, who made a nice catch in the endzone. at this point they were one point behind with the chance to tie with a point after or win with a two point conversion. oklahoma called a timeout after boise state showed that they were going for two. boise state comes out of the timeout and decides to still go for the two point conversion. if they convert they win the bowl game and go undefeated for the year. if they don't convert then they lose and will be questioned forever about the decision to go for the risky two point play for the win, rather than the nearly automatic one point play to tie and keep the game going. the ball is hiked, zabransky fakes a pass to his right and subtley pitches the ball to johnson who his just behind him. johnson, with blockers out in front, and the defense completely fooled by the fake pass, sprints to the left part of the endzone.
  • boise state is probably the best coached team i've seen play this year. they have inferior talent relative to other top ten teams, yet went undefeated. they kept adrian peterson under control. they used some crafty plays in critical places, but mostly relied on solid, smart play to win games. great game, great effort.
  • rule #1 in reporting: don't bury the lead. oh well, guess i'll never be a reporter. the lead should have been usc's domination of michigan. went to applebee's and watched the game. i was surprised to see how dominant usc was, especially their defensive line. hart, who had gotten at least 90 yards in every game this year, was held totally in check. michigan actually had -8 yards running at the half. that's the kind of stuff you only see in video games. i had expected michigan to create problems for the weak usc running game and i expected that that would shift the burden to john david booty. i figured that this would cause major problems for usc. i was half right. michigan did a good job against the run, but that didn't much matter. booty was able to make great reads and accurate throws throughout the game and had a career performance. i still think he's inconsistent. maybe he does better when more is on the line (notre dame, michigan, cal) or when he has time to prepare. i don't know what his problem is, but he was great today. jarrett was also great, though a bit of a showboat for my tastes. very happy that usc did well tonight.
  • i think they ended up winning 32-18, but 7 of those points by michigan came in the last two minutes so they don't really count when evaluating the game. also, usc missed two extra point attempts, not sure what the hell happened there. so, one might say that the score "should have been" 34-11. either way, usc dominated and it begs the question - ohio state, unamious #1 team in the country beats michigan 41-38 and usc beats them 32-18 (or 32-11, if you're willing to take out the trash time points). so what would happen if ohio state and usc were to play? we'll never know. anyway, i'm not a huge fan of the transitive property when applied to football. i.e., i don't think that just because usc dominated michigan and michigan almost beat osu, that usc would definitely beat osu. there's a lot to take into account - matchups, rivalries, when each team faced the common opponent, amount of time to prepare, etc. but just for the sake of argument....usc beat nebraska by 18 (if memory serves) and nebraska lost by 3 to auburn. that would mean that usc is better than auburn and everyone they beat (which would include lsu and florida).
  • usc's defense proved to me that it's one of the 2-3 best in the country against the run. if they had this defense last year then they would have beaten texas by about 14. offensively they could certainly use a better running game. overall, though, i think they redeemed themselves with the big win. pac-10 goes 3-3 in bowl games. i guess that's not too bad. hopefully oregon and ucla will return to top 25 status next year.
  • good day for football. the usc win in the rose bowl helps get the taste out of my mouth from last year's deflating defeat. i'll never cease to get sad when i think about it though. maybe they'll stop showing the highlights from that game before every goddamn usc game now.
  • i'm working on a best year in film feature. i'm going to try to determine the best year in the history of world cinema, in my humble opinion. most would say that 1939 is the frontrunner, but that only accounts for domestic pictures. when you take into account foreign films and my own personal tastes the field is a lot more open. of course if you have any nominations lemme know.
  • in related news i updated the best of film list.

  • 1-1-07 (14:58)

  • updated archives.
  • updated movies & index.
  • yesterday was like any other day, except that i did a bunch of end of year webpage-related stuff. worked on end of the year movie viewing stats, added charts for gpa and year of release, etc.
  • watched a lot of movies in the theater this year, but didn't watch very many foreign or older films. will try to do better in both categories next year. watched 49 movies in december, a december record. in that sense this year was a year for records. march and december saw all time highs for the month, while january, may, june and july saw all time lows. march had the best streak of all-time. not in terms of consecutive days of seeing a movie, but in most films seen during a streak. i saw at least one movie for 29 days straight and saw 76 films in that time period. the previous record came last year when i saw at least one movie for 52 days and saw 73 movies in that time. somewhat sadly i didn't see any of my seven most seen films this year. i also didn't see any movies by hitchcock, kubrick, or kurosawa. i attribute both of these stats to the fact that i was away from my dvd collection for the entire year. this must end. 43.6% of the films i saw this year were in the theater. conversely on 13.1% of the films i saw were released outside of the us. i didn't add any countries to the current list of 42 countries from which i've seen at least one film. 42 seems low, i'll work on watching films from less represented countries this year.
  • just finished watching the nebraska/auburn game. nebraska did better than i thought, but lost by 3. usc game starts at 5pm my time.
  • hopefully i don't get a cold this year. that's as good a goal as any, i suppose.
  • uploaded top ten list.


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