working on a few different
projects right now. pouring a new foundation wall on the addition. right
now there is a pier there, but the engineer who did the initial home inspection
recommended we pour a new foundation there so we're finally getting around
to that. need a rebar bender, though, so not much progress will be made
on that until at least next week when i can borrow one from the lending
also still working on the
front room. tile around, and in front of, the fireplace. first we need
to chip away the old concrete surround though. also need to insulate in
the attic space above the room.
we went to a recycling
place yesterday and found a bunch of lumber that we will use for a dining
table that i'll build and put in the front room. meryl designed it and
it'll have a piece of glass inset with a bunch of old sports tickets from
games we've gone to over the years under it. it's going to be an unpainted
piece so the tolerances are less and i don't have a lot of furniture building
experience so it should be interesting to see how it turns out.
bowl games are starting
to heat up. washington gave baylor a run for their money the other day,
but lost. two pac-12 games so far and two losses. utterly predictable of
course because both teams were underdogs. unranked teams vs. #7 and #13.
ucla vs. illinois tonight. i actually think ucla has a decent shot.
i'm in the third season
of breaking bad now. it's getting depressing now because i'm not sure i
have anyone to root for anymore.
been watching a lot of
movies lately to try to get to 100 movies in the theater. we could watch
two tonight to get to the goal, unsure if that will happen.
been watching breaking
bad lately on netflix. started from the beginning and i'm almost done with
season 2. it's a good series. i much prefer watching drama series like
this, sopranos, west wing, etc. after everything is available on dvd/elsewhere.
having to wait a week between shows is b.s. and the water cooler discussion
with others is non-existent in my life so i don't worry about being behind.
also, since i have a shit memory, hearing all the spoilers on fresh air
or from other sources, doesn't make a difference because my memory is wiped
clean every few months. i know, for example, that i've heard spoilers from
lost, dexter, breaking bad and other popular tv series, but i can't remember
them at all so i could watch them now and not have the ends spoiled.
went on a run this morning
which is good because meryl puts the kibosh on working on xmas. i'm pretty
sure it's the one day a year that i do absolutely no work. this year, though,
i did injure my foot so there were probably a couple days right after that
that i didn't do any work. although i did get up and paint the front window
for a few seconds because that was exciting.
yesterday we worked on
the big front room most of the day. the cut-ins are plentiful so making
headway is a laborious task. most of the ceiling is done. there are three
bays that are broken up by the exposed beams and two of them are awaiting
their second coat. i also installed one of the four recessed lights yesterday.
it's an led retrofit kit that can fit into a recessed can of 5 or 6" or
a 4" junction box. we went with the 4" junction box and it worked out well.
looks pretty nice and uses a very minimal amount of power since it's led.
at the last minute we decided that it would be nice to have another light
by the door that goes into what is now my office. so, tomorrow we'll probably
get that done.
yesterday i also finally
installed a light with switch under the crawl space. it's required by code
since we have a serviceable unit down there, in our case it's the furnace.
i also installed a gfci outlet for the same purpose.
i also finished repairing
my basketball hoop yesterday which initially broke when i installed the
bolts too tightly, but it had held up pretty well until more recently when
the bolts started to slip. so i got 3/8 carriage bolts and those held for
a couple days until the backboard (made of plastic with little to no reinforcement
sandwiched inside) cracked even more. finally i took meryl's dad's old
lintel from the fireplace we demolished, cut it down to size, primed it,
painted it, and drilled a couple holes in it for the bolts. i put that
up on the bottom of the backboard and now the rim is as stiff as it's ever
so my goal was to get under
170 lbs, i set that goal in late march. first i had to stop gaining weight
and then i needed to lose it. i think my high was about 177 or 178lbs and
i had basically averaged 3lbs of weight gain a year since my freshman year
of college. i think that the first year of being in this house was bad
because we didn't have a kitchen for 6 months and it was a stressful time.
both of those things lead to weight gain. as of this morning i weighed
under 169lbs. so, mission accomplished. my goal for next year, and hopefully
for the rest of my life, is to be at about 165 because that seems reasonable
for my frame.
finished watching all the
movies a couple days ago. so, 51 feature length, theatrical, animated
films from disney. 2 of them i watched prior to this year, but the rest
i either rewatched or watched for the first time this year. it was another
goal that i started in march. my recap, awards and ranking of them can
be found here.
boise state took care of
business last night. the last two years they've had the opportunity to
make the ncaa give them a shot at the championship and they've lost easy
games. they cleaned the floor with asu last night, but it didn't prove
anything we didn't already know. it was a pick by the ncaa to sell tickets,
not get a great matchup.
article on the bcs system and the money that ruins everything.
ron paul is getting attacked
from the right now. some charges about him writing some racist stuff in
the 80s. personally i don't know whether i buy it or not, but it's not
surprising that the right and the mainstream media are doing this. they
go after sensational topics like race and sex and see what they can get
out of it. the right doesn't like him because he's a consistent conservative
instead of a hawk who doesn't want to run people's personal lives or the
lives of non-americans. he's not the right guy to lead the country, but
the way they attack him is just comical. just come out and say that freedom
and states' rights are nice things, but that they ought to have certain
limits and that paul goes too far. that's a more compelling argument than
trumping up charges or highlighting his republican party exit letter or
whatever. once again the whole process is broken from top to bottom.
don't care about the bowl
games so far. first one that means anything to me is tomorrow and it's
asu vs. boise state.
supposed to have jury duty
tomorrow. called and they said to call back by noon tomorrow. blah. i hate
that. what would be even worse is if they made me come in during my time
off of work next week. that would be great.
john and emily came over
yesterday to visit and see the house for the first time in about a year.
been mostly working on
the front room these days. it's basically ready for paint at this point,
but that is going to take a long time because there are a lot of cut-ins
newt is looking like the
front-runner right now for the gop, but i'm still not certain he'll pull
it off. there are a lot of top republicans who don't like him so it may
be a case where his burning bridges in the past bites him in the ass now.
our tivo box has been having
trouble lately so i've been recording all the stuff that was on there for
a long time. i have the last three games that usa women's soccer team played
this year. that brazil game was epic and that japan game was a let down.
pretty soon i'll get to
work on the best movies of the year. i hardly ever listen to new albums
these days so that will continue to be a "best songs" only category for
the foreseeable future.
don't think i'll make it
to under 170lbs which was my weight loss goal. i'm close, but not under.
i lost about a pound a month since making the goal which is a nice steady
and healthy amount. it also reverses the tide of gaining 3 lbs a year,
so that's good.
christmas doesn't feel
like it this year.
got today off as a "shopping
day" which is nice.
got a summons for jury
duty again. potentially have to report on thursday, hopefully they don't
the occupy movement has
resorted to somewhat pathetic tactics at this point. blocking ports just
annoys people and while it may affect the 1% in some way, i think it hurts
the little guy more. it's just a poor tactic and i hope they come up with
something else. it would be nice to know where the idea originally came
from since it's supposed to be a leaderless movement. did they vote on
it? pretty harebrained if you ask me.
updated the pictures page.
looking forward to
having some time off coming up.
work has been busy lately
because the new boss has moved a bunch of crap in and out of his office
which has caused a chain of events that makes a lot more work for me. job
security i guess.
tomorrow i hope to finish
off the electrical rough-in and get some vegetables, etc. planted in the
planter in the backyard. had been meaning to tackle that for sometime,
but hadn't gotten around to it. looks like we'll get it done tomorrow finally
so that'll be nice to check off the list. our front yard plans will be
on hold until next summer when maybe we'll tackle it. this stuff never
ends. keeps me out of trouble i guess.
along with having the best
olive oil i've ever tried while in ohio, we also had what i consider the
best bottled salsa i've ever had. cajohns
makes hot sauce primarily, but they also make salsa. we tried the raspberry
salsa and took some home. unique. the sweetness can overwhelm, but it's
really good in small doses.
our maytag refrigerator
is about a year and a half old and it leaks when it goes through a defrost
cycle. it drips the water into a little plastic pan which has evidently
developed a couple cracks. apparently these pans used to be made of aluminum
(which neither cracks nor rusts), but i guess that cost an extra $.42 or
whatever so maytag opted to change the design. fuckers. this is classic
capitalist american bullshit. we weren't always like this. we used to make
quality stuff. my grandma still has a vacuum cleaner that's like a million
years old and works fine. the shit they make these days all comes from
the same shit hole factory in china or india or whatever colony we're exploiting
at the moment, while some myopic college grad eeks out every last penny
by engineering the latest shit product. we ship the jobs and money overseas
for the privilege of buying a frig at a 15% discount to us, a 25% increase
in profit for them, and the chance to do it all over again when it takes
a dump after a paltry 10 year lifespan. it's a beautiful fucking system.
according to a story
i read, the cutoff for the top 1% is earning 506k/year. i'm part of
the lower 47% according to their calculator. during my worst two income
years (2005, 2006) i was part of the bottom 3%.
our middle class erodes
more and more every day. the discount retailers survive as does tiffany's,
but the places in the middle and the people they used to cater to are suffering.
this isn't news if you've paid attention, but it's worse now than it was
15 years ago when i first became aware of it, and this juvenile band of
hippies is the best hope we seem to be able to muster. ok, they're not
all juvenile or hippies, but what's the point of just camping out on public
property all day and all night? it'd be a better pr move if they went home
for the night and returned each morning, thus making it a legal protest
instead of burning man 2.0. i dunno, just a thought.
i can't help but feel that
this country is done for.
the long weekend was a
lots of football which
was nice. usc killed ucla. they didn't pour it on at all in the 4th quarter
so it was about as classy as a 50-0 win can get. a couple reasons why i
think it was a big win in a meaningless season for the trojans: winning
big at the end against their rival further elevated their profile after
the oregon victory, it elevated barkley again to the point where he is
finally getting some heisman consideration. go ahead and compare his numbers
to luck's - barkley's are better in yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
luck is better by two points in completion percentage. luck is a better
general on the field and doesn't have the same level of receiver. barkley
doesn't have as good an offensive line and doesn't have the best tight
ends in the country (according to standford's own supporters). strength
of schedule is nearly identical so there's no argument there. one loss
separates the two teams. the heisman is a popularity contest. anyway, back
to the win over ucla. it also sets the bar for oregon to win the dubious
distinction of being the best pac-12 team. if oregon doesn't win by 50
points or more then they're once again upstaged by usc. it's going to be
great for recruiting. i'm not in love with kiffin, but one thing he does
well is get attention and a lot of football players like that. usc will
be back in the hunt next year, the spotlight will be shining again because
they can go to a bowl, they'll possibly have a heisman candidate among
them once again, and they'll have something to hang their hat on after
a couple poor seasons.
the nfl was shown on thursday
how to beat the niners. lots of stunts and blitzing confused the offensive
line and brought alex smith out of his comfort zone. should be interesting
to see, at this late stage, how the niners will fare. they have a lot of
work to do to get their coverages under control or else other teams are
going to exploit the weakness and we'll be out in the first round of the
the lsu arkansas game wasn't
much. not at all excited about the lsu/alabama rematch. it's a down year
for college football in my opinion. lsu is clearly the best in the country
from what i've seen and they have a suspect offense.
cain is accused of another
affair. pretty clear that he's a goner anyway at this point. after perry's
debate when he forgot the third branch of govt. that he wanted to elminate
i turned to meryl and said that gingrich was going to get a bump and he
did indeed. perry and cain go down and gingrich goes up. the republicans
aren't thrilled with any of them. paul has his 10-15% of crazies who will
support him no matter what. gingrich has respect from the old guard. romney
is the guy that they'll embrace if they have to. cain was in there because
he was funny and black. perry was in there because they like the idea of
perry, but even they know he's a fucking idiot.
worked a lot on the electrical
this weekend. got the outlets and lighting wires run to the big living
room as well as to a few other outlets. there are literally only 4-5 more
outlets that i'll have to run wire to and then we'll have rewired the entire
house. actually the previous owners wired the bedroom, but everything else
has been done by us.
we also worked on paint
prep and meryl did some painting. there's a lot of prep to be done in the
big room and, in order to get the texture right, i think we may have to
retexture the whole room.
we also put down a sealer
coat on the pavers so that project is 100% complete, no more add-ons. cleaned
it on friday and applied the sealer on sunday. i think it looks good, though
i wish we had done it sooner. there are a couple spots that pool, but i
think that's from two things: not vibrating it all down soon enough after
laying them and the monsoon that came through and washed away stuff that
we had already done. there's a line where the pre-monsoon area meets the
post-monsoon area and it's obvious to me, but i don't think most people
would notice it. for it being our first paver project and for it being
almost 1000 square feet with multiple elevations to hit (landing by side
deck, sidewalk, back lawn, front lawn, garage) and a curved driveway, and
all the rest... i think we did a good job.
saul perlmutter won the
nobel prize for physics recently. he teaches at uc berkeley and organized
a surprised party for his wife at the alumni house several months ago.
i had the "pleasure" of helping him with this. the guy is obviously a genius,
but not when it comes to party planning. he was fairly high maintenance,
but honestly it didn't bother me much, i've had to deal with worse. i was
just very matter of fact with him, especially once i found out he was from
the lawrence berkeley national lab which houses all sorts of eccentric
geniuses who lack genius elsewhere as a result. they're like brilliant
musicians who can't pay the bills because they're always drunk, but without
the charm or whatever. genius is a funny thing.
finished my dad's movies
list. he has been keeping a list of all the movies he's seen in the theater
since 1993 and here
it is. it was originally in a calender book so i transcribed it over
the course of the last seveal months. yes, 410 movies in 2010 all in the
theater is correct. don't ask.
in case you haven't been
paying attention some shit has been hitting the fan at uc schools lately.
ucb had the excessive force incident
a couple weeks ago. and more recently uc davis had the pepper
katehi didn't authorize
the use of pepper spray so i don't think she should have to step down.
could she have prevented this? yes. i think having her there, but walking
on eggshells is actually a better outcome than having her exiled for something
that wasn't a result of her action, though it was a result of her inaction.
to me this falls on the
shoulders primarily of the cop involved. he should be fired. next level
up should be whatever ranking cop was on duty who may have authorized the
action, he/she should be gone. next level up is the ucd police chief, she
should be gone.
the thing that makes this
really bad is that not only was it completely uncalled for, but it had
just happened an hour away at ucb. after that incident one would think
that the chief would huddle her team and go over the protocol should something
similar arise on her campus. it's gross negligence or stupidity or not
acting in a professional manner or all of the above. either way, she has
to go. really disappointing stuff overall.
the trip to columbus was
fun. in case i haven't spelled it out already, the idea is that each year
meryl and i will go to one "rivalry game" in college football. they can
be big or small and the order will be more on interest and availability.
so, last year we saw sac state at uc davis. this year we saw penn state
at ohio state. some others we have planned are: harvard at yale, usc at
notre dame, alabama/auburn, texas/oklahoma, lafeyette/lehigh (oldest [in
terms of games played] in college football), osu at michigan, etc. at any
rate, this year we wanted to see joe paterno coach so we picked osu/penn
state. of course things didn't work out so well and joe pa was MIA. but
the trip went on anyway and we had a good time.
flew out early on friday
and saw columbus (ohio's largest which surprises most people when i tell
them). we had been through the city before on the baseball trip, but neither
of us remembered it much i think because we went on the outskirts more
than anything else. so we saw the city including german village, the capitol
building, the downtown area, the main campus drag (high street), a topiary
version of seurat's "a
sunday afternoon...," (pic below) and then went to eat at eddie george's
grille. george was an osu running back, heisman winner, and later played
for the titans. the weather was decent. it got down to about 40, but that
was the worst of it. after that we went to the hotel and ate bread with
the best olive oil i've ever had. imported from spain we picked it up at
a deli (katzinger's) in the german village. very buttery with not too much
bite. great stuff.
saturday was the game so
we got up early and worked out. ate at tim horton's which is popular in
the great lakes area. he was a hockey player who founded a pretty decent
franchise that offers breakfast-centered foods. most of the day we hung
out on campus. we saw most of the campus (which is quite beautiful and
precisely what i think of when i envision a college campus) and went to
the art gallery on campus which had some good work from alexis rockman.
then we ate at the student union which was about average for student union
food. then it was game time. they take football pretty seriously at osu
which is what i expected. they're also pretty nice from what i could tell.
ohio in general is filled with nice people. when i lived there i got that
impression as well, but it was even more marked when coming straight from
oakland. it's not that people in california are particularly rude, but
people in ohio seem to make a conscious effort to be kind and respectful.
the seats weren't great because the view was obscured, but we're working
on getting something back on that. some people wear hats that say 1942
(first year that they won a national title). tbdbitl is a popular acronym
it stands for the best damn band in the land and i have to agree. they're
very precise and the script ohio is the coolest thing i think i've seen
from a marching band. from a pure visual stand point i've yet to see anything
better. musically i'm not able to judge. extra action does some good stuff,
usc's band is real good and there are some bands in the south that are
well regarded. but when it comes to theatrics and my view of what a marching
band should be, osu is the best i've seen so far.
it was senior day and i
thought it was cool that they mentioned all the seniors in the band as
well as the seniors on the football team. i can't recall seeing that or
hearing of it elsewhere.
they did cards like cal
and others, but this time around they did the numbers of the seniors on
the football team during the game.
they also raised the biggest
damn flag i've ever seen. the army rotc people raised it in an entertaining,
indescribable fashion. should have gotten video of that.
when the band first comes
on the entire crowd claps quickly to welcome them onto the field. after
the game the band stays behind and plays for a while which i enjoyed.
watching a game at osu
felt more like i was going to church than to a football game. usc fans
get into the tailgating and they love the team. cal fans don't do the tailgating
as much, but they love their team just as much or more. but going to osu
there was something different in the air. they really seemed to love and
cherish the experience. the way they sang the ohio fight song, the way
they clapped along, they way they sang the national anthem, it all felt
more like church than anything else.
after the game we went
out for dinner again at a local place on high street and then went to the
hotel and watched the usc/oregon game. jesus what a week for football.
ok state loses (i've been predicting they would blow it since week 4).
usc beats oregon because chip kelly decided to play for overtime and because
for 3 quarters they couldn't stop the usc offense which might be the best
in the pac-12 at this point. oregon needs a quality qb. usc's defense seems
to have finally gotten a couple things ironed out, but they still have
a way to go. usc is back in the top ten which amazes me, but it's also
kind of a weird year so i'm not too psyched. more than anything (other
than it being a great game to watch) that game was big for recruiting.
it means oregon may lose a couple recruits that they were trying to poach
from california schools so that's a good thing. then oklahoma blows it
to baylor (i thought they would win and then beat ok state next week to
ruin things for them, but this way is even better). then stanford almost
loses to cal. stanford is officially overrated after barely beating usc,
losing big at home to oregon and almost losing at home to cal which is
in the middle of the pack. down year for the pac-12 in my opinion despite
what herbstreit says.
sunday we decided, on a
whim, to visit my old home at cuyahoga national park, as well as kent state
university, and the house from a christmas story which is in cleveland.
kent is a depressing little college town. they have a memorial on campus
because of the four students who were killed by the national guard. it
was a timely visit because of what has been going on at the uc schools
and occupy protests in general. depressing that things really haven't changed
after kent went to cuyahoga
n.p., which is where i worked in 2006-07. it was good to revisit the place
and it brought back more memories than visiting ohio had already. ohio
is a great place. it may be the most american state in the union. i've
been to 49 of them and ohio and pennsylvania strike me as the two that
embody what america is more than any others. that's not always a good thing,
but it is what it is. i happen to love ohio. i wish it well. the people
are the salt of the earth. maybe not the most evolved or enlightened in
some ways, some of their politics are regrettable, but they're good people
and that's basically how i feel about america on the whole.
the final stop before the
airport was the a christmas story house. talk about a microcosm of america...ohio
is one, but the a christmas story house was a step even further in that
direction. so we find the house and park on some guy's lawn because he's
waving a bright orange flag and directing us there. after i had already
started to turn i notice a little sign that says $5 for parking. i figure
i'll just bite the bullet. the guy seems like he's seen better days and
we're on vacation so what the hell. turns out that the lawn is his and
i guess he does this for a living, or at least to supplement it. so this
guy get's a couple hundred bucks a day during the good days in cash. i'm
guessing he doesn't report it to the irs. he's out their hustling up money
because he sees an opportunity and, hey, all the more power to him. his
neighbor is an older, heavier smoking lady who is doing the same thing,
but with far less energy and is making less money as a result. the american
dream in action i guess.
then there's the house
itself. the whole attraction is actually three houses. one is a museum,
the other is a gift shop and the third is the actual house. you pay $10
a pop to get into the house which includes a little 10 minute speech from
a nice young lady who may or may not be on speed. she's knowledgeable and
energetic, a fine little bit of info is included on the house and the film.
turns out that the house wasn't an attraction until about 2005 when a guy
from california paid $150k for it (even though houses in the area were
going for more like $30k). probably bought it with a shady loan, given
the year of purchase, but hey that's the american dream or whatever. i
guess he was all depressed with life and his parents made him a leg lamp
like the one in the movie. so he decides to make them himself and sell
them on ebay. makes a good living that way and then buys the house to take
things to the next level. fixes the place up with another $250k and now
i guess he's living off the proceeds of the tours and souvenir sales.
i'm as big a fan of the
film as the next guy, but some of the people who went on this tour were
crazy. they get under the sink (like randy does in the film when he's scared)
and pose for pictures. they pose in front of the xmas tree, they use the
decoder ring while sitting on the toilet, etc. it's priceless americana.
i'm just sitting back watching as these people live out their fantasy and
inhabit the roles of the people in the film. everyone experiences this
stuff differently i guess. what a trip. we snap a couple photos, go outside
to see stuff there and then goto the museum.
the museum is mostly snapshots
of the crew on set as well as some original costumes. but the real attraction
was that the actor who played randy (the little brother) was there. he
looks like a normal guy and from what i heard from him talking to people,
he's very normal. but there he is getting paid $10 a pop for signatures
and a photo. there's a whole subculture of has-beens who still make a living
off their appearances in cult films/tv shows. you see it at wonder-con
and the like all the time. again, classic americana. speaking of which
the house received some award from fox8 and they misspelled "museum" as
"musem." freaking classic.
of course we also got some
crap from the souvenir shop. i'm generally against the collecting of plastic
shit, but meryl is intent on collecting xmas ornaments from the places
we visit. doesn't seem like a completely useless enterprise so i gave in
and we got something from osu and the a christmas story house. all in all
the visit to the house was itself worth the trip out to ohio. amazing what
you can get in three days when you don't stop moving.
speaking of which, i'm
hoping to get a lot of stuff done around the house during the thanksgiving
break. maybe finish the electrical in the big room, maybe start on the
cabinet for meryl's parents, maybe some work outside if the weather holds
our seats weren't quite
as bad as some of these:
topiary version of
a sunday afternoon:
finished up with a little
retaining wall project in the front of the house. took a weekend plus the
time sean and i spent trenching it out while meryl was laying the pavers
on the driveway. we'll plant stuff there next year. hope to cover it in
the meantime so nothing grows there.
this and the bathroom might
be our two best before and after pictures:
we finished the patio the
other day. good to finally get that over and done with. all that's left
is to drill one hole for the gate latch to lock into the patio, but that
shouldn't be a problem.
we've been concurrently
working on the living room (the big room) and that's going to take a lot
of work. the electrical alone is going to be a pain. then there's a ton
of paint prep and the painting itself is going to be arduous.
speaking of painting, meryl
helped me paint the big boss' office yesterday and we knocked it out in
a 12 hour day. we decided to spray and backroll rather than roll it all.
if it had been a nice day outside, instead of rainy, i think it would have
been smoother because the paint would have dried better between coats.
other than that it went pretty well and i'm glad to be done with it.
joe pa is out. pretty sad
stuff, but from what i've heard he knew, when he knew it, and what he did/didn't
do, it was probably the right decision. there's nothing pure in this world.
the psu/osu game that we're going to next week in ohio will take on a much
different meaning now.
rick perry's self-destruction
is far more fun to watch than the usual celeb self-destruction which generally
involves drugs and problems with the law. i think it says something about
the republicans that that guy is taken seriously. he's raised the second
most dollars of the contenders and was #1 in the polls for a while. kucinich
is a bit strange and i'm sure there are other dems who are loopy, but i
can't recall one of them being taken as seriously as perry is being taken
worst time of the year
with the time shift crap. hate that it gets dark so early. blah.
hopefully going to finally
finish off the patio tomorrow. no rain or wild winds in the forecast so
nice little story on steve
jobs the tyrant and "delicate genius," to quote costanza. what a prick
that guy was. the story pretty much confirms what i had suspected of jobs
for years: namely that he was just a picky guy who did an elegant job of
stealing ideas from others and making things pretty or slightly more functional.
we need fewer guys like that in the world. people who are self-righteous
and entitled. people who feel the world revolves around them. people whose
delicate genius can't be interrupted. people who feel entitled because
they're good at something. i love how intellectuals will throw terrell
owens and other entitled athletes under the bus for being prima donnas
while sticking up for steve jobs the genius innovator at the same time.
pathetic. the article also discusses jobs' views on bill gates. among other
things it implies that jobs looked disdainfully at gates' work in philanthropy
and remarked that he's unimaginative which is why "hes more comfortable
now in philanthropy than technology." what a dick.
for some reason when i
watched donnie brasco for the first time it occurred to me that great people
often are forced to make the choice between their friends/family and society.
donnie brasco basically ruined his home life for his undercover work bringing
down the mob. society is better off as a result, but those around him,
those closest to him, suffered as a result. i've always felt that you owe
it to those close to you to be good to them first. i guess when you're
doing something like bringing down the mob a case can be made that you're
doing the right thing by screwing your family over with your absence or
constant anger and drug issues. but when you're just making prettier and
more user friendly phones, maybe you should "think different" about the
way you're living your life. asshole.
gotta paint the new big
boss' office friday and saturday. he's going with an all white motif, including
getting rid of the desk that executive directors have used since the alumni
house opened in the mid-50s. style is evidently of great importance to
this guy so i'm not sure how much i'm going to like him.
i take it back, alabama's
defense isn't as good as usc's defense was a few years ago.
this penn state scandal
and cries for paterno's head is moving way too fast. the media does this
shit all the time. they get all worked up over herman cain or joe paterno
or anthony weiner and they want blood and they keep drumming away at something
until they get it. after 46 years of running a clean program you'd think
that paterno would have earned the benefit of the doubt. he's not the one
accused of the crime, an ex-coach was. he went to the higher up and reported
what he knew. beyond that, there's not much that's known so calls for his
head are premature. go join a posse and round up frankenstein if you're
so eager to sacrifice someone. jeesh.
now, as for cain, the guy
is done. whenever 4 individuals make similar claims about the same thing,
chances are there's some truth to it so he's going to go bye bye. what's
funny about it is the republican outrage. they cry about the msm, the hypocrisy
of the left (because of clinton), etc. the difference between clinton and
cain is that monica wanted it and these other women didn't. both instances
are morally wrong, but if the allegations are true then cain's situation
is worse. whatever, they're all assholes. throw them in a ditch and light
a match as far as i'm concerned (yeah, that's right, i just dehumanized
politicians). it would be great if people of strong moral character would
be capable of being elected. yeah right.
as i get older i find that
i'm increasingly non-partisan. if someone is honest and reasonable i care
less and less how they think it's best to solve the issues. i'm just tired
of the games. i believer that if you put reasonable and informed people
into a room, they'll get stuff done. problem with that is that they all
say they don't play the washington games. it's extremely popular to run
on an anti-washington, "i'm going to clean house" platform and they never
well, lsu won the "game
of the century," in what can only be described as "a game in this century."
9-6 and their defenses were good, but their offenses were poor. stanford,
usc, and oregon have much better offenses, unfortunately none of them have
championship caliber defenses this year.
didn't get much done this
weekend. because of the threat of rain we worked inside instead of on the
pavers. got some electrical done (no more knob and tube wiring in the house!)
and some paint prep done as well. there are lots of defects in the plaster
and repairing that takes a long time.
meryl ran a 5k today and
did really well. our goal was to get under 22 minutes and she did it. she
got first place, though the 5k competition was slim. she ran a really good
time of 21:10 which is the real victory, and i know she can do even better
as she becomes more acquainted with the distance.
after we got home we watched
the niner game and napped. then i worked on the electrical some more. then
we made a nice asian beef dinner and homemade ice cream.
been thwarted by weather
or the threat of weather the last two days we've tried to finish off the
paver project. an epic wind blew small leaves into the cracks between the
pavers one day and was blowing half the day which would have made sweeping
sand into the gaps basically a nightmare. today we're delaying because
of the threat of rain. if we weren't using polymeric sand then we'd just
get it done, but the polymeric stuff sticks to everything once it gets
wet and we don't want it sticking to the top of the pavers.
so our efforts have moved
inside. patching and repairing plaster in the big room has been the primary
goal. today hopefully we'll get some wiring and more paint prep done.
also have the lsu/alabama
game today. big game of course and presumably the rights to the national
championship are on the line. i think lsu is slightly better, but i haven't
seen too much of either team. alabama's defense is about as good as usc's
was a few years ago, not sure about their offense. it's in alabama so presumably
they get the edge as it's a toss up for me.
been watching more
movies lately which is good.
another great usc/stanford
game. went to palo alto last year and saw that one, but this one was even
better. stanford's defense is definitely suspect and usc's offense
wasn't as sharp as i have seen it be this year. i think oregon may be the
best of the three teams and i don't think even they are that great. frankly,
i think it's a down time for the pac-12. anyway, it was a great game even
though it didn't turn out how i would have liked. definitely some missed
opportunities, but it has me as hopeful as ever about usc rebounding from
the sanctions. they finally looked good in the red zone and mcneal should
be their rb from now on. tyler was never really cutting it. barkley needs
another year and wasn't making the throws that he usually makes without
trouble. he needs to work on his accuracy, especially downfield.
while in la i also ran
a tv cable in the wall for my mom and visited people.
my dad is more or less
blind out of one eye now and my mom's cousin was arrested for drug trafficking
or some related crime.
last week i had three precancer
things frozen off my forehead, guess i have to watch out for that now.
wednesday should be the
last day of the patio work. lay down the sand, broom it in, vibrate everything
down, lay down more sand, broom it clean and water it down. hopefully it
goes as easy as it sounds.
going to watch the niner
game right now.
in my movie review for
southern belles a couple weeks ago i said that that was the movie that
would make me sell short netflix stock. too bad i didn't take my advice.
their stock went down about 30% the other day.
new big boss man at work
is an obnoxious micromanager. could be bad news.
been real busy lately.
working on the patio which is a day away from being done. just need to
get sand into all the cracks and vibrate everything down. yay.
usc still isn't playing
well even though they got a win against cal. no red zone offense to speak
of and their defense is spotty. worked against a green qb who had a bad
game, but isn't good enough for the next level competition.
tomorrow is a big game
for the niners. we'll see if they're for real or not. their o-line will
get a workout against a really good d-line.
worked today because of
homecoming. hopefully will get a lot done tomorrow since it's my only weekend
day off. hope to have the driveway all dug out and a trench done for the
drain which will hook up to one of the downspouts on the side of the house.
we're basically just going to get a gravel trench dug and have the water
leech into the soil near the front lawn, rather than pool next to the foundation.
also need to do several
movie reviews and there are a bunch of little projects that have been piling
next weekend sean will
be in town so less gets done around the house, but he's a good worker bee
so the time i spend on the house is more productive. hope to have him help
put in a little retaining wall in the front yard.
tigers are having some
problems. really they're the only team i would want to win at this point.
i think the brewers are pretty much done for at this point, i don't like
the rangers and i'm not a cards fan either.
rained all day yesterday
which made progress very slow. meryl stayed inside most of the day and
i tried to get some stuff done for the driveway. the slab there is thicker
and wasn't moving much. took the remaining pavers off the driveway and
dug up a little bit of space on the side of the house to make way for the
pavers as they approach the driveway.
here are some progress
shots. i think we did a pretty good job of keeping the lines straight,
especially for first timers and especially once we got past the first few
tomorrow i'm hoping that
we'll get the driveway broken up and dug up. then we can start laying the
base and doing all that fun stuff again.
got a lot done today on
the pavers project. paved almost all the way up to the driveway, put in
most of the edging, concrete on top of that and mulch over top of that.
it's looking pretty good. tomorrow will be tedious. lots of cuts to make
the house side of the path fit. also want to get the landing outside the
kitchen fixed up because they had to cut a hole in the concrete when they
redid the sewer lateral. after that's all done we'll demo the driveway
and start the same process over again there. that'll be more difficult
since there's a slope to the driveway and it'll need to be very well compacted
and graded since my truck will be there all the time. after all the pavers
have been laid we'll compact them all down and put polymeric sand in between
them to lock them in place.
taking off monday so i
have a three day weekend to try to get the patio done. yesterday we made
a lot of progress and we should be done with laying the bulk of the pavers
today. then we have a bunch of cuts and some edging to install. after all
that is done we'll rip up the driveway and do that section. hopefully we'll
get that done by the end of wednesday.
are people taking herman
cain seriously or do they just like him because he's funny and they want
to prove they're not racist?
tried working on the patio
today. it was raining off and on most of the day, though, so that was a
challenge. we got some concrete on the edging and got most of the cuts
done. then a tropical storm came through and washed away a bunch of our
sand and messed up our concrete work a bit. hopefully it'll turn out okay.
we were going to need to get more sand anyway because we're going to end
up tackling the driveway sooner rather than later. i'm hoping that we can
get the majority of the patio done this weekend. we have a good system
down now so i think we should be able to make good time.
worked inside for an hour
or so as well. working on the big room. meryl is leading the charge. we
cleaned up the cracks a bit and i patched a hole. going to need to do some
plaster repair, another patch and more cleaning before we can paint. also
we'll redo the electrical, install new lights, sand/stain the floors and
probably do something around the fireplace.
rained a lot the last day
or two so that may have set us back on the patio project. hopefully the
sand setting bed didn't get washed away too much. hopefully the sun is
out tomorrow and we can continue where we left off. if not then we'll do
cuts, get the edges secured with concrete and maybe begin work on the big
broke up the house pictures
by year. this should make it more manageable to update as well as view.
will take a day or so to get it all reuploaded though.
should be uploading the
updated pictures tonight. been fairly good about sticking to my schedule
of getting the new pictures out the first week of the month.
sarah and eli came over
on sunday and we got a good amount done. also did a bunch of cuts on my
own, those took a while. hopefully the rain stops and we can work on some
more on thursday.
took a couple days off
in the last couple weeks to get a little more done on the patio as well
as hang out with meryl for her birthday. we went to the zoo which is a
favorite place of hers. the rest of the day we watched movies and hung
out. it was raining so i didn't feel too bad about not working.
also went to luke's last
week to get some stuff knocked off his punch list. he's in france now and
renting out his house so there were a number of things that needed fixing
in order for that to happen.
worked on the pavers
today. we're finally done with all the prep so we started laying down the
actual pavers. inch of sand, screeded to its proper slope and then lay
down the pavers. we have 8 pallets of pavers, a little over 4,000 of them,
along with 3 yards of sand. we may run out of sand and we've gone through
2 pallets of pavers. we got about 250 sq. ft. done today which is pretty
good for a day's work when it's the first time we've laid pavers. tomorrow
meryl is working for the raiders so i'll be on my own most of the day.
but sarah and eli are coming by and i think we'll screed the next few sections
first and then i'll have them keep feeding me pavers until it's all paved.
then i'll fill in all the cuts and do the edging when they're gone since
those are a one man operation anyway.
long weekend. friday i
drove down to la, stayed there long enough to put my stuff into dad's car
and then we left for arizona. unfortunately we left just before rush hour
on probably the most crowded freeway in la so it took a while to get there.
8 hours which includes the time to eat dinner. slept at a motel 6 that
next morning we hung out
in tempe and looked at the campus, watched moneyball, played some pool
and ate. watched the game at night (7:15p start time and it was still 100
degrees). the student body at asu is as advertised. they're a party school
so most of them acted drunk, whether they were or not is another matter.
it was an ok game for the first 3 quarters or so, but usc played like crap
in the red zone. turning the ball over, settling for field goals, getting
penalized, etc. asu beat usc for the first time in 11 years.
the girls at the school
don't wear much, but that's about all i can say it has going for it. oh,
and it might be the only school in the country where the stadium isn't
big enough for the student body. the capacity of the stadium is right around
70k as is the total (post/under graduate) student body. last time i checked
they were #1 in that category as well as the date rape category (kidding).
actually, when we were leaving (early) there were two guys talking about
what an awesome blow out the game was. first of all, it wasn't much of
a blow out. second of all, if it was so awesome, why did you leave the
game early? anyway, after they were done talking about the "blow out" one
of them mentioned that he was going to go home and call a prostitute. he
also remarked that she was expensive, his friend said she ws dirty,
and he said that's how he liked it. so, maybe the date rape comment wasn't
a low blow after all. before the game i did hear two young men speaking
about the austrian school of economics, but it turned out they were usc
fans. which makes sense both because of the caliber of the discussion as
well because usc students, being more conservative, would tend to discuss
the austrian model over keynesian economics.
the thing that politicians
especially don't seem to understand about keynes is that he didn't advocate
running a surplus at all times and spending like crazy in times of peace
and prosperity, rather he felt the government should step up in times when
the economy needed it. personally, i see nothing wrong with that approach.
it eliminates the primary criticism that i hear of his model, that is the
need for constant growth and the so-called ignoring of the debt problem.
fed is basically irrelevant
at this point. they print money and come up with weak schemes like QE1
and QE2 and now the "twist" all to increase lending. they're really smart
people who played all their cards long ago and there's nothing left for
them to do.
obama is going to be a
sacrificial lamb and the economy might be too. his problem/strength is
that he goes with those around him. he doesn't lead so much as he makes
decisions. this can be really good during normal times, but these aren't
normal times. we need fdr 2.0. a person who can come in and crack some
skulls and get shit done in the first 100 days. unfortunately the progressive
movement in this country is basically dead. the media is a pathetic mess
intent on covering the most simplistic and sensational things in our culture,
making something out of nothing, and overly obsessed with the idea of fairness
at the cost of reality. then there's the polity which is unengaged, ignorant,
stupid and selfish.
the days of american exceptionalism
are gone. i think there was a time when america was exceptional (though
also hypocritical and not as good as it could have been), but those days
are done. we're too full of idiots, lazy people and uber-rich elites. our
government stopped working for us many years ago and became like the military
industrial complex - an entity unto itself whose sole goal is to increase
its own size and reach. we're a fucking mess and there's plenty of blame
to go around.
going to arizona this weekend
to see usc play a game there. my dad and i plan on seeing a game at a new
pac-12 stadium each year. the last couple years we've done cal and stanford
and now it's asu.
niners blew a 10 point
lead in the fourth quarter yesterday. pathetic. defense let us down and
coaching wasn't great in my opinion. harbaugh gets to the nfl and becomes
mr. by the book all of a sudden. totally lame.
got a fair amount of work
done on the house this weekend. had 4.5 yards of pack delivered, plus another
.5 yards in my truck. we hauled it all to the back/side of the house and
then compacted it in place on sunday using a rented plate compactor. takes
about 20 shovels per wheel barrow and about 10 wheelbarrows per half a
yard. so it was about 2,000 shovel loads. i did most of the shoveling and
meryl did most of the wheelbarrowing. i got a second wheelbarrow from the
library so that meant constant shoveling and greater production. back was
sore the next day, but in a good way. i think my back benefits from this
we also got a half yard
of pea gravel and put that under the decks, on a former patch of weeds
on the side of the house and under the addition in the back. no more muddy
mess or weeds in those areas. of course we laid down filter fabric as well.
still have one or two more
lifts of pack to put down before we've built up the required 4-6" of pack
over the entire 700 square feet of space. tonight we'll probably lay out
some flags to helps us gauge the required thickness over the course of
the whole yard. the last step may be the most difficult. laying down the
sand in a perfectly flat and true way and then carefully laying the pavers
down one by one. can't be on the sand while laying the pavers so there
will need to be some bridges that we setup over the sand bed. should be
a rewarding project once it's finally done, but it's taking a lot of figuring
and more hard labor than we've done on any project so far. we've moved
many many tons of material on and off-site and we have many more to go.
foot has been hurting a
bit lately, probably because i'm running once a week. doctor says to take
ibuprofen and ice. if things don't improve then i should go in to get an
x-ray. pretty unlikely that it's broken. i assume it would hurt a lot more
than it does.
next two days we'll be
working on getting the pack into the back/side yard. two layers of a couple
inches thick. going to be 9 yards or so. it's going to be tedious work,
but hopefully it will only take this weekend to get the pack down and be
ready for the sand/pavers.
the solyndra thing is not
good for obama. there was an article recently about some professor who
had correctly picked the last seven elections using some 9 or 11 point
system. he predicted obama would win in 2012, but one of the points that
obama had earned was something like "no administration scandals." if the
solyndra thing has legs then that point would be taken away from obama.
i think the margin was wide, though, so presumably he'd still be safe according
to the system. honestly, i don't think it looks good for him at this point,
but we're more than year out so the 24 hour news media should probably
calm down a bit. i actually talked with a local solar panel instructor
and installer who is teaching people to teach people in china to install
solar over there. here's what i found out: they were selling a technology
that cost $6/watt to produce for $3/watt while the chinese pv panels cost
$1/watt. they get more energy (including some from rooftop refraction)
and are easier to install (no roof penetrations) so would have been better
for larger scale commercial projects. my take is that the numbers just
didn't work out and the administration was hoping that it was going to
take off like gwb did with hydrogen. it could be a technology someone revisits
in 5-10 years, but it doesn't have a place in the marketplace right now.
they need subsidies, not loans. again, another example of how the obama
administration squandered the $700 billions stimulus.
the more the republicans
tighten their stance, the more i like obama by contrast, but the truth
is that he's just not the right guy for the time. progressives needed a
tough leader who was going to fight for progressive causes and spend money
not on compromises like the latest stimulus. he extends an olive branch
with tax cuts and that just makes the bargaining begin from a weaker position.
his gamble is that the american people will see him being reasonable and
will choose him because he's willing to compromise for the common good.
that's a big gamble.
his mistake with the first
stimulus was that he didn't push for specific programs like a ccc or wpa.
instead he set an amount he wanted to see spent and then let the congress
choose their pet projects. so solyndra type cronyism was bound to happen.
"Secular schools can never
be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a
general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air;
consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from
faith." - hitler
trying to work out more
and eat better. lost a couple pounds as a result of my changes this year.
it's a new way of life because my metabolism will only get slower with
time. my advice to the younger generation is to enjoy hamburgers and milkshakes
while you can and then make a concerted effort to change your habits before
it's too late.
paver project will recommence
on saturday. today i took a couple trips to the local landscape supply
yard and got a yard of pea gravel. shoveled it under the house addition
on top of filter fabric. shouldn't have any more weeds there and it also
makes for a better experience when we have to do plumbing, etc. down there.
getting better at the arc
welding, but still only working in the flat position. i have much respect
for true welders. it's highly scientific, somewhat unpleasant, and requires
a good deal of hand eye coordination (at least arc welding does).
here are a couple pics
of the cabinet we built and installed at meryl's dad's place. evidently
i deleted the before picture, i'll get it from meryl later. there was just
an alcove with nothing in it before. these are the afters. lighting is
bad because we needed to turn off the power to work on the in-cabinet lighting.
next up is the tv area at the left of the second picture. overall i'm pretty
happy with how it turned out. the waterborne alkyd was really good, making
the fluted trim on the side was a good experience as was working with the
adjustable shelving jig. the curve at the top took a bit of doing to get
right, but most of all the planning was the thing that took the longest.
here's the same area when
they had a fireplace. we took that out and finished it nice so the tv is
in there now. you can kinda see the alcove on the right of this picture:
ran over a mile the other
day. it's the first time i've run more than 50 yards since i hurt my foot
a couple months ago. it's not fully pain free yet, but it's healed to the
point where walking doesn't hurt and i can rotate it without much pain.
arc welding is difficult
to get looking good.
three day weekend coming
up. have a few small things planned, but meryl is gone for two days at
work so we're not going to be making headway on the paver project. that
will start next weekend.
after the welding class
i'd like to take one on cabinet making and maybe low voltage wiring.
i don't think i'm going
to vote for any of the usual suspects any more. i've voted for barbara
lee and boxer and feinstein in the past, and i like them to a certain extent
and to varying degrees. unfortunately i think the system is so fundamentally
flawed and there seems to be so much puerile and intractable behavior on
the part of congress and politicians in washington that i think it's time
to clean house. lee votes how i would vote on a lot of issues, but she's
also unwilling to compromise. there's really no point in having people
who can't compromise on anything. the straw that may have broken my back
on this was this story.
everyone talks about washington being broken but it doesn't seem like many
are willing to fix it. obama seems to be doing the best job of he major
players right now. but if i had one question for him i'd ask him if he
could stop taking vacations and golf outings because having to hear about
them makes it really difficult to defend him sometimes.
honestly, if i could
get a job in canada i'd take it and leave this place. i love america in
a lot of ways, but i'm just tired of the bullshit.
installed the cabinet on
sunday. worked out pretty well. we had to do a fair amount of electrical
which took longer than anything else. it was the first true bookcase i've
done and the first built-in so i'm pretty happy with it. a couple things
i would have done differently if i could redo it, but overall i'm satisfied
with how it turned out. to the lay person it looks pretty professional.
the oil/water hybrid from kelly-moore was a good paint to work with. the
waterborne alkyds are getting more popular and i think they're the wave
of the future for trim and built-ins. oddly, though, kelly-moore only had
1 gallon in stock.
going to work for meryl's
property management company tomorrow. she's still working on a place in
sf for her brother and she needs a handyman. we'll see how that goes. plumbing.
not psyched about my welding
class tonight. i've learned some things, but it hasn't been great so far.
i just want to get to the welding. it's a bit of overkill to take a 3+
month course just to learn arc welding, but that's what they offer and
i'll learn a lot of other things as well so that's always good.
pretty pessimistic these
days about the state of our culture, economy, country and political system.
things are going to get worse before they get better. we haven't done anything
substantive to address any of our core issues.
started priming the cabinets
for meryl's dad/stepmom today. going pretty well. we don't have the topcoat
yet, they're providing it. after we get that i'll spray a coat of that
and then install the whole thing into its nook. after that it's touch-ups
and we'll be done with the first built-in.
after installing that it'll
be time to get back to work on the patio/paver project.
i think huntsman may be
the most reasonable of the republican candidates. going on the offensive
has gotten him some press lately.
i'm not a fan of ron paul,
but the guy is consistent and doesn't seem to be a hypocrite and i have
much respect for that in a political environment that taints pretty much
everything it touches. so, he finished a close second in the iowa straw
poll, which doesn't reallly mean shit, but people are exalting bachmann
like it does so...anyway, paul finishes second and there's nothing but
crickets and tumbleweeds on this guy. wtf? pArry gets press, bachmann,
pawlenty for quitting, and romney...but not paul. it stinks of a media
blackout. there's not much i hate more than politicians, but the media
sometimes gives them a run for their money. almost.
watched the enron documentary
again last night. extremely aggravating.
i'm not sure what it is
with our society, but for some reason when you talk about morality and
ethics it seems like people tend to associate that more with conservatives
than liberals. liberals are stereotypically seen as lenient with regards
to things like sex and drugs. "if it doesn't hurt others, then it's ok."
that kind of thing. i'm a pretty liberal guy, but i've never truly embraced
that ideology. then there's the kind of morality that extends to doing
the right thing in life. being the voice of the voiceless. being the change
you wish to see in the world. these are catchphrases, but i feel like not
a lot of people live them. i have a vision that people used to be that
way more than they are now. i'm not sure if that's true, it's hard to say,
and ultimately it doesn't really matter. what i can say is that people
tend to do the expedient, easy and selfish thing a lot more than i would
like. it's easier to tell a lie than it is to have a conflict. it's in
my best interest to keep quiet or keep my eyes down if something wrong
is going on around me. we can't legislate this stuff, either. it's gotta
come from society and upbringing (parenting). i'm thinking about this stuff
because i watched the enron documentary last night. that company created
a culture that was perfect for exactly what i'm talking about.
i guess what it comes down
to is a couple things: people need to do the right thing and tell others
when they're not doing the right thing. meryl and i were at a burger shop
not long ago and we were standing in line. two little girls (maybe 9 and
12) came up and the younger one cut in front of us in the line. we stood
there, kind of shocked for a minute. the 12 year old went to the back of
the line and at one point the young one gestured to her sister to come
with her in line and the older one mouthed to her "you're cutting." the
younger one ignored her and stayed in line. a few seconds later the older
one went in front of us and joined her sister. it didn't really bother
me all that much, but what ended up sticking in my craw is that i didn't
correct it. the older one knew what her younger sister was doing was wrong.
the younger sister knew it too and yet nothing happened. i could have said
"excuse me, i think you cut in line" and they would have capitulated and
probably been less likely to try it in the future. but i didn't have the
courage to potentially get in an argument with a couple preteens and maybe
their parents (who were at a table in the corner). i'd like to think i'd
have the courage to do something if i were at enron. there's no telling.
first three pages of my
itunes sorted by number of plays. it's not 100% accurate because i don't
know if it counts it when it's played on the ipod and it only counts it
if you've listened to almost the entire song. anyway, it's kinda fun.
what's really fun is having
every song i own rated. it's insanely easy to make good mixes now. i'm
also getting better about adding comments so i can include notes like where
a song was used, what songs it sampled, where it's sampled elsewhere, etc.
i also tagged all the holland-dozier-holland songs which is also useful
since they're fucking amazing.
forgot a couple movies,
so i added them today. need to be better about writing them down as i see
them; i'm short changing myself.
if anyone has a good listing
of all the government social welfare programs i would love to see it. i'd
like to see them listed by name and include the following information:
how much they cost, how many people they help, what the assistance is,
what the criteria are for getting the assistance, and how long the assistance
lasts. right now it seems like we have a patchwork of programs that helps
niches here and there along with the big ones of medicare, ss, and food
i feel like we can't even
have the discussion about this stuff unless we really know what it entails
and what the criteria are. for example we have publicly debated the unemployment
going longer than 99 weeks because the vote was in the congress and the
media sorta covered the issue. but what about all the others. what if it
turns out that you just need to say you have a bad back without any proof
and you can get medicaid benefits for life? conversely, what if it turns
out you need four doctors to sign off on it after you've paid for them
out of pocket and the benefits only cover 50% of your health coverage for
a maximum of 2 years throughout your life? are either of those fair? i
don't think so. instead we just talk in generalizations. "nanny state,"
"the rich don't pay their fair share," "welfare queens," etc.
warren buffet had a good
op-ed on the issue of tax burden today.
thome hit his 600th and
601st home runs today. only 8 have hit that many and at least three of
them did steroids. thome hasn't ever been in that discussion and he hit
them in fewer at bats than anyone else other than babe ruth. ruth will
probably always be the greatest of all-time in my mind. hank aaron stuck
around a long time, but he wasn't as pure a hitter as the others in the
600 club. griffey is the great tragedy because of his health problems.
he could have been a 700 guy if he has been more healthy. bonds is a farce
as are sosa and a-rod.
i've said before, solutions
are plenty. there are enough smart people out there to give lawmakers,
judges, presidents good ideas. we just need people who can make good decisions
with the info they're presented and work well with others. let me put it
this way - i could solve all the biggest problems today by just looking
at the candidates' old report cards. i would ignore all the grades for
history or math or science and look only at the "plays well with others"
column. good grades there? ok, you're in. bad grades there? you're out.
niners first preseason
game tonight. we'll see how that goes.
been listening to the intelligence
squared podcasts. oxford style debating on various topics. it's fun stuff
and they keep it civil.
tiger woods looks to be
done. he should just take a vacation for a year and clear his mind. trying
to slog through this slump probably isn't going to do him any good, although
it gives sportswriters something to do when they're not picking their noses.
took this political compass
it's not perfect, but it's kind of fun.
to me, one of the great
inspirations of the founders was their ability to put their differences
aside and come up with the constitution. it's fundamentally flawed in some
ways - it didn't acknowledge the fundamental human rights of women and
blacks, for example. but i think they knew that eventually those things
would come to pass and that they had to create a document to unite the
states in the meantime. it's a great example of what reasonable people
can accomplish when they must and when they put away their sacred cows
for the greater good.
meryl's working the raiders
working on updating all
the pictures from the past month. now that i have it on my calendar it
should be a regular occurence that pics are uploaded the second week of
each month. hopefully i stick to that.
dow was up today.
lately we've been working
on meryl's dad's built-in cabinet. there are going to be two that we'll
end up building. one in the tv area (a sort of entertainment center) and
the other is off to the side of the tv and will display things and hold
books and whatnot. we're building the book/display case first.
neighborhood cat killed
a good size rat in our backyard today. we see little mice from time to
time, but i don't think i've seen a rat so far (except the dead ones when
we first moved in). cats are useful.
wedding went well. got
a little sunburned, but that doesn't happen often these days so i guess
got a couple cavities filled
today after work. first cavities in a long time, then again i haven't been
to the dentist in a few years either. well, except that one time to fix
my chipped tooth.
tested the sewer lateral
yesterday and it turns out that they didn't tie in the kitchen sink. hilarious
especially considering they weren't going to tie in the shower until i
brought it to their attention. there were two pipes that they dug up and
they just assumed that one of them was abandoned. so, before they tied
into the new lateral, i asked them about the other pipe and the guy said
it was old and wasn't used anymore. i said i thought it was used for the
shower and asked if we could test it. so meryl went in and ran the tub
and sure enough some water cam out of the pipe. so they did some more digging
and figured it out. well, just about the time they were getting ready to
leave i thought about the kitchen sink and where it drained to. i thought
it would be good to check where it went because i wasn't certain that it
went back to the main stack. sure enough, i dug around and found that it
probably met up with the lateral further down the line than they were digging.
this is a downside to a trenchless system, i guess, but certainly one that
could be avoided if they did any kind of testing whatsoever. long story
short, i tested it out and the kitchen drains to the side of the house
(i.e., it dumps into the ground) and they're coming back next week to make
it right. if i was the average homeowner or had not been on site when they
did the work, and we had gotten this company (a reputable area plumbing
company) to do this, we would have a shower and kitchen sink that weren't
draining into the sewer, but rather into the dirt on the side of the house.
the debt ceiling fallout
has been interesting to follow. i think it's a time to buy stock rather
than sell, but that's just me. the stock market is about companies, not
governments. the downgrade has little influence on the ability of the people
to buy new ipods or soda or even cars.
politically i think that
obama is destined to be a one-term president. he's going to be a scapegoat
and a large part of that is his fault. he didn't present a bold vision
on the economy. the stimulus was conservative and not well-planned. he
should have fought for a second round, a bigger first round and smarter
spending all around. people in the media are finally beginning to mention
the words "works progress administration," though i fear they are bringing
that one up too late in the game.
the conservatives have
been masterful at shaping the debate (they usually are). they have shifted
the burden to austerity and a focus on the debt, rather than on growth.
i've known for probably 10-15 years that the economy needs to constantly
grow in order for it to work. i remember first learning about that and
getting depressed, but that's just the way it is. our economy is like a
shark, if it stops then it dies. paying off $15 trillion in debt is impossible.
it would take us running a $500 billion surplus for the next 30 years.
right now our deficits are running about $1.4 trillion. so that means a
$2 trillion swing beginning next year. literally impossible and politically
impossible. after 3 years of running a surplus like that the right wingers
would be up in arms. "why is the government making a profit off the hard
work and taxes of the average american worker?" is how the debate would
go. taxes would be cut, surpluses would drop, and we'd stop paying off
no, the only way to get
out of this, as usual, is to make $15 trillion look like a small number
- inflation and growth of the economy. it's worked before and hopefully
it will work again. but in order for those to happen we need to have some
fundamentals working for us. we have to stop competing with cheap. we should
be competing with japan and germany in terms of quality. we have plenty
of quality products that we produce (my mind always goes to tools like
snap-on and craftsman vs. festool [germany] or makita [japan], but it could
also be planes, cars, computers, etc.), but we need to increase that. we
need to make serious investments in our future through education. we need
to lose the idea that everyone should go to college. it's stupid and pointless
to strive for the highest college graduation rate in the world (as obama
would like to see). we need to fix entitlement programs and lower the cost
of health care. we need to cut defense spending and get out of our wars
abroad. we need to have a viable third party with a permanent seat at the
table during presidential debates. we need to reign in corporate power.
we need to reform the tax code - fewer breaks and write-offs, no loopholes,
get capital gains in line with income tax rates. we need to get serious
about helping people who need help and kicking freeloaders to the curb
to fend for themselves. mandatory drug testing and community service if
you're on welfare. freely available career assistance and job training
and mentorship programs. more power to the states, less to the feds. fix
the housing problems that continue to plague us - get real relief to homeowners
under water. force the banks to settle, we can't have housing in limbo
unfortunately, the more
i look into this stuff, it's painfully obvious that there are a thousand
great ideas out there, but there is very little political will to enact
them. solutions to so much of this stuff are not hard to come by, finding
good people to write good laws is the tough part. the system is broken
fundamentally and it has me wanting to leave more than ever.
got a big wedding this
weekend. ryan's getting hitched. johnny's flying into town (from switzerland)
new sewer lateral goes
in today. a bit worried about there being unforeseen issues. we know the
original clay line is offset at each joint and we know that when we take
showers there is a leak that presents itself on the side of the house.
the cleanout is also kinda backed up. so, i'm hoping that in spite of all
that they can jet it clean, install a new line and we'll be good to go
by the end of the day for the quoted price. they're doing a trenchless
install so that should be fun to check out.
while they're doing
that we're going to do some weeding and continue work on meryl's parents'
i redid the tax chart below
to make more sense. i just showed how much taxes are due, instead of assuming
a certain withholding and then going from there. this way makes it easier
to see who gets what. i'm not sure how the calculator works with regards
to social security and medicare deductions.
haven't been doing a good
job of updating on here the last few months. i think part of that is that
i do a lot of writing elsewhere so maybe i should just cut and paste some
of that onto here, or vise versa.
a recent post from the
contractor forum i frequent (where we also talk about politics/religion
"if i can just get this
one mistruth out of the collective consciousness of the right wing i could
die a happy man. about half you guys throw around the stat that is in the
article: "We generally knew that 47 percent of our population pays no income
taxes whatsoever." i've seen some people say "half the country pays no
taxes" which is an even worse misrepresentation.
anyway, the actual stat
is slightly different, but it's an important difference - 47% of the population
pays no FEDERAL income tax. they still plays into ss, medicare, sales tax,
and state taxes. while federal income taxes are a big chunk of what gets
taken, the stat that gets thrown around is so misleading because it easily
gives the impression that half the country is freeloading when that's not
even close to the truth. "We have 50 percent of people who are getting
something for nothing." i'll let you guess what organization spewed that
it's also a figure that
was taken just after the recession and was at 38% prior to the recession.
also, when you consider the demographics (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet..._2009_5YR_G00_)
- 27.4% of the population is 0-19 years old. 12.6% is 65+ years old.
so, 40% of the country
is marginally employable by age. yeah, i worked when i was 16 (during the
summer) and my grandma is 75 and she still works (though maybe not like
she used to). but when you look at the actual numbers and what the stat
actually represents you see it's a gross misrepresentation of reality."
the debt ceiling stuff
is getting to the tipping point. hopefully people will finally come to
the realization that we need a third party to mix things up. to "cost al
gore the election" as some say of nader or to "split the conservative vote"
as some said of perot (twice). incidentally, perot got 18.9% of the vote
after dropping out and then coming back in and he was talking primarily
about the debt problem when it was under $5 trillion. we'll be at 14.3
trillion as of 8/2. obama comes off as real smart and balanced and reasonable
in his speeches (like the one last night), the major problem being that
he's still playing political games and i think he's lost a good deal of
trust. he voted against the debt ceiling increase under bush and recently
called it an immature mistake. does he really expect the tea party congressmen
(who were elected primarily to shrink the footprint of govt.) to be more
mature than he was on the same issue, and to go against their mandate?
a big part of the problem
is the bipolar, childish nature of the polity - "we want less govt., but
don't cut my programs." but a bigger problem is that the people who are
supposed to know what they are doing have royally screwed the country at
every turn. even best intentions are often the cause of problems. then
there's the media that plays the soundbyte game and gives little to no
context or analysis. so, yeah, the whole system is to blame and right now
it's coming to a head on this issue. hopefully a viable third party can
get into the debate and win some national seats to mix things up. right
now it looks like that would come from the right because of where we are.
i wish a real leftist party existed and had a shot. a party that could
extol the virtues of streamlined, effective government programs. a party
that stood for real, grassroots stimulus. a party that stood for a tax
structure that makes sense and works; isn't overly complex, doesn't have
a million deductions, doesn't
bottom line: the system
continues to be broken and the status quo of voting for the lesser of two
evils, growing idiotic government, and increasing corporate tyranny has
progressively gotten us more and more screwed. now, if we could get a viable
third option, grow useful government and prune wasteful government, and
reign in corporate power, we'd be cooking with fire again.
now's the time to buy newscorp
stock if you were ever interested in such a thing. if you followed my advice
on bp and goldman sachs you would have made a healthy profit on those.
apple continues to astound, i'm staying away even though they're looking
into hulu now.
tomorrow we plan on building
the rest of the pergola (we painted all the wood this weekend and got it
started), picking up a couple seamless gutters (i gave them the specs and
they extrude them on site) for the two garages in the yard, and hiring
a day laborer to help finish off the digging that needs to be done for
the patio project to progress. turns out that my mistake with the layout
line along with bad eyes, means that we still have a few inches of dirt
to take out in some big spots. ugh. i think we've been digging nonstop
for a couple weeks and we still have more to do.
getting the gutters home
could be an adventure. they're almost 21 feet long which is way longer
than my truck and i don't have a roof rack or anything. good news is that
they should be fairly rigid and it's only a couple miles away from home.
i'll take side streets and hope it goes well.
was doing some tax research.
it's always been quite a mystery to me. i went on turbo tax's tax estimator
and ran some different scenarios. i looked at the different scenarios with
and without kids and at different income levels. this is not at all scientific
since there are a shitload of other deductions to take, but it was a fun
experiment. based on this simplistic test it appears as though the govt.
gives the biggest refunds to those the poor, especially those with kids.
of course that makes sense since they need the money the most, but i never
knew just how much one would get (not get back, but actually profit) as
a result of being poor and having kids. (edit: redid this to make a little
federal taxes due
kids (16 or under)
google has the webpage
spelled out with peas today. it's mendel's birthday so i guess that makes
sense, but it could also be a sly commentary on the debt ceiling issue
about which obama said "we need to eat our peas."
i have the day off, hope
to get something done.
yesterday sean and i worked
on making a little walled in area for the garden shed. dug out a trench
for some pt lumber, put gravel underneath, and next to it. then laid down
to layers of brick. i'm definitely not a bricklayer, but it's fun and it
was good practice.
we also watched the women's
soccer final. meant to write about them earlier, but forgot. it was a fun
run and i enjoyed watching their last few games. megan rapinoe is awesome
and my favorite. alex morgan had a great run as did abby waumbach. this
last game was a disappointment. they played like the better team, but just
couldn't hold off japan - giving up the lead twice with less than 10 minutes
left in the game. a depressing finish. i didn't think the substitution
of heath for rapinoe was a good one. lloyd didn't have her shot going all
day and rodriguez didn't get any playing time at all. coach is to blame
for some of this stuff for sure.
still a lot to be done
in the backyard before we bring in the pack. hope to get things graded
on the side of the house today, we'll see. after double checking the initial
grade on the side it turns out that my initial measurements were off as
the north line got closer to the garage. so we're going to have to remove
some more material from there. so, more digging.
our neighbor mowed our
lawn for us yesterday. he's a nice guy. makes me feel bad that he offered
to do that because it probably means we let it go too long.
going to sf to see "wait,
wait don't tell me" tonight. it's meryl's favorite npr show and i like
it too, so we donated a few months back when they were giving the tickets
last wednesday claire ended
up staying home, but luke came and we did a good job of getting a lot done.
we broke up the entire patio (i jackhammered for a few hours, he used the
mattock to pry up the broken pieces) and dumped most of the big pieces
on the front lawn tarps.
last weekend we made even
more headway on the patio project. sarah and eli came over on saturday
and we got all the tiny bits of concrete moved to the front of the house
and started filling up the pergola bed with dirt. they work really well.
sunday we continued moving
dirt with all of meryl's parents. we got pretty much all of it down about
8" from the final grade height. the grading is going to take a while because
there are so many different elevations and it wasn't really well pitched
before. ideally all the elevations would be where we want them and there
would be room for the whole patio to pitch toward the property line. instead
we have a bunch of different elevations with no discernible method to the
way it all pitches. for a first time patio project, this is a tough one.
i didn't have it all planned out very well so we moved more slowly than
i would have liked. if i ever do this again i'll try to have all the elevations
figured beforehand. i also would probably just pay someone with a bobcat
to do it for me because by the time i do this again i'll be rich and unable
to dig, swing a sledge/mattock, move concrete, and run a jackhammer for
30 hours in a week.
yesterday we removed all
the concrete, one dump truck load at a time. the dump truck and dump fees
were more than anticipated. we probably ended up saving money over a dumpster,
but we wasted a lot of labor time so, overall, it wasn't a very good plan
and i blame myself for that because i was more of a penny pincher on this
than meryl was. live and learn.
surprisingly, my back and
foot held up very well during this process. only minor soreness came as
a result of doing all that stuff so i'm happy about that.
next project is to build
a cabinet for meryl's dad and stepmom. it'll be my first built-in and,
while it's not ornate, it's not a simple box either.
oh, on my birthday meryl
helped me at the alumni house to get the slate patio done. only had to
jackhammer up one spot and used some old, salvaged slate on the rest of
the spots. having her there really helped move the project along. now all
i have to do is finish filling in the grout lines with topping compound.
that'll take a couple hours and i can do it during the week since it doesn't
make a lot of noise.
one cool thing about doing
the dump truck yesterday was getting to drive a f750. pretty big truck,
but fun once i got the hang of the different feel of the air brakes.
best friend john should
be moving to sac in a couple weeks. that's good news.
worked on breaking up the
patio yesterday. first we cut into the concrete with the skilsaw and a
diamond blade. i don't think that the scoring ended up helping much, but
it certainly didn't hurt. then i went at it with an 8lb sledge hammer while
meryl picked up the pieces and dumped them in the driveway. on occasion
we would have to take a mattock to loosen up the edge of the work area
and then get back to hammering and picking up. it went about as well as
expected considering it was 82 and we were in the sun the entire time.
we were both pretty sore afterwards and my hand hurts today from all the
banging. "that's what she said."
today meryl has work so
i've been cleaning up and getting little stuff done. tomorrow we're going
to work on the slate at the alumni house, hopefully it's not too hot.
wednesday luke and claire
are coming up to help us out. that'll be a big day. the plan is to rent
a jackhammer and break up the entire patio into a grid so that using the
sledgehammer will be a lot easier the following weekend. we'll also hopefully
get the front gate put up.
next weekend we'll have
sarah and eli on saturday (hope to get all the concrete broken up into
smaller pieces and moved to the driveway, or thereabouts). then we'll have
3 of meryl's 4 parents on sunday and i hope to get all the dirt dug up
(to a depth of 8-10" below the finished level) and put into the pergola
bed on that day.
had some red vines a couple
months ago and they were stale despite being recently purchased. wrote
a letter to american licorice company in union city and got the letter
below several weeks later. then a couple days after that i got a ups package
with 3 pounds of licorice. yay.
busy times as usual.
getting ready for the backyard
project. set the remaining posts after work yesterday.
caught up on movie reviews
this weekend should be
more outside work for the patio and then on monday i'll work on the patio
at the alumni house. hope to finish with that damn slate once and for all.
it'll be a good birthday present.
4th of july in oakland
is a two-three week event. before and after there are plenty of people
testing out their fireworks. it's just insane, and mildly obnoxious.
got the pergola wood delivered
today. we're getting everything ready for our patio project which starts
on the 9th. if you're reading this and you know where i live, then you're
invited to come help us tear up the back and side patio. should be back
we decided that part of
the back patio will be raised and have a pergola on it. this will also
double as a space to put (hopefully) all of the dirt that we need to excavate
where the pavers are going. the concrete will be disposed of off-site.
set three of the six pergola posts and built the raised bed, so that was
pretty good progress.
went to the doctor today
to check out my ankle. people at work said i should go so i followed their
advice. the doctor literally told me nothing i hadn't already found out
on the internet. i had self-diagnosed it as a level 2 sprain and she said
the same, she said to keep doing the treatment i had been doing, etc. actually,
she did give me a timeline of six weeks before i'd be back to normal. we'll
see about that. i'm gunning for 2 weeks because i'm an indestructable teenager.
did give me a referral to have it x-rayed as well as to get physical therapy
which i may do even though i already know what exercises they're going
to have me doing.
i just finished my itunes
"checked and unrated" smart playlist. that means i've rated all the songs
that are on my ipod. i started this project about two years ago and it's
finally done. when i got the new computer i lost a few thousand songs worth
of ratings so that extended the process. good to be done. last song i had
to rate was tom waits' rain dogs. i gave it 3 stars. i still have 3318
songs to rate that aren't on the ipod. i'll do that next, but that'll go
here's how things progressed:
june '10 progress:
# of songs
% of total
october '10 progress:
# of songs
% of total
january 2011 progress:
# of songs
% of total
# of songs
% of total
worked yesterday for meryl's
brother's company. meryl is the property manager of his company and they
have a house in sf that is being rented to a few different people. there
was an old staircase that was condemned by the city, so meryl and i took
it down in order to save money for the company. i worked on an hourly basis,
but i think i gotta bid this stuff out from now on. it was a fairly unsafe
thing to do so for the amount of time/risk we put in it, the reward wasn't
great. after we were done with it, i helped meryl bring some paint back
to the property for the painter. as i was putting it in the laundry room
(one and a half steps down a walkway without a door) i twisted my ankle
and hurt my foot. this happened once before when playing basketball about
11-12 years ago. not fun. it's really swollen now and walking is a no go.
it's ironic because the most dangerous thing we were doing that day was
taking down a rickety old stair case that goes to the second level and
it wasn't even anchored into concrete piers of any kind; it was just resting
on grade. but with literally the last 5 gallon bucket of the day i hurt
myself and am out of comission for a few days at least. it knew it was
bad as soon as it happened. hearing a pop is never a good sign. ugh.
luckily it was the very
last thing i had to do for the day and i had an ace bandage in my truck
(i should have been a boy scout), so i wrapped it up quickly to help keep
the swelling down. meryl drove us to the nearest gas station and i was
icing it within 10 minutes. got home 30 minutes later and took some aleeve
and iced it throughout the night. will rest all day today and start moving
it around tomorrow so it doesn't heal too tightly. probably back to work
on tuesday. meryl took good care of me yesterday, but i'm on my own today.
maybe i'll watch a foreign movie or something.
only have two pictures
of the shitty staircase. it went up to another unit that i guess they're
not going to be renting any time soon. as stated, the four posts holding
it up were not secured with simpson ties or even concreted into the ground.
they were just resting on the ground with a couple toenails. very poor
workmanship, which made the demo a bit hairy since you're making it less
and less stable as you go and the highest point was probably 16 feet off
the ground since it's right next to another stairway.
in other news, juan and
his wife finished up with the exterior paint yesterday. i'm glad we did
as much prep as we did and then handed it off to him. i don't think that
the results would have been as good if we had him do everything and i don't
think they would be as good if we did it all either. i'm probably best
at painting and electrical, though i could keep up with a professional
painter better than i could keep up with a pro electrician. so, it worked
out that we basically had two crews take a couple swipes at prepping the
house; and it needed it. they did a real good job and have a real pride
in their work. he was real easy to deal with as well. solid guy and painter.
we also had the new front
window installed on friday.
so, after we got home yesterday
we painted it. i even got in on the fun despite my injury.
i have about 300 songs
left to rate, which is good news. i still have 3k to go after that, but
none of those are on the ipod. i've never been a big fan of projects that
take longer than a day or two, but the last few years it seems that's all
i've been doing. the slate project at work is always ongoing, the house
and its various projects, rating all my songs, etc. i'm getting a little
more patient as a result, but i'm still and impatient person.
down to about 500 songs
to rate. yay.
there's a real shortage
of public heroes. guys like weiner and tiger woods and others really make
it difficult to believe in anyone anymore.
went to luke's yesterday
to swap out his old garage subpanel. as the day went on we added more to
the list of things to do. ended up adding two additional circuits on one
wall and one on another. swapped out the old panel and put in the new one.
swapped out a bad three way switch and called it a day.
busy busy busy.
about 1,000 songs left
to rate on the ipod. still have another 3,000 left on itunes to rate after
that, but those are lower priority. the end is finally near. lost today's
ratings (about 120 songs) because i plugged in the ipod, unplugged it and
then plugged it back in without going through the proper steps. if i lost
all my ratings data, i'd probably hunt down steve jobs and fucking tear
exterior paint is making
progress. should have it looking pretty presentable by the end of the week.
took off half the downspouts today so that the painter could make it look
good without having to mask them off. will reinstall after he's done.
dad is coming up this weekend.
also will do more work on the slate patio at work this weekend.
also have a cabinet and
shelving unit that i need to build for meryl's dad/stepmom sometime since
i've been putting that off for a while.
lots going on these days
game four between miami
and dallas is tied right now. before the series started i felt that miami
was going to win. they have two of the big three categories that i look
at in the nba playoffs: defense and superstars. the coaching advantage
goes to the mavs. i figure that dirk can win two games for them and terry
will need to win a third. who will step up to win the fourth? fact is that
the mavs just don't have a big third guy. they can do it by committee,
and that may happen, but it's not looking great right now. dirk's performance
these playoffs has been as good as i can remember in a while. he's been
unstoppable, though he did miss one notable shot in the last game (the
chance to tie it at the top of the key).
meryl's brother's wedding
was last weekend. it was a big production with events spanning a few days.
weddings are funny because they bring together friends and family like
only funerals do. they're also very much centered on two people so i don't
think i'd ever want to be the subject of such an event. too much pressure
will upload new pics tonight.
also stopped by to see
my grandma on the way back home. she's turning 75 so that's a good milestone.
next big project may end
up being the exterior of the house - breaking up all the concrete, installing
a pergola, and installing pavers or some sort of concrete driveway. after
that is the second bathroom and the laundry room. from there on it's smaller
projects. a little wiring, some painting, etc. nothing too huge. at that
point it will be good to help others with their projects and visit the
family a little more.
going to luke's next week
to install a new electrical panel. should be a pretty simple job. may need
to install a trough junction box, but other than that i don't see any issues
coming up. it's just a matter of doing the work.
when we went to a house
that meryl's dad was renting for his wedding related stay in san diego,
i was looking around and thinking about doing all the different phases
of construction. it struck me that the only thing i wouldn't mind doing
from soup to nuts on a project that size is the wiring. i could do a little
plumbing on one of the bathrooms or the exterior gas range, or i could
build the pergola or maybe the forms part of the foundation or do the drywall/painting
in one room. but only electrical is something that could keep my interest
for an entire job in a moderate to large sized home.
worked 10 hours on the
slate project at the alumni house the other day. it's one of those neverending
projects and the first picture below shows you part of the reason why.
it's either settling or there's a root underneath that will continue to
bring water up and force apart whatever patch i put there.
there's another portion
that i tried to get to as well, but it turned out to be more than i could
handle in a day. about 25 pieces popped up while i was replacing two pieces.
turns out that there was a glue down patch done before and it didn't hold.
so i had planned on fixing (grind off old glue, clean, let dry, apply new
adhesive, affix) that yesterday, but it rained. the rain was no good for
the two pieces i patched there so they popped up today as well. rain and
cementitous products don't mix well for the first few days. forecast didn't
say anything about rain on tuesday and i didn't have a tarp so i got kinda
screwed on that one.
i've found a new adhesive
for this stuff that i think will do well for this application. called the
manufacturer and they said it should work well too. if it doesn't, though,
then i'll have to progress to a thinset and be done with the damn thing.
been avoiding thinset to date because of the building up and prospect of
friend james is in town.
he's the only friend i've kept from high school (actually junior high)
and he's a great guy. first time he's been up here to see the house and
all that so that's good. it's good to have good friends.
painting started on the
house on wednesday.
next week is meryl's brother's
going to meryl's mom's
place to finish up a job there. should be quick and easy. famous last words.
on sunday meryl is running
a half marathon so i'll be there to cheer her on.
got some crawlspace vents
installed under the house in the back where we have standing water during
the rainy season. hopefully that, along with some other measures we hope
to implement next year, will solve our moisture issues.
other than the commercial
aspect, this is a cool
series that follows movies to their original locations. they picked
two of the three best films of all-time to start so they get a thumbs up
raining the last couple
days which sucks donkey balls.
cracked front window finally
cracked completely so i had it replaced today. been getting screwed on
money lately. good thing money is worthless.
have to do a better job
of remembering the wisdom of john wooden. the guy was better than jesus,
less controversial, and less contradictory.
working on fixing sarah's
computer. she's cursed or doing something wrong because she burns through
computers pretty quickly. new motherboard, cpu, ram, power supply. hope
to keep the hard drive. monitor is fine. first time i've built a computer
in many years.
got a lot of those little
things done today.
the satellite cable isn't
dangling in the wind anymore. now it snakes neatly along the underside
of the gutter and down the corner until it disappears under the house.
i finally finished glazing
all the windows.
finished repairing the
front window sill on the turret. the sill had split and i needed to glue/screw
it back on and then bondo/sand it to look good again.
i finished repairing the
broken rafter tails on the garage.
i finished painting the
trim on the garage.
i ordered a replacement
sanding base plate for the 6" orbital sander.
i got itunes working.
i repaired a hole where
our heater exhaust was located. for some reason, when they installed the
heater they punched the exhaust through the house rather than extending
the pvc pipe another 2-3 feet to where a crawl space vent was located.
last week meryl cut together some pvc to extend the run to the vent. i
cut a hole through the vent screen (which doesn't help hold up the house
like our rim joist does) and the job was complete. except for the hole
in the side of the house, which i fixed today.
also cleaned out the birdhouse.
kind of a cool feature on the front of the house, but it had all sorts
of bird nesting crap inside and it's 18' above the ground so it wasn't
entirely fun cleaning it out. i'll add some shingles to its roof this weekend.
a productive day.
trying to get all the little
things done in preparation for the painting to begin.
had some major issues with
itunes yesterday. the new update messed with the registry and that eliminated
my dvd drive which made it impossible to burn cds. so i fixed the dvd issue
by editing the registry, but then itunes still wouldn't burn a cd. had
apple customer service call me and they said that it would be $29 to solve
the problem or i could try to follow the directions on their support page.
he (jake from indiana) also said that itunes couldn't have been the cause
because it doesn't mess with the registry at all. i informed him that it
was the only program i had changed in anyway and he said something must
have updated because itunes doesn't edit the registry at all. biggest issue
with all this is that i have 35,000+ songs and i have rated almost all
of them at this point so i didn't want to lose any of that data. backed
that data up and followed their instructions, but it was just to undo what
i had done to get the dvd drive to work again so no dice there. so i reinstalled
itunes using the "repair" option and now everything is back to normal.
fakers really stepped up
and acted like the champions they are. it was great to see phil jackson
at his best, kobe playing his heart out, odom and bynum playing classy
basketball...odom is not much of a talent, but he really maximizes what
little talent he has through grit, determination and hard work. bynum should
be the sportsman of the year, not stephen curry. kobe has officially eclipsed
michael jordan as the best player of my generation. phil jackson, meanwhile,
showed what he can do with such meager talent and really coached the pants
off of rick carlisle. amazingly competitive game and an inspiration to
all to see the fakers step up and show true character.
in keeping with the theme
of that post...itunes continues to stun me with their excellent, seamless,
quick and effortless installations. an excellent product. they really should
charge for that software. i also appreciate the weekly reminders to update
to the latest software even though i've told them never to remind me again.
updated pictures last week.
fakers showing their true
colors in this series against dallas. kobe had 16 points in the biggest
game of the playoffs for his team. great job of stepping up like the superstar
he is. artest wasn't around to bail them out and bynum has "trust issues"
so it's pretty fucking unlikely even the zen master himself can pull them
out of this skid. hopefully they get swept and have a full on meltdown.
pretty warm today.
got a decent amount done
on the house though. they measured for the front window replacement and
we had the stucco guys out to patch up the spots that were left after the
powerwashing we did.
also worked on the north
side of the house and got several more windows glazed. more than halfway
done with that side now so that's nice. still have some window rot repair
to do though.
also worked on repairing
the rafter tails on the garage while meryl finished painting the garage.
i have trim to paint, but that's all and then the garage will be done.
another stat about kobe
in the clutch that meryl heard on pti - he is 28% in game tying or winning
situations which is the same as the league average. so, you're better off
just passing the ball to someone else who will likely be more open because
kobe still has an aura of greatness. kinda like the stench left behind
by a particularly hot and nasty crap.
fuck you john lennon, for
being a shitty dad to your "other" son. what a crappy guy. hero my ass.
when was the last time
kobe "mr. closer" made a shot at the end of a game that actually mattered?
today he bricked a shot that would have won the game against dallas. now
dallas is up 1-0 and has home court advantage. last year he missed shots
to close out the okc series and the phoenix series (gasol and artest cleaned
up his trash to finish the games) and he was an absolute zero in game seven
against boston (again, artest stepped up where kobe stepped down). whatever
happens this year, kobe is no mj. he's lost his luster. he's not the closer
people make him out to be. he's just another poser at this point who is
a volume shooter. no big deal. give me nowitzki, wade, lebron over kobe
any day of the week.
looking at the stats from
this year, how does kobe close games? in the 4th quarter he shoots 3 more
shots per 36 minute period than he does during the rest of the game. he
also shoots 5% points worse than he does during the game as a whole.
ok, how about from the 3 point line? 7% points worse in the 4th quarter
than his average game. how about "in the clutch" - game within 5 points,
with 5 minutes or less in remaining? kobe shoots the 3 about 3% points
better, but turns the ball over more (4.1 vs. 3.1) and shoots 5% points
worse from the field.
wade, on the other hand,
turns the ball over less (3.0 vs. 2.3), and shoots 12% points better from
the 3 (43% vs. 31% non-clutch times). so, kobe in the clutch: 4.1 turnovers,
40% from the field, 35% from beyond the arc. wade in the clutch: 2.3 turnovers,
40% from the field, 43% from beyond the arc.
evidently we can't even
agree that bin laden being killed is a good thing. right wing nutters are
saying one of several things: he's not dead, obama timed his killing for
political purposes, obama and bin laden were buddies so the whole thing
is a fake, etc. left wing nutters are saying: we shouldn't have crossed
into pakistan without written permission in triplicate and u.n. approval,
we shouldn't have assasinated him, etc.
getting tired of the division
in this country. don't know if it's always been like this and i didn't
know about it or it's gotten worse or if the internet and media are making
it seem worse than it really is or what.
allergies are getting me
we got that fucker osama
bin laden today. took us 10 years and we still haven't rebuilt the towers,
both of which are pathetic, but we got him.
if i were president i'd
go on air and say to al qaeda: we got your leader and now we're done with
you idiots. i'm more concerned about diarrhea and the flu (both of which
kill more people in a year than you will in your group's life) than i am
about you. you're inconsequential and irrelevant, a blip on the fucking
screen of history. buh bye.
memphis is an underrated
team. one of their best players is injured and yet they still found a way
to knock off number one and are looking good against okc. tough team with
some favorable matchups.
hate this first and second
round of the nfl draft during the week crap. like it more on the weekend
when it's an all day event.
jake locker went 8 and
the niners passed on him. we got kaepernick, though, so that might actually
work out for us someday. locker is the best athlete of the group - fastest
cone drill and 3rd fastest 40 time (tied with cam newton). newton was the
classic over reach and will probably not amount to much, but you never
know with that position. i have a little predictions document going and
jake locker was one of the things on there. here were the predictions on
jake locker's 40 time: Chris 4.6, Meryl 4.52, Mark May (espn
analyst) 4.3. locker ended up running a 4.59 so i win the prize and mark
may ends up looking like an idiot who bought someone's hype. 4.3 hype from
taylor mays is one thing, but from jake locker it's another. he's fast,
but not that fast.
so, porn is legal but prostitution
isn't. they say that the act of filming it makes it art or whatever so
then it's legal. so, why not open up an "art store" where you get to have
sex with a prostitute and the whole thing is filmed from a security camera
and you have the option of buying the video afterwards. there, now brothels
are legal in california. you can thank me later.
going to dentist for the
first time in a couple years tomorrow. will probably have a couple fillings.
still in the midst of the
disney film marathon. trying to watch all 50 feature length animated features.
seen fewer than half so far. i stopped watching them after lion king came
out ,except for princess and the frog and tangled.
surprised new orleans was
able to even the series against the fakers. chris paul is a great player
surrounded by mediocrity so evening the series is a real accomplishment.
that said, they're still doomed to lose to the fakers 2 out of the next
it's going to be real interesting
over the next 10-20 years to see how all this fiscal stuff settles out.
as a country we don't have much fiscal responsibility, but it seems like
it's a major talking point now so i guess that's the first step. unfortunately
both sides are still up to their usual games so the discussion isn't making
real progress. long story short, i think this situation is going to radically
change how people think about the government. even uninformed and unengaged
people are becoming aware of the fiscal problems we have. unfortunately
they're not nearly well informed enough to know that defunding planned
parenthood, npr and foreign aid is going to do basically nothing to solve
the problem. eventually we might have a serious discussion about the role
of the federal government, how much we want social security and medicare,
how much we want the military to continue to grow, etc. hopefully we'll
get to the point where we start investing in our human and natural resources
again like we did under fdr. now we're $14 trillion in debt ($15 trillion
by the time you read this), but we don't have a vastly improved infrastructure
with things like modern day: hoover dams, tva, increased national park
infrastructure, interstate highway system (eisenhower), etc. nor do we
have tens of thousands of young men who were part of the ccc who earned
their keep, sent money home, kept busy while times were tough, and were
already partially trained for world war 2. our human resources are a sham
at this point. we have a lot of banking and corporate profit and a small
percentage of the population that is really good as esoteric tasks, while
the rest of the country is good at serving others and doesn't actually
make much of anything. we're still living off the investments we made at
our economic height and we're finally paying for the bad decisions we made
in the more recent past.
i wish we had allowed the
government to actually shutdown during the last budget showdown. no more
mail service, no passports, no social security and medicare checks, etc.
then we could at least see how much the government does and determine how
much of that is good, bad, or indifferent. if the "government shuts down"
and people don't get their passports on time then it's not such a big deal,
but when everyone who relies on a federal govt. paycheck goes without for
a couple weeks, it's a different story.
the pendulum is swinging
and it's going to be a fun ride.
saw johnny have his exit
talk today. talked for 30 minutes or so about the last several years of
his life which has been primarily characterized by his research at the
west washmawapta glacier (the one i went to help him do work on for a couple
weeks). good to see the culmination of all that work. makes me realize
how little i've done in my life as far as leaving a lasting impression
on the world. good for him, i'm sure his work will be studied for many
years go come. onto the next chapter i suppose.
fakers will no doubt cruise
to victory in the hornets series. tied 1-1 and going to new orleans, but
the hornets are outmatched and without their second best player.
a lot more work on the
north side of the house than i remember. lots of glazing to do. i'll be
doing that most of saturday. sunday i'm working at alumni house to get
some more slate repaired. hopefully only have about 2-3 more days of that
to be 100% done. until more pops up of course. maybe i'll take some pictures
this time around. it's unfun work, but very satisfying once it's done.
thought about this the
other day and here's about as well as i can put it. i don't like chelsea
handler and here is why: she has a choice to be either a jon stewart or
joan rivers. she's chosen joan rivers and, for joan rivers, who is not
terribly bright or good, that is fine, but for chelsea handler it's a waste.
will continue work on the
front of the house and paint prep this weekend. glazing windows is part
art and part skill. had some practice with a couple windows on the garage,
and have about 25 panes of glass to do up front so i should be pretty decent
at it after this job is done.
try to buy this song by
wayne. can't find it on his website, wikipedia and google say it's
on the carter 3 but it isn't. it's not on itunes, it's not on amazon. it's
been on youtube for 3 years, but it's nowhere to be found for legitimate
purchase. not that i would buy it, but i found this interesting because
it's a catchy song that i've heard before, but it basically doesn't exist
other than on youtube and maybe some illegal torrents.
met with stucco and painting
contractors the last couple days about tackling the exterior paint project.
still plenty of prep stuff that we need to do. hoping to get a new front
window, reglaze a bunch of the windows in the turret, etc.
got some exterior paint
prep done this weekend. hard work, but the worst is behind us.
next project around the
house is prepping the house for exterior paint. we have a lot of little
things to do on that front and none of them are very exciting.
got some little projects
around the house checked off the list. ran a new internet cable from the
router to my desk so i don't have to fiddle with the wireless crap, which
had thwarted me with this new router. also finished a couple projects in
meryl's office and insulated under the bathtub which is a less known area
of heat loss.
went to wondercon yesterday.
first time doing that so it was a good experience. the soup nazi, lou ferrigno
and sara jean underwood (playmate) were there. hadn't heard of underwood
until luke told me about her. interesting to see a person like that in
real life because she didn't look all that amazing in person, but if you
do a google search for her, she looks nice. i guess she photographs well,
which until now was something i didn't believe to be a real phenomenon.
the soup nazi was a highlight for me. he sells $20 ladles that say "no
soup for you" on them and have his signature. pretty funny that all these
third rate celebrities were there (the body double from psycho, for example)
signing photos and basically just making a living off of being marginally
famous. then there were all the nerds who dressed up as different comic
book and movie characters, including the girls who seized it as an opportunity
to dress in as skimpy an outfit as possible. it's like halloween.
also watched the games
which were pretty good. uconn winning cemented my place atop our bracket
pool so i win $100 for that. vcu losing knocked me out of the pool at work,
though. i'll be rooting for butler which looks like a well-balanced and
better coached team. vcu and butler were both the best coached teams in
the tourney in my opinion. vcu reminded me a bit of uab when they made
a run or two to the sweet 16 a few years back.
david stern continues to
be the worst commisioner in the history of sports. he's shysty and a cancer
on the great game of basketball. honestly, if the guy died tomorrow i'd
be a happier person.
so why is mj sporting a
hitler mustache these days?
had a headache the last
two days. almost never get headaches. trying to get hydrated since that's
probably what it was.
finally finished the fence
project yesterday. that was a learning experience. big project. having
the paint sprayer really paid off because we were able to give it two coats
in just a few hours. think it was 140 linear feet and all but about 30
feet of that needed to be painted on both sides.
a couple shots from
the back yard:
a shot from the front
posts going in
sealing the wood
getting creative with
one post that fell between several roots
not much to say.
tied for first in the march
madness bracket. if uconn wins then i win it all. if not, then it comes
down to final score and i lose. for some reason i picked the final score
as 115, which is awfully low. if i was thinking about it at all i would
have gone with 130-140, but i evidently wasn't thinking.
obama's speech tonight
was a good one. his speeches are typically quite good and convincing. unfortunately
his actions leave a lot to be desired. he's not doing a good job with either
side right now, at least in my observations in talking with people. i've
not found a single person who characterizes themself as happy with him
so far. that said, i also get the impression that people would give him
a second chance if he were to be up for reelection right now. ron paul
gets more traction because his idea that the fed is to blame for everything
appeals to a lot of people. i don't pretend to understand all this stuff,
but i really doubt that getting rid of the fed or going to the gold standard
is going to fix a lot or all of the problems we face. it would be great
to know how things would pan out if each ideology got to do exactly what
they wanted to do.
according to the comcast
tech who came out and fixed our problem last week, comcast was somewhat
infamous for their bad customer service in the past. so far in my experience
with them, they've been really good and even better than at&t which
ran a new phone line at no charge for us when we were having internet problems
with them. their techs have been out three times and were late once (and
it was a contractor who does work for comcast). they do a good job of communicating
their eta and following up on service calls. their over the phone service
is also good (24/7 support). so, good for them for identifying the problem
and fixing it. maybe we can find out who was responsible for this turn
around and hire them to run the dmv.
in other good news - i
finally got the remastered copy of paul's boutique. it's one of those albums
that needed a remastering. low volume and some other problems. best of
the doors and metallica's ...and justice for all also fit into that category.
whoever produced ...and justice for all should probably be shot. at any
rate, they split up the b-boy bouillabaisse which is pretty cool (though
i had done that myself several years ago). it's originally a 12+ minute
song and now it's 9 shorter tracks as one medley. one of those holdovers
from the cassette/record era when tracks weren't divided so stringently.
bass kicks more and the volume level is much more in line with the rest
of the albums in the world. it also comes with a commentary download, which
is them just talking about stories surrounding the recording of the album.
for those keeping track,
that means i now have six copies of this record. two on vinyl (one to listen
to and one sealed), one of the regular cd, one imported copy of the cd,
one of the paul's boutique demos and now the remastered copy.
haven't been getting much
done around the house lately. sean and i cleaned up a bit in the backyard.
hampered by the weather lately. also between projects at the moment.
dropped sean off at the
train station about an hour ago. it was a pretty good visit. he still has
trouble remembering things and lacks basic social skills. bought him a
little notepad so he can write things on it that he should remember. so
we made a couple lists of things like house rules, things we did over the
weekend, foods he likes, etc. funny kid. hanging out with him definitely
gives me a different perspective on my everday life.
why is it that updating
itunes is a 45 minute long process? why do they bug you to update it every
other day? because apple is run by fascists.
going to try to lose a
few pounds this year. basically gained about 3 pounds a year for the last
12 years or so. not so bad because i was about 10 pounds underweight to
begin, but now i'm only about 15 away from being overweight so it's probably
about time to actually pay attention to that stuff.
dad gave me his movies
book that has all the movies he's seen in the theater since 1993. i'm transcribing
them to an excel file. it'll actually give me a good idea of some of the
films i've seen as well since it includes many of the films i saw before
keeping track in late 1999. unfortunately, they're just films from the
theater and there's not much data between 1997 (when i left for college)
and late 1999 (when i started keeping accurate data). it includes 2010's
data which is important because he saw 410 movies in the theater
been cruising the internet
a lot more the last several months finding all the stupid and funny stuff
it has to offer and following different memes. it's a crazy world out there.
here are couple recent ones:
crappy beginning to the
tourney this year. they have all the games available now, which is great,
but that also means they don't feel it's necessary to cut away to the games
that have an exciting finish. since i, and many others, watch the games
on a delay, this is a problem. also, the first round play-in games are
a fucking joke. ucla dodged a bullet today by barely beating michigan state
after being up by 23. pathetic. i think i had them in the elite 8.
have i mentioned the idea
of giving tickets to jaywalkers in berkeley so you don't have to raise
the parking tickets every few months? jaywalking leads to more human suffering
than parking in a spot for more than 2 hours. do i really have to point
this stuff out?
how about selling lactase
pills at ice cream parlors? been to as many ice cream places as anyone
else i've ever known and never seen a place that does it. great idea. $.40
a pill and you get a sale that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. places
should do this.
had a long series of discussions
with the peoples republic of berserkeley today. long story short i owe
them $123 for a $43 ticket i shouldn't have gotten in the first place.
sent two letters to them trying to contest and no dice. too late, blah
blah blah. ultimately they can do whatever they want. most of the underlings
were quite useless, the one supervisor i spoke with seemed nice. she also
played the game well. saying she wanted to help me, etc. but kept saying
that she couldn't do anything and then waited for me to respond. i'd restate
my case and this continued. the tactic is a classic one employed by homeowners
when dealing with contractors. they say "i'd love to do this project, but
the price...it's just so much." followed by silence, at which point the
contractor is supposed to feel uncomfortable and say "well, i can work
with you on this by giving you a discount here and there." at any rate,
it's the cost of doing business in a place that so many other people are
doing business. modernity is great.
guy. counterpoint: Jalen Rose clearly states that these were his feelings
when he was a FRESHMAN at Michigan. He also states that the reason these
feelings came about were because he was JEALOUS of Grant Hill's family
situation. The adult Jalen Rose admitted that he had immature feelings
as a kid and also recognized, as an adult, that they were not justified
in truth! I'm glad Mr. Hill is defending himself and his teammates, but
Mr. Rose made it clear that he doesn't believe the same things that he
thought as an 18-year-old kid now that he is a grown man who has a lifetime
of new experiences.
would like to see the documentary
as the fab five played prominently in my life in a way. they were perhaps
the first in a long line of following sports and being gravely disappointed.
i was in hawaii on my paternal grandpa's dime and we watched the game.
he knew nothing about basketball, but liked to gamble so he said he'd bet
$20 against whatever team i liked. kind of a dickish move in itself, but
whatever. i bet on michigan and he bet on unc. long story short michigan
didn't do so great and the
game ended quite infamously and in heartbreaking fashion. at one point
in the game, however, unc was up and my grandpa said to me "looks like
my niggers are doing better than yours." it was that day that i lost $20
and a grandpa. i was a chris webber fan for years afterwards; he was a
misunderstood guy in a lot of ways. got heat for that bonehead moment as
well as taking money from boosters while at michigan. of course he was
also the best player on the kings when they had their glory days. always
felt bad for the guy more than anything else. felt like our fates were
sort of tied together in a way because of what we both went through because
of that game.
less than 8k songs left
to rate on the ipod.
still trying to get the
router setup now that we're with comcast. not sure why this stuff is so
meryl's still sick, but
going to johnny's this
weekend to install a water heater and visit the guys. hopefully get some
wiring done in luke's garage too. that would be fun.
guy's vehicle in berkeley the other day. what a nut.
a website for people to
report bad drivers. it could be either serious or not. you get cut off
by a psychotic in a scion xb with license plate 6PLT718 then you go on
the website and report it with a comment like: you, sir, are psychotic
and shouldn't be allowed on the road. why did you flick me off?
pothole app for the iphone
or whatever. you see a pothole, you tell your app where it was (gps tracking
can pinpoint it) and then you submit this info to the city jurisdiction.
it's very easy for the city to implement this: get a computer science intern
from a local college to write an app and install it on their system. citizens
download it for free and it generates emails, faxes, print-outs, whatever
for the city on the other end. this could easily get done in 2-3 months,
soup to nuts. i can pretty much guarantee, though, that it won't happen
anywhere in this country for another year or more because they haven't
come up with the idea and/or lack the ability or desire to implement it
in a reasonable timeline.
stop saying joe namath
was a good qb. his stats prove otherwise. he had one above average game
and has made a killing ever since. he's a drunk
idiot and a piss
poor football player. congratulations, you led the league in interceptions
4 times and tds 1 time. you had more tds than ints 2 times in your career
and a career qb rating of 65.5 which makes you good enough to be the 3rd
string qb on some teams today and 14 points lower than elvis grbac and
10 points lower than steve bono (remember them?).
how about a charlie sheen
translator? you type in something like "do you want to go out to dinner
tonight?" and it spits out something stupid like "my monkey spirit is summoning
the goddess Hestia from afar, will you come. of course you will." could
be good for a few quick bucks if it goes viral.
worked at meryl's dad's
this weekend. had planned on finishing the fence and then priming/painting
it, but rain thwarted the painting portion of that. we did finish the assembly
of the gate and the door and the top cap; a very labor and lumber intensive
fence. pictures to come later.
we also worked on the area
that used to be a fireplace insert. it's now where the tv resides and we
finished the mudding and sprayed some texture. i think we did a decent
job of blending the textures and when meryl paints i told her to use a
3/4" nap roller to blend everything together even more. there was a lot
of patching to do because we exposed the header and jack studs so we could
remove the jack studs, insert a simpson hh4, and gain 3" of extra space
for the tv in the process. it was a lot of work for such a small amount
of space, but it helps a lot because the tv isn't obstructed now.
we also installed a small
bit of trim around a bread box corner in the kitchen. i had previously
cut it higher to make way for the new granite installation. since there
needed to be wiggle room for the granite, though, the cut had to be higher
than the finished surface of the granite so we installed bit of shoe molding
to hide that.
next time we go out there
we'll spray the fence and we'll be all done.
back is feeling mostl better
supposed to get comcast
internet this morning. we'll see if that happens.
this weekend we hope to
finish meryl's parents' fence and tv nook. it's supposed to rain, however,
so i'm not sure of the likelihood of those projects both getting finished.
hurt my back a couple days
ago and am still recovering. not real bad, but bad enough to be stiff and
somewhat worthless. been trying to rest.
well, comcast guy came
and went. turns out we need the modem on hand for him to complete his installation.
modem is on order and tracking info says it will be here today. not early
enough, though, so we'll have to wait until next week. didn't think they
needed it because at&t just has you do that part yourself. my bad.
hope to finish up meryl's
room this weekend. have some shelving to build and trim to finish up.
looking forward to the
oscars. smart money seems to be on king's speech, but i like social network
to take the prize. i think it's a more memorable film in the long run,
though the academy likes stuffy british stuff for some reason.
if i were rich one of the
things i'd do is hire a reference librarian or the like to do my bidding.
so, i had a question today about the tax structure in the u.s. that would
probably require a good amount of research. i know at one point the taxes
on the rich were something like 90%, now they're like a third of that.
at the same time we have taxes on things like tobacco that weren't taxed
before. i would like a report on federal and state (CA) tax structures
over the course of the last 120 years. that way i could see how the feds
made their money before the income tax and during it. in down times as
well as good times. the same for the state. california is too reliant on
home prices for much of its tax revenue, how has that shifted over time?
so many questions, so little time.
so, if i were rich i'd
have all sorts of questions like that and i'd have various assistants find
the answers or conduct studies or polls to figure out all the things that
i'm curious about. it would be really awesome.
the other thing i'd like
to have if i were rich would be a chef. i hate cooking and that would be
a great luxury.
city of berkeley is shafting
me on a ticket. i filed an appeal and i guess they never got it so now
i have to pay $123 instead of $43. wrote them another letter, we'll see
what happens. hate the city of berkeley.
ucb's basketball team is
facing some probation and limits on recruiting because of violations. the
ncaa just picks a few schools every year to investigate and most of them
are probably corrupt in some way if they're at all successful, then they
slap them on the wrist to keep everyone in line. i hate the ncaa.
according to the weather
experts it's going to snow in oakland this weekend. i'll believe it when
i see it. maybe in the hills they'll have a little, but i doubt we'll have
anything of note at our house. weathermen are a joke.
is pretty interesting to me and i wish they offered an intro class at laney
that doesn't use a lot of math.
was at yogurt park the
other day getting a frozen yogurt and the girl behind the counter was telling
her friend about a date she went on. here's what she revealed: the guy
was really nice, the guy was short, the guy is really into her. she's not
interested in the guy. i found it a sad commentary on young women. guys
do the same thing in a different way.
have fewer than 10,000
checked songs to rate in my itunes library now. total unrated still is
around 15k, but less than 50% at this point. that's good news.
been talking to some tea
party people online lately and it's more or less like hitting your head
up against the wall. there's no way most of them will ever trust obama
so they're all just going to ride things out until he's gone. one day we'll
either fail as a country or figure out that we can actually get shit done
if we're willing to work together.
spent this weekend and
friday at meryl's dad's/stepmom's place working on a new fence. actually,
it's an extension of an existing fence that defines their back/front yard.
they're taking away sf from their front yard and incorporating it into
the backyard. we hoped it would get done in three days, but i think we
still have another two to go including painting. there were multiple obstacles
from getting a definite plan to problems with the two person auger to sprinkler
lines and drainage lines and roots. getting the layout on a straight line
was also a challenge and i'm not sure why we weren't able to achieve better
results. part of the problem is the 6x6 posts which amplify inaccuracy
in layout. another part of the problem was the unwieldy nature of the auger
which had a tendency to drift off course. another part of the problem was
not double-checking measurements when setting posts. lots of lessons learned
since it's the biggest fence project i've worked on before. our side fence
project went well, though a last minute hitch in the layout made for a
design choice that i ended up regretting.
work at home has stalled
somewhat while we wait for the carpet installation. we need to finish with
the trim around the window and also paint the room, but it's primed and
otherwise pretty much ready for carpeting. after that we can build the
shelving that meryl designed and be done with it.
next project after meryl's
office is the bathroom. that will be a big one. multiple months. have to
level the floor, install a pocket door, build a wall, install a shower
enclosure, drywall, tile, paint, install fixtures, plumbing, electrical...all
the good stuff.
gabriel over the white
house is finally available on dvd. must see film.
superbowl was pretty good.
didn't go as i expected (i thought the steelers would win, and i certainly
didn't foresee 3 turnovers). what was amazing is that there have been 35
out of 45 superbowls where one team turned the ball over 3+ times. that's
ridiculous. evidently the team forcing 3+ turnovers is now 31-4. packers
offense wasn't real impressive, but they took advantage of the mistakes.
biggest play in my opinion was the fumble forced by clay matthews.
commercial and one really funny
got a lot done around the
house yesterday. did lots of little things like cleaning up and clearing
out and organizing.
worked on trim and texture
on saturday while meryl was out. almost done with the window. will wait
to do the baseboard until after the carpet is down.
been doing real well on
the animal room. ordered carpet. they'll come tomorrow to measure and then
hopefully install soon afterwards (though we think it's going to be a week
or two because it's a special order item).
updated the pictures page.
should be finished uploading sometime tonight.
completed 1,033 pushups
in 7 days in tribute to jack lalanne. the most difficult part of it was
remembering to do them. really didn't get sore at all which is actually
pretty surprising since i had to do about 145/day.
oftentimes the most conservative
among us are the most vocal about family values. i think that most of them
would gladly help their brother/sister if they were down on their luck,
however they wouldn't do the same for a stranger. so, really, they just
have a different definition of family. it's not that they're opposed to
helping others, it's just that they only want to help their close family
i'm not sure how it is
in other countries, but there seems to be a significant minority of americans
who are vehemently anti-left, anti-obama, anti-republican, etc. i think
it manifests itself differently from those on the left, but both extremes
are part of the problem. it would be lovely if we could have a serious
conversation about the issues that plague the country, but we're not there
because the media is inept and the taste of the american public is in the
gutter. until we can have honest conversations using facts and historical
evidence i don't think things are going to get much better.
what my generation needs
is someone in charge who can lead with purpose and vision. someone who
can give us a destiny. right now it honestly seems like there's not a lot
of direction to all this energy. that was the brilliant thing about world
war 2 - we pretty much were all on the same page. i'm not saying it was
all good - there were things like manzanar and idiotic propaganda like
"loose lips sink ships" that fed a slightly paranoid/racist undercurrent
of emotion. but on the whole we were fighting a common (and worthy) enemy.
it got our shit together for us. what would really be great would be an
alien invasion to bring us together; preferably one we can win. short of
that i think humanity is in store for a significant population correction
in the next 100 years.
site on the california budget that does a good job of providing the
information in a relatively straight forward manner.
here's the mp3 rating project
progress. i've rated over 50% of the songs i have which is pretty good.
unfortunately i also have added over 2,000 songs since i started doing
this so i'm digging a hole and filling it back up at the same time.
june 2010 progress:
# of songs
% of total
october 2010 progress:
# of songs
% of total
january 2011 progress:
# of songs
% of total
making good progress around
the house. stucco should start tomorrow. we're paying four times as much
as rafael quoted us, but this guy appears to be a lot better at waterproofing
and speaks english and is licensed so you get what you pay for i suppose.
we'll see how it goes.
we took out the floor in
the bathroom and we'll redo it. i think it'll be easier than having to
work around their b.s. attempt at levelling the room. one thing i've learned
is that it's usually easier to spend more time on demo than it is to try
to salvage things. just gut it and start over; it'll work out better in
the long run.
finding that i don't have
a heck of a lot of time these days for hobbies and stuff. after work and
working on the house i basically just have time to veg out. need to get
this together so i don't become brain dead at age 40.
got a new ipod the other
day. works better than the old one and is thinner and lighter, but the
battery life isn't as good. not sure what the obsession is with getting
things smaller. i'd rather have more space and battery life, than to decrease
the thickness from 3/8" to 1/4" or whatever it is. then again, i generally
like things that are useful more than pretty so i'm in the minority.
found an african rapper
called k16 online somewhere and have been enjoying his (?only?) album.
this is one of those great things about the internet. so is this.
jack lalanne died which
is too bad. i'm trying to do 1,033 pushups in the next 7 days in his honor.
he did 1,033 in 23 minutes at age 42 so i figure i should be able to do
that many in a week. only did 75 yesterday, but that was more a result
of bad memory than fatigue or anything else.
got two tickets today.
it was a banner day. need to find someone to say that they'll carpool with
me and then i'll get a discounted rate on the parking permits. since i
have a yellow truck now and berkeley seems to be targeting me and berkeley
has raised their rates, the economics of my current arrangement cease to
make sense. ergo, i shall pursue alternative options.
got 8/10 on the nfl pick'em
group. shoulda gone to vegas with that shit.
figured out how to convert
youtube videos to mp3. this is great news.
been getting a lot of good
music off a russian guy's website. guess he owns a record store over there
and he records a bunch of stuff to mp3. mostly easy listening stuff which
i normally don't like, but found a good amount of quality stuff nonetheless.
i'm beefing up on communist music from russia and china as well as plenty
of jewish folk music. also found hugo
strasser's cover of black sabbath's paranoid and it's freaking great.
if anyone can find the
planes, trains, and automobiles soundtrack i'd appreciate it.
also been listening to
a lot of neil young, especially while working on the house.
did a skim coat on the
stucco wall inside the animal room. it's stucco because it used to be an
exterior wall. bought some plaster-weld (for really cheap) and did a first
coat of joint compount today.
been working on putting
together a top ten films of all-time according to all my family members.
that'll be coming soon.
got a decent amount done
this weekend. dad came up on saturday so we didn't get as much done yesterday,
but today i think we made up for lost time. got the subfloor down in the
new office and it's pretty close to level now so that's good. also roughed-in
most of the electrical (new circuit for water heater/bathroom, extended
existing circuit for office, and extended circuit for lighting) and finished
the structural stuff. we're getting pretty close to being ready for insulation
and drywall. we'll wait for those, though, because we want to get the stucco
done before we close the inside of the wall.
met with one contractor
yesterday about doing the stucco work. hope to get a couple other bids
doing pretty well in my
predictions of the nfl playoff games so far. luke put together a pick'em
league and calling the jets upset has proven the difference for me so far.
got robbed again the other
day. that's about once a year for me since i've been in the bay area. this
time they got my ipod out of my truck (which was unlocked because i was
busy unloading a new door and forgot). so, i bought a new one and it's
smaller, but has the same capacity. $230 plus the change in the cup holder
down the drain. getting robbed and getting almost $900 in parking tickets
a year is the cost of doing business around here. i guess i'm just supposed
to accept it as a way of life in the greatest place in the world.
thankfully i sync my ipod
pretty regularly so i only lost about 300 song ratings. could have been
worse. if i ever have to start that project over again i think i'll shoot
someone. i blame it all on jean quan.
speaking of which. people
are up in arms over the jerry brown budget. if you voted for the guy, what
did you expect? i voted for him in part because he made it abundantly clear
that we were going to be in for some rough times. he didn't sugar coat
it. he didn't touch k-12 (the single most important issue in any industrialized
nation in my opinion), but everything else was cut. fine by me. tough times
call for tough measures. hopefully we have a couple million people leave
the state as a result of this lean time we're going through. that would
be just about the best thing i could imagine.
syncing up the new ipod
now. should be back up and running tomorrow. since i got the new 160gb
classic it should be more responsive than the previous version.
liked jon stewart's take
on the arizona shooting and the media fallout. they're a bunch of savages
of course. hannity was talking about how duplicitous the left is because
he found some shit on the internet that said the only dope worth shooting
is bush and had a bullseye over a picture of sarah palin, etc. and of course
the leftists are blaming the anti-immigration laws in az or the sarah palin
map with targets in key political areas. both extremes are full of assholes
and one of these days people might wise up and get tired of the inmates
running the asylum.
repaired all the rot under
the animal room and reframed that entire space. just need to flash the
window opening and install the window. shouldn't take very long. then it's
onto the framing for the bathroom. there's some rot there that we have
to address as well as reframing the opening for the new window, which will
be bigger than the old one.
big game tonight. oregon
only scored 17 against osu last year in the rose bowl. is their offense
that much better this year? osu's defense is better than auburn's, too.
should be a good game. i had the tie break score at 81. the experts have
the over/under at something like 74 so i'm only a touchdown over. 81 seems
real high to me, though, the more i think about it. that said, the reason
i'm tied for first place in the bowl pool is because i tried not to think
about it too much. if the combined score is 65 or more then i win. if not
then i get second place and still make $10.
rearranged the bedroom
last night. needed reconfiguring because of the entrance to the bathroom
which we'll put in after the rest of the framing in the bathroom is done.
hopefully we can get all that completed this weekend.
chancellor of ucb basically
blamed the arizona shooting on the arizona anti-immigration bill. he essentially
said that he didn't feel it was a coincidence that it happened in a state
that was so hateful as to racially profile illegals. think he went out
on a big limb with that one. heard a lot of people in the last few days
talking about the sarah palins and glenn beck's and how they may or may
not have contributed to this. frankly it seems contrary to their point
to play the blame game, though i understand where they're coming from.
i kinda think that if we can't get it together as a society enough to take
care of our mentally ill then we sorta deserve what we have coming. if
people are so easily swayed by morons like beck or guys like olberman saying
that o'reilly is the worst person in the world, then that's just a weakness
we have as a species. either lift those people up or get dragged down by
just got the results for
my nabcep test and i passed. pretty good news. means i have one more notch
in my belt should i decide to become a solar installer some day.
had planned on working
on the structure for the back of the house today, but that didn't work
out. worked on it briefly and then came to the conclusion that moving the
piping that goes to the hot water heater was going to be the best way to
get the framing right. so we made that the priority for the day. thankfully
we got that done before the end of the day so we have hot water again.
had to move the water supply, the outgoing hot water and the gas supply.
going to likely replumb most of the underside of the addition at some point
because it's an inelegant mess right now. hopefully by the end of the weekend
we'll have the sheathing up, the new big window up and the new bathroom
have to go back to work
tomorrow which is too bad because there's a lot of framing and sheathing
that needs to be done in order for the addition project to get to a point
where it is reasonably weathertight. got some tarps up for now, hopefully
it doesn't rain much in the interim. forcast says clear skies for the rest
of the week and we'll be working on it on wednesday so hopefully we can
get the big window in and some sheathing up in that time. making good time
so far. the early stages generally seem to go quicker, but that's also
because the nature of framing is such that you can get a lot of visual
impact for the same amount of time when compared to tiling prep or wiring
well, we finished the foyer,
kitchen and bathroom by the end of the year. today is a no work day for
our house. we'll be going to meryl's dad's to install a big entryway light
with him, but that's all.
yesterday we did most of
the demo on the other bathroom and the little addition room. probably another
half day of demo in those rooms to clean everything up. the biggest challenged
is probably going to be the framing to get everything level, plumb and
square-ish and to restructure a lot of the parts that are rotten.
washington won yeserday
which was exciting. i thought they had a chance, but expected them to lose.
i definitely gave them better odds than arizona who i felt was overrated
all year. big 12 and sec have been showing their true colors this year,
but that doesn't mean anyone will change their opinion next year about
the sec being the best conference in the country; especially if auburn
beats oregon in which case they'll just point out that the sec has won
the last 5/6 national championships or whatever.
for the next day or
two i'm going to work on all the end of year stuff like the full
year page, the top ten
list, the stats page, etc.