updated movies list.
during the offseason the titans (young and white) and cardinals (james, leinert and lutui [guard from usc]) seem to have done a good enough job to be playoff contenders in a couple years.
great finish to the kings game tonight. happy that the kings won, but very aware of the fact that the kings still need to win three of the next four games - a tall order. obviously that game two loss means even more at this point.
regrettably, i think that adelman will be gone next year. he's a good coach, i like him as a person, and i like his offensive schemes, but he just hasn't preached defense consistently enough to get his teams to the next level. i realize he's had some awful bounces (webber missed a big shot against the timberwolves, horry's big shot for the lakers, barry's big shot in game two, etc.) and some bad injuries (miller, webber, peja), but he also hasn't realized the potential of the teams he's had. i don't know of another coach who is available who will do a better job, but his contract is up and i think the consensus is that adelman has been given a fair shot and hasn't gotten it done. ironically, this year they're playing the best defense they've played since the departure of christie, yet adelman may still lose his job.
looked in on a bit of the discussion on the imdb.com forum about united 93...
chicken ruggles:"Is anyone else as baffled as I am at how such blatant exploitation of one of the most tragic events in American history can be put out like this???
I had underestimated how far and what boundries of human decency the studios would cross in the name of greed.
I guess that shows me... Charles Starr said it best, "It's called United 93? That's some pretty egregious product placement.""
frame 3_13:"Five years on, I think there's enough perspective for a film like this. There are movies about Pearl Harbor, World War II, the holocaust, the Civil War, Vietnam, etc... All human tragedies, American or otherwise. I don't see the problem."
pudgykid:"to frame3_13 pearl harbor, world war II, the holocaust, the civil war, vietnam war and so on have been made into movies BUT these incidents happened way before we were probably even born. these events happened like 100s of years ago while the movie for united 93 is being made only after 5 years since the twin towers incident happened. The wars you have mentioned we have won conquered and moved on (maybe not the vietnam war)while the tragedies of 911 are still trying to be figured out. We have not yet conquered this disaster nor de we know what was the real purpose and most of the terrorists involved in the 911 disaster have not been captured. so to me this movie is too soon maybe after a couple more years but not now its still to fresh in peoples mind it seems kind of insensitive to all the people that lost someone in 911 when these people who lost someone are trying to get over there loss they make a movie about it bringing the tragedy back into there minds. personally if i lost someone during 911 and they made a movie about it i would be pissed beyond belief"
i think the einstein/hitler quotes summarize my thoughts on this topic.
i'm glad that the texans didn't draft bush. i can swallow his going to the saints or the titans more than the texans. i was about 95% certain that the texans would draft him and i guess i was wrong. i really don't understand what the texans are doing - they have what they consider a good qb in carr, but they have yet to put him in a situation where he can succeed; it just doesn't make sense.
the whole reggie bush's family thing is pretty annoying. i've never been given an adequate explanation why college athletes can't talk with agents, accept money, etc. in other professions colleges encourage internships, paid or not, and don't limit your professional possibilities. why they do so with athletes makes no sense to me. i can understand wanting to protect kids from leaches, but limiting their options isn't the way to do it. of course the other factor in this case is the fact that bush's family were the recipients, not bush himself. the whole thing seems to be snowballing so i wouldn't doubt it if usc or bush were reprimanded for it, but i think it's total bullshit. lastly, it's pretty clear to me that major programs from usc and berkeley to auburn and michigan are probably doing things that they shouldn't. i think every major program has a skeleton or two in its closet - whether it's a coach loaning a player some money or something more serious - i basically have to assume that this stuff is going on all over the place. frankly, the ncaa comes off as a fascist regime anytime one of these issues comes to light and they crack down on the school.
further, i think sports fans need to realize that all sports are littered with money grubbers, felons (jayson williams), drug users (bonds, dwight gooden), sex addicts (the vikings), and rule breakers (from sosa [corked bat] to webber). anytime you have that much money coupled with pampered people in an ultra-competitive culture, you're going to get some perversion of different types. i think it's important for people to differentiate between those perversions that are completely harmless (randy moss pretending to moon the crowd), those that should be considered harmless (bush [allegedly], webber), and those that are truly worth our shock (bonds [allegedly], jayson williams, etc.). of course i don't think that these bad apples should taint the majority of the athletes who are generally good people.
speaking of bad apples...took the car into the shop and they wanted to replace the water pump. mechanics always choose something like the water pump to pick on because it means removing the engine and that means more money. i don't trust mechanics.
meryl and i saw cool hand luke in the park last night. it was a strange choice of film for a public exhibition of that type. they have harry potter and dazed and confused also planned. to me, those make more sense since they're lighter and d&c was directed by austin native richard linklater. all that said, it was a good experience and any chance to see cool hand luke is a worthwhile one. that capped our anniversary celebration which was a good one.
before bush fema was a model organization and now they're talking about getting rid of it altogether. what the fuck is wrong with people? if clinton was a failure as a moral leader because of his lying about lewinski then bush is a failure as a leader in general competence. perhaps he is the reason incompetence is at an all-time high. i don't really buy that theory, but there were people who derided clinton for his leadership in that instance and its impact on the rest of the nation.
saw a sign at an apartment complex that read: "Have A Nice" Day
i think that quotation marks and apostrophes are the most misunderstood punctuation marks.
i'm a strong believer in redemption and forgiveness and i hereby completely forgive bibby for his transgressions. here's what he said about the barry 3-pointer that i discussed in detail on the 4-26-06 (08:57) post. ""That shot could have been prevented," Bibby lamented Wednesday. "He was my guy (on defense). So it went in. It took a bad bounce for us, and a good one for them. You can look at it either way it goes, (but) I shouldn't have been off him anyway.""
updated movies list.
yesterday was the one year anniversary of meryl and me. grammatically that doesn't sound correct, but i think it is. not sure.
she made me dress up and we went to some crappy restaurant. seriously, the food was crappy, but it was still a good time.
tonight we're going to see cool hand luke which is playing downtown in some park. pretty cool.
work has been pretty slow lately. i'm still getting my hours, but more because my supervisor tells me to than because i'm actually working. frankly i don't see the purpose of my position. i'm supposed to assist the crew leader, but her job seems pretty simple and straightforward. overall i'd say that, other than this week, her job should average about 30-40 hours a week. this week is different because we're supposed to do three hours of observation per person in our crew (13). since we split duties 30-40 hours a week becomes about 20 a week for two people. it would seem more efficient to just hire one crew leader and pay them ot on the few occasions that they would need it.
allergies are acting up lately. i didn't acquire allergies until i moved to northern california.
i've been trying to craft a sign to use at a giants game. i want it to encorporate a few elements which i think are somewhat clever, but every wording i've been thinking of is either too awkward or too long. i want it to be a barry bonds slight that references michael milken's junk bond scandal. i feel it works on a couple different levels: each word in "junk bonds" has two meanings. junk can be a reference to the bogus bonds milken sold, but it can also refer to drugs - as in, he's hopped up on junk. bonds refers both to pieces of paper and Barry Bonds's last name. i'd like to make the meaning of both words be obvious in a pithy one-liner. something like: "not even michael milken would touch the junk (barry) bonds does" only better. the devil is in the details. if you have something that words it better or more succinctly then lemme know.
saw a great nova episode about solar dimming. essentially, because we've polluted so much there are enough particulates in the air to actually dim the sun's rays by the time it hits the surface. this effect actually counterbalances the effect of global warming because less heat is getting into our atmosphere. scientists fear, though, that we've done a better job of reducing these particulates than we've done of reducing greenhouse gases. as a result, we might have an increase of greenhouse gases and a decrease in the particulates which help to shield the sun. the science seemed solid and from many sources so i take it seriously.
resources (energy and water in particular) are extremely plentiful, it's just about collection. people worry about water shortages and energy crises, and i understand why, but i don't see either as too much of a threat to the long term health of the race. both are merely about collection. in the case of water - it rains plenty and there's enough ocean water to sustain humanity; it really comes down to how much of that rainfall you can collect and how much of that salt water you can treat/desalinize. it's the same with energy - there's plenty of geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric potential energy - it's just about harnessing this energy. for example, i heard and estimate (on this old house) that a single bolt of lightning carries the same amount of electricity as the entire US produces in six years. i think what people get worried about is the amount of resources which will have to be diverted to change the way we collect these things. so, the only thing we really have to worry about is changing the process, rather than these resources actually running out. it's more an economic worry than it is a worry that the actual resources will run out.
sundays are a big deal in texas
pretty typical parking practice in austin:
the helmet on this building is made out of a VW bug, pretty cool.
a freakishly small toe
the kings missed a great opportunity last night. they showed some good character by bouncing back after that awful loss in the first game, but they showed a lack of discipline down the line last night. mike bibby was especially disappointing. offensively he was a joke (3-16) and defensively he left his player in the most critical play of the game. before this play i paused tivo and told meryl three things: 1) play defense against the three 2) don't foul 3) don't leave horry. when you're up by three with 20 seconds to go you can't allow them to stop the clock with a foul and you can't allow them to get back into it with one shot. you have to force them to make a two and then you have to make your free throws; that's how basketball works. instead, mike bibby was way out of position and thought about helping defensively on ginobili on the baseline. for a veteran this is a colossal blunder and one that cost them the game. he left brent barry (a three point specialist) wide open, ran into an illegal screen by duncan (which, of course, wasn't called) and barry knocked down the shot. offensively it was a well drawn and well executed play, but bibby is to blame. he should have been face guarding his man, there's just no excuse.
of course this feeds into two recent themes in my life: my sports teams underperforming, and the general incompetence of the populous. i'm not a genius, but i knew before the play unfolded what the defensive scheme and approach should be. bibby should have known this as well. either he didn't know or he lacks the discipline to stick to the plan. either way it's pretty pathetic. of course the incompetence of basketball players on individual plays is the least of society's worries. but it's a microcosm of society in general. from the president to the census bureau to the tower records corporate office - incompetence runs rampant and it's depressing. maybe that's why i like this old house so much. they expose the incompetence of previous builders and home owners and they fix those wrongs.
bibby was a zero in the game and so was miller, but other than those two the team really stepped up. martin, wells and abdur-rahim all had great games. actually, bibby had a good first quarter - he was aggressive and was passing the ball very effectively. overall i was happy with the performance and i felt that the kings deserved to win, but you can't let the champs stick around at home, you have to close the game out and the kings just didn't have the defense when they needed it. the other story of the game was san antonio's three point shooting. it kept them in the game every step of the way. after the first half they were 8/13 and down by five. and of course that last shot by barry was the most important. i think the series will go five games.
3/31 was the first day i worked at the census and i still haven't gotten paid. the main census office uses glorified cardboard boxes as desks. no joke. resourceful people i guess.
so i'm watching the kings game and they're up 30-20 at the end of the first quarter. parker has the ball at the top of the three point line and horry is waiting at the bend of the three point line. there are about eight seconds left and i knew what was going to happen before it happened. parker drives to the bucket, abdur-rahim comes down to help on the drive, parker dishes it to horry and horry makes the bucket as time expires. i've seen it a million times, especially in the playoffs. that's what horry does and it annoys the hell out of me that these players don't get it yet. he did it tonight, he did it years ago, he did it against wallace last year...when are teams going to figure out that you can't leave him open? it's just pure stupidity.
artest got suspended for a game for his forearm to ginobili. total bullshit if you ask me. ginobili was coming across the lane and artest bumped him a bit. the very worst he should get is a fine. if duncan did the same thing the league wouldn't have done anything. further, he got the same penalty for playing tough as haslem got for throwing his mouthpiece at a referee. makes no sense. the kings are doomed.
so far the nba playoffs have been crap. the clippers game was close, but the others have been pretty shitty. they should change the rankings so that a team's overall record is all that matters - none of the divisional placement that they currently have. also, they need to make the first round either 3 or 5 games. if it were up to me i'd make the first round 3 games, the second round 5 games and the other rounds 7 games. that would mean losing millions of bucks, but it would make for a better playoff system. college basketball is so much better right now.
jeff van gundy called hamilton one of the most efficient shooters in the nba and that piqued my interest. i thought van gundy to be mostly correct, but i wanted to know who, of the top scorers, gets the most out of his field goal attempts. here's what i found. i looked at all the players who average more than 20 points a game, as well as the top players in free throw attempts per game (since these players are essentially getting free points relative to their fg attempts), as well as the players with the top 3 point percentage and top field goal percentage. as i thought, the inside players generally had better numbers since they get hacked enough and take higher percentage shots. i was surprised by the top four, especially chauncey billups. i knew shaq and wade would be up there and i knew that mcgrady and webber would be near the bottom. it turned out that both van gundy and i were incorrect about hamilton - he was in the bottom ten, just behind bibby. i was disappointed by bibby's number (1.25 points per field goal attempt). the people who impressed me the most after looking at the numbers: billups, wade, and curry.
the data can be interpreted in all sorts of ways. iverson, wade and pierce lead the league in free throws per game, but iverson is much lower on the list than the other two. nash and billups have great 3pt%, but other players (lue, barbosa, bell, mike james, ben gordon, bruce bowen) in the top ten for this category have an efficiency rating of much lower. i think you could distill the information simply: the guys at the top are those who choose their shots wisely. wade is so efficient because he takes the ball to the basket a lot (like parker), but gets more free throw attempts and doesn't take as many threes (only one per game) as most guards. the analysis solidifies my picks of wade and billups to my imaginary olympic team. at the same time, it's just one of many numbers. i still think hamilton and bibby are great players, in spite of their lower than average efficiency numbers. it also confirms my thoughts about the number of shots webber, iverson and bryant take. i think there's a certain degree of diminishing returns going on that is confirmed by those numbers. shot selection should be emphasized with the players at the bottom of this list.
i'm looking forward to seeing united 93. it's done by paul greengrass who did bloody sunday so that's definitely a good fit artistically. it features a few people playing themselves so that's also a bonus. it's a bit odd to have a british guy filming a movie about 9/11, but i don't think most people will know/care about that.
trip is in about 5 weeks. if you have any good ideas about places we should visit lemme know now.
straightened out the pay situation. still haven't gotten paid, but got to the bottom of the problem (i missed a digit on my account number). i'm retarded.
i know this is obvious to most, but still...the proliferation of "reality" television is upsetting. it's not that i care that people like this kind of entertainment, though that does bring up myriad questions. rather, it's upsetting that people take what they are seeing as real. it's deliberately edited to appear as heightened reality. i've seen several shows lately on mtv or the networks and, because i study film as a hobby, i notice the various ways in which they mask the fact that something takes place over several days, yet is portrayed as taking place in the same day. they manufacture conflict and personality traits in more and more sophisticated ways. in the early days it was easy to detect and it was less pronounced as well. nowadays, though, they've honed the craft. they can manufacture so much through voice-overs, creative editing, re-shoots, staged scenes, etc. re-shoots and staged scenes are particularily telling and manipulative. you only notice it if you are really thinking about where cameras would be if the scene were actually unfolding in real time. if you view it this way you'll often see that extra cuts are made and things are sometimes even reshot so that cameras won't appear in the background.
it's not that i value reality tv as a holy art form, quite the contrary. but i find it disturbing that this stuff is so easily passed off as real. i think most semi-intelligent viewers realize and admit that there is some artiface to the whole genre, but i don't think they understand how deep it really runs.
dj shadow is great.
started the newest al franken book the other day. pretty good so far, but not as good as lies and the lying liars who tell them.
since meryl will share the driving with me i think i'll have a good chance to update my webpage a lot more during this trip. i'll also get a chance to get to read a bit.
i've been trying to compile a definitive list of one.be.lo's lyrics to sonogram, but haven't been successful. i've contacted him and his entourage. i've posted on his forum and done various searches, but there are still about 8/22 tracks for which i don't have the lyrics. transcribing them myself is difficult at best. some lyrics i don't understand and it's a maddening process even if you do understand all the lyrics. i want to parse the entire album in depth, cite references, and highlight the many instances of wordplay and poignant commentary. i've already begun a similar process for blackalicious's "release." though the bulk of the lyrics from that song are more saul williams's than gift of gab's. there's some brilliant poetry on that track as well as the sonogram album. slow going.
there's been a lot of talk lately about the texans not picking bush with the first pick. i think it's bullshit. i'm about 90% sure they'll pick him. they don't want a quarterback and i think young is the only guy they would pick over bush. everyone could use a great defensive end, but bush is just too good an athlete with too great an upside with too much hype to pass up. if you pass him up and he turns out to be great or williams turns out to be just so-so then you look foolish. they're testing the waters and no one will blame you for picking bush, even if he turns out to be ryan leaf (which isn't going to happen unless there is a major injury).
updated movies list.
inch for inch, pound for pound kenny thomas and bonzi wells are the kings's best rebounders. i mention this because that was the key to tonight's victory. that and timely defense. sure, i didn't see the game, but i can tell from the box score. they allowed only 16 in the 4th quarter and were beat in almost all the statistical categories - fg%, 3pt made, 3pt %, ft%, and blocks. but they took care of the ball and rebounded well. thomas had 18 rebounds (8 offensive). artest had an awful game - zero steals/blocks, 1/11 from the field, 3 turnovers, 3 rebounds and (one bright spot) 8 assists. i assume he was guarding lewis who had 20 points - right on his average.
the kings are fairly deep this year. they have a solid seven: bibby, artest, miller, wells, abdur-rahim, thomas, and martin. hart brings a few good minutes off the bench at point, but he's no bobby jackson. he's a strong defender, but he's undersized. i'm fairly optimistic about their playoff chances this year, especially if the lakers lose tomorrow (unlikely) which would mean it would be kings/suns and lakers/spurs.
still haven't gotten paid for the census stuff. should know by this time tomorrow. if i haven't gotten paid then i'll be really hurting for money.
training new census employees this week. most of the people are extremely slow and my supervisor is unorganized. i generally just sit and play solitaire on the computer. they tried to hide the games, but it's pretty easy to find them through windows explorer.
i've found that a lot of time is lost when different people engage in the same conversation in multiple layers. people come in on the conversation at varying times and with varying degrees of knowledge and it makes for an irritating, but humorous, scene. one person will have a question about hooking up the handheld computer to a phone line and four people will chime in with their thoughts on the matter. all of them will be at least partially wrong and this leads to chaotic discussion about what to do. after a bit of this someone else will ask what everyone is talking about and then things get more confused. in a lot of ways it's as if these people have never used language before and don't understand basic rules of deference when it comes to organized discussion. i've tried yelling out the right answer, or simplifying their confusion, but part of the problem's genesis comes from an inability or unwillingness to listen so this method doesn't work. often, my supervisor holds little respect because she is unsure and frequently searching to locate what's going on, what the debate is over, etc.
perhaps my relative intelligence is merely a manifestation of my personality. i am quiet and willing to listen and that's served me well over the years. had i been loud, pushy, and unreceptive to those around me i might not have been able to graduate college, get 100% on the census test, or install a modem on a handheld computer.
the good news about all this wasted time in class is that i've been able to read. i finished freakonomics and wasn't all that impressed. a lot of the methodology seemed bogus and the authors far too self-assured and positive that "numbers don't lie." as someone who leans more towards the post-modernist end of the spectrum their work raised all sorts of fundamental flaws. many of their assumptions were very presumptive and/or ludacris. the assumptions they make, the data they choose to ignore, and the conclusions they draw are all fairly suspect to me. the most striking example is their section on parenting. they look at all sorts of data regarding children's test scores and their parents's income, education, school location, whether they get spanked or not, etc. they conclude that the things parents do makes much less of an impact that who the parents are: "but it isn't so much a matter of what you do as a parent; it's who you are. in this regard, an overbearing parent is a lot like a political candidate who believes that money wins elections, whereas in thruth, all the money in the world can't get a candidate elected if the voters don't like him to start with." first, it assumes that good parenting is measured by test scores, this is such a ridiculous assumption and it's so quickly made and passed over that this entire section should have been scrapped by the editor. second, i think i already addressed the money=much better chance of winning elections issue. the more money you have the more able you are to control public opinion, the more able you are to control perception, the more able you are to control the public's opinion of your opponent, etc. they gloss over the most important assumptions because they're so eager to analyze the data. it's an interesting read, but i'm not going to tout its data or conclusions any time soon.
updated movies list.
i have some data to back up my claims about artest's shot taking and the kings' success. at the start of the fourth quarter they're beating the hornets by 15 and artest has attempted only 9 shots so i'll go ahead and assume that a) the kings will win and b) he'll shoot 15 or fewer shots. with that game included, here are the stats since artest was traded to the kings: when artest shoots more than 15 shots the kings are 10-11. when artest shoots 15 or fewer times in a game they are 14-3.
don't know if i mentioned this before, but my theory about artest is that the kings play better when he limits his shots to 12-15. tonight she shot a crappy 3-13 and the kings won by 18. his shot was so awful because he hurt his thumb so he gets a pass, but it might be the best thing that could happen going into the playoffs. it's my belief that great defenses win in the playoffs and the kings are going to need to concentrate on d if they're going to beat san antonio. of course their defense starts with artest and if he is forced, because of an injury, to focus on his defense then that might rub off on the rest of the team. the kings are 24-14 with artest, that's about 63% which places them alongside teams like phoenix, miami, and better than contenders like cleveland and new jersey. not the elite, but not the 8th seed that they're likely to get, either. also, i think that, since webber left, the team has been bibby's. on most nights, bibby should lead the team in points and field goals attempted, not artest.
have a lot of movies to review.
i wonder what state has the largest level of waste per capita. recycling isn't very big here in texas and that's one reason i think it would be in the top 10. i think wyoming and alaska would be in the bottom 10. i don't know what the recyling/land-fill situation is in hawaii, but i would imagine that, space being so limited and exporting being too costly, would keep waste down.
i've been watching a shitload of this old house and this old house classics during the last couple months. it's a top five show for me. i've always liked that show. favorite channels are tcm and diy. tcm shows great movies unedited, no commercials and in their proper aspect ratio (amc shows great movies that are censored, with commercials and in fullscreen [tsk tsk]). diy shows all sorts of cool instructional programs.
regarding the nba mvp race - i think nash should get it again since he's so important to his team and since his team has changed a lot since last year. that said, i wouldn't mind if lebron won. but i do have a problem with the (many) people who have mentioned kobe as an mvp candidate, but haven't mentioned iverson. i've watched a good deal of coverage and here are the names that have been mentioned, in order to most to least: lebron, nash, kobe, nowitzki, wade, billups, brand, duncan. notice iverson's absence. i'll admit that numbers shouldn't be the sole element of determining an mvp, but here are some numbers to chew on: points - k: 35.1 ai: 33, assists - k: 4.6 ai: 7.5, rebounds - k: 5.3 ai: 3.3, steals - k: 1.8 ai: 2. i ran the numbers giving one point for points, rebounds and steals and two points for assists (since an assist leads to at least two points). kobe's total: 51.4. ai's total: 53.3. add to that the fact that ai takes fewer shots, makes his teammates better with his passing, and plays more minutes. kobe has only 2 games with 10+ assists and ai has 18 games with 10+ assists. when kobe was out for two games the lakers went 0-2. ai was out for 8 games and the 76ers went 2-6. i also think that you have attribute some of the lakers's improvement to the acquisition of one of the top five coaches of all time: phil jackson. ergo, kobe and ai are pretty much equals and to mention kobe as an mvp, but not iverson is lame.
i have to like the chances of the spurs this year. teams in the east are either on the decline or not made for a championship run. miami beat toronto by 9, but they allowed too many points and shaq had a triple double. sure, wade was out, but so was bosh - the best rebounder/scorer/shot blocker for toronto. meanwhile, detroit is falling apart and not playing their brand of defense. the nets are good now, but lack the depth needed to win it all. i'm not convinced about dallas yet, but i haven't seen them play. phoenix is good, but they don't play defense. at this point, my money is on the spurs.
did a good deal of housework today.
"when it came to a favorite team and the players I admired most, the San Francisco 49ers of the Coach Bill Walsh era with their West Coast offense got my allegiance. I grew up a big 49er fan. At that time, they had Steve Young playing quarterback and scrambling all over the field with an elusiveness that I envied. It got him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And before him there was the great Joe Montana, Mr. Cool in the clutches. Catching their passes was Jerry Rice, the best receiver there ever was. Ricky Watters at running back always managed to gain more than 1,000 yards on the ground – he was one of five backs in NFL history to average more than 100 yards a game in his 10 seasons in the league. He also scored three touchdowns when the 49ers crushed the Chargers in a Super Bowl game held in San Diego." - reggie bush
a month after doing the interview i got a job offer at cd warehouse. pretty lame of them.
just about done with my taxes, that's nice.
meryl's sorta walking again.
this week i'm supposed to be studying my census material so i can train the enumerators next week. 95% of the material is amazingly simple and straightforward. there are a few instances where things are unusual (vacant homes, added dwellings, etc.), but it's generally very straightforward.
went to some block party at meryl's dad's place on saturday and saw a dog kill a squirrel; it sucked.
went to get a cellphone for meryl the other day. that was a bad experience. i didn't realize just how much they screw you over, especially people who are poor. it's amazing to me that you have to pay more for a phone if you don't have established credit. it's like interest - people with money get paid for having money. i understand the economics behind encouraging people to save money and why the banks pay people to essentially use their money, but it still makes me mad.
updated movies list.
watched 76 movies in march. 19 of them were shorts which means i watched 57 feature length films. in october of 2003 i watched 56 feature length films so this is a new record for me.
incidentally, rollins is going for 57 straight games with a hit this year. i think it would be a great accomplishment but 1) i don't think it should count since it's over the course of two years and 2) i don't think he'll do it. that said, he seems like a good guy so good luck to him.
sacramento has been having trouble lately. they lost by a bunch yesterday, but won by 10 over the spurs today. their defense has been too uneven and artest has been taking too many shots. i think artest should take 12-17 shots a game and focus on his defense. their biggest problem, though, is their rebounding. it's been a problem since i've been a fan, and it comes as a result of their offensive scheme which brings the center to the top of the key to run the offense. they also focus on getting big guys who can pass rather than play the typical role of a big man. it's a trade-off.
i really don't like that joakim noah guy. he's so sleezy and into himself it's sick.
that maryland/duke women's basketball championship last night was pretty sweet. i watch the last 15 minutes or so and md was down by 12 (their biggest deficit was 13) when i turned it on. they came back in chunks and made a big shot to push it into overtime. close game.
saw a bumper sticker that had the word "secede" over a texan flag.
the census training moves so slowly. i think that the job itself will be better, but the training is so exhaustive and assumes that the audience is operating on a submoron level. as a result we've gone over basic things like holding onto a handrail when using the stairs as well as repeating basic operations over and over and over and over again. a parallel example: to open windows explorer i might give someone the following instructions: goto the start menu, choose programs, then accessories and then click on the windows explorer icon. done. it would take the average person about 5 seconds to figure out, but the same level of instructions might take 2 minutes and people will still ask questions. it's ridiculous.
a good allocation of resources.
holy christ this is depressing.
very disappointed about the game tonight. ucla just didn't make the plays that they should have made. i think that noah's early blocks really got into the heads of mbah a moute and hollins and that set the tone for the game. florida obviously executed well on offense and ucla had their worst game of the tourney. afflalo didn't get into it until about 10 minutes left and mbah a moute just seemed a fraction of a second behind the plays, whereas he was ahead of the plays in the previous games. cbs made a pretty glaring error when, at the half, they reported that 36 points was the most that ucla had allowed during the entire tourney. immediately i knew that was incorrect - they allowed 42 points in the first half against gonzaga.
collison was a zero, mata was a zero, fey didn't play. afflalo shot horribly in the first half, hollins was intimidated, bozeman kept them in it very early in the game, mbah a moute didn't get into it until trash time, and florida's humphrey made two huge threes at the beginning of the second half (again).
my biggest complaint was a lack of focus and intelligent play on the part of some ucla players. collison trying to lead a 2 on 4 break, some poor passes, and some bad defensive rotation include some of the lowlights.
i'm pretty surprised that the former block total in a ncaa championship game was only 4. i know they didn't count blocks when alcinder, walton and russell were around, but they must not have counted them when ewing and akeem were playing either. certainly they would have gotten more than four blocks in their finals appearences.
i'm also pretty disappointed by the last three games of an otherwise very exciting tournament. all three games were decided early on and i expected all three to be fairly tight.
this game wasn't as depressing as the rose bowl because it was decided early on, whereas the rose bowl was tight the whole time. also, i hate texas even more than i hate florida. lastly, i was looking forward to the rose bowl pretty much all year, whereas this was less of a foregone conclusion. i'll be depressed about this for less time than the rose bowl which will stick with me until the next time usc wins a national championship.
updated movies list.
i'm a bit worried about the pistons' defense lately. the way they're playing right now seems to be a step down from where they were playing last year at this time. that said, the east is weak so they should still get to the eastern conference finals, and probably even the finals...they're good enough to not have to play their best.
looking forward to the ucla/florida game all day. since 1990 here's how the teams i legimately care about have fared: sacramento kings - western conference finals, seven games against the eventual champion lakers - the best seven game series i've ever seen except for the red sox comeback against the yankees. la kings - in 1993 they made it to the stanley cup finals with robataille, zhitnick, gretzky, kelly hrudey in net, mcsorely, blake, sandstrom, granato, kurri, and barry melrose at the helm; they fell to patrick roy and montreal. the 49ers won a super bowl in 1995 while i was in sacramento for stupid youth in government. i missed the damn game against the chargers...though it wasn't very good (competitive) i would have liked to see it. ucla basketball - 1995 they also won a national championship and stupid youth and government got in the way of that one as well. actually, i saw the final, but i missed the tyus edney comeback with 4.8 seconds left vs. missouri; i'll never forget my dad picking me up and telling me about what a great game i missed. there were a few great/important games in the couple years following that which i missed. after that i vowed not to miss anymore big games. usc football - after many years of continually losing to notre dame, and everyone in general, pete carroll came along and lifted us to a first place tie in 2003, a national championship in 2004 and a disappointing end to 2005. so, of the teams i care about only one has won a championship in the last 10 years, maybe tonight ucla will add another. the niners were among the worst teams in the nfl for the last couple years, the sacramento kings are barely in the playoffs and the la kings are a couple games out of the playoffs right now.
i remember the losses more than the wins, i think it's true of most sports fans, but maybe not. i remember the seventh game against the lakers, the webber timeout against unc (i had $20 on the game against my racist grandpa so there was a lot on the line even though i don't consider myself a michigan basketball fan), the kings loss to the canadiens, the rose bowl loss last year, the niners vs. the packers in 96 (i think), etc. those stick with me more than the wins. although i do remember the wins pretty well when i was there...game two of the kings/lakers and the first time in like 15 meetings that usc beat notre dame were the biggest of those.
in 2005 everyone talked about usc of 2005 being the best college football team of all time. most of the critics agreed that they were in the top 2 or 3 teams of all-time, but none of them mentioned what i feel was a better team - the 2004 team. i never quite understood that.
census job isn't very exciting so far. i've done 16 hours of training and it could have been condensed into about 2 hours, no joke. one thing that's cool is that everyone gets a little palm pilot type computer with gps and a modem. of course it's not to keep, but it's still cool to use. i don't even really know what my job is going to be. i'm in between the area leaders and the enumerators (the people who go door to door), but, from what i've heard, it doesn't seem like there needs to be someone between those two groups of employees. working for the government is like working for your family. you get paid well for not doing much and they're pretty relaxed. actually, i work a lot harder for my relatives than i do for the government. when i did the clerk thing on election day i didn't get paid much, but the job was really easy. with this i'm getting paid really well and so far i haven't done much, they're training me and i don't have much responsibility. it's odd because generally you get paid based upon a few things: experience, responsibility, effort, hazard. this job has none of those things and yet the pay is almost three times minimum wage. working for the government is the way to go.
losing an hour sucks, but i love that it's light so much later.
meryl's knee is doing fairly well.
the simpsons had a little tivo gag during the opening sequence which i thought was pretty funny. last week they had a live action version of the opening sequence. they also had a visual/musical reference to koyaanisqatsi that was subtle, but clear. they also had a reference to the method of suicide introduced in soylent green. i think the writing on this show is getting a little better than it had in the last few years.
signed up to volunteer for habitat for humanity. i did it once in davis, but they never followed up. i think i'll follow up on this one.
i have the gonzaga/ucla game on tivo so i watch it whenever i'm bored. i've seen it about 3 times now. there's one point in the second half when ucla chips away at the lead and comes to within 6 points. the next play is a three pointer by morrison and he makes it and is fouled by afflalo - his fourth (you foul out on your fifth). morrison completes the rare four point play with the free throw and the lead is back to double digits - 10. had ucla lost, that would have been the play of the game. ucla was on a run and it goes from a 6 point lead to a 10 point lead. in the same play you lose your best defensive and offensive player for several minutes of the game. the point is moot now, though, because they won despite that awful play.
mbah a moute is an under-rated talent...he reads the passing lanes extraordinarily well and has an uncanny sense for the ball on the offensive boards. i really like his game.
pretty psyched about the ucla/lsu game tonight. i was very nervous about it because of ucla's relative weakness inside. but what they lacked in inside strength they made up for in length, hustle and toughness. i'm very excited about monday night's game. mata came up big and so did mbah a moute. fey didn't even play a role in the outcome, i guess his size wasn't as necessary as i thought it was going to be. four of the five starters for ucla are from l.a. so that also adds a level of enjoyment to the victory.
first day of the census job was pretty tedious and boring, but $14.50/hr is more than i made at tower and it seems like a less stressful job. also, it's only a temporary job so i don't have to worry about leaving early because of the trip.