8/30/10 (12:38)
  • taking the day off. woke up tired in part because the neighbor's dog was barking at 4am. the first year we were here the dog would bark when it saw something or someone, but at night it would shut up. then about six months ago the dog disappeared and we assumed it was dead. then it came back. ever since it's been barking and crying a lot more. i think it's because the grandson doesn't seem to live there any more and the dog probably came in at night and slept with him. quite annoying.
  • yesterday we worked at meryl's dad's again. ran coax and cat6 cable to two different bedrooms. it was definitely a challenge because the attic has (what looks to me like) pre-engineered trusses. they take up a lot of space and make it difficult to walk around. add to that the blown in insulation which obscures all the joists and you have a hot, difficult to navigate space. meryl fed me the cable (3 coax, 2 cat6 to each room) and i fed it through the trusses and down into the walls. we've done a fair amount of fishing at this point so we're not too bad at it. it's a good challenge, especially when you're feeding through an 8' wall with fireblocking in the middle. my 6' self-feeding bit comes in handy in those instances. wednesday we'll go back and finish up some electrical as well (we're running a switch to a closet light) as well as do some trim work (just shoe molding over the newly installed hardwood floors). we also have to figure out a way to bring several coax/cat6 lines from the attic to the first floor. that's going to be an interesting one.

  • 8/28/10 (18:54)

  • laid some tile and it looks ok. as usual i lost focus and messed up the line because i wasn't stopping to take a look at what i was doing until it was too late. some people never learn.
  • nice prank. the youtube verison doesn't have sound because of copyright issues which is retarded. anyway, sometimes kids can be so awesome. all the adults stuck in that traffic jam were probably pissed off because they had to get to work or whatever, and i'd probably be one of them. they're all too caught up in their own world to understand the quiet genius of the prank. the discipline it took to not stop, the idea had to be formed and sold to enough people to make it work, etc. funny stuff.

  • 8/28/10 (12:09)

  • started doing tile layout on the floor this morning. not thrilled with the lack of trueness on the floor, but there's nothing else that can be done about it now so i guess the floor is just going to be a bit rolly.
  • setup my new tile saw and figured out that i should have gotten the stand because my sawhorses aren't really keeping it straight and level. was readjusting the base and moved the saw to the ground for a bit. then picked the saw back up and the pump fell out and broke the threads off. now i need to get a new pump. $60 down the drain. hopefully dewalt will replace the part of the pump that is broken for free or cheap because i can't find the part online. doesn't help me now though and i need a tile saw in order to start tiling so now i need to go get a new pump to tide me over. awesome.
  • serenity now.
  • internet is still inconsistent, particularly when downloading other things. updating podcasts, watching hd video, downloading music, etc. all makes the browser stop. it doesn't just go slow, it just stops and thinks the website isn't there. happens with firefox, ie, chrome. not a browser issue. inclined to think that it's not at&t either at this point since we have a new drop and everything else. router is only thing left. not sure if i want to bother replacing it though because it will likely be a wasted day of trying to setup the wireless network again and getting the printer to work and everything else. hate computers.

  • 8/26/10 (22:32)

  • busy busy busy. ala cat's cradle.
  • ready to start laying down tile now. didn't do any work tonight, hope to get some stuff done this weekend. also gotta get another solid week of running in before the relay. foot has been bothering me, but hopefully i can power through a solid week and then taper off to rest it.

  • 8/25/10 (10:14)

  • pretty hot the last couple days. ran this morning and wasn't feeling too great, but i did 3.5 miles and it was hot so that's a good primer for the hana run.
  • dmv fucked me by not sending me any notice about expiration of driver's license. now i need to waste a couple hours there getting that done. next appt. online was about a month from now so i have no choice but to waste half a day hanging out there and going through all that.
  • started taking a couple classes at laney this semester. going to be a pain because it's 10 hours a week, split up over two nights. i'll learn even more about electricity and proper installations in residential applications. also taking a class on photovoltaics (solar panels) so i'll be able to install those by the end of the semester.
  • classes, running, work for alumni house, work for meryl's dad, work on the house; it's a busy month.

  • 8/21/10 (16:03)

  • at&t came by thursday after i got off work to look at our internet issues. there are at least two things causing slow/intermittant access: we're at the end of a long run (5800' and the max is about 6000') and our drop was poorly connected. so they decided to do a new drop. ran a new ground rod, attached a new box on the exterior of the house and ran new wire to the main line at the street. took them a few hours and it looks a lot better and is noticeably faster. we'll see how consistent it is. they did this free of charge (because the drop is their responsibility) and acted on it right away so i was pretty impressed. they're field guys are good, though i'm less enthusiastic about their phone support. so that was a nice little free upgrade to the north side of the house. eventually i plan on putting in a new network box on our end because the current hookup is a rat's nest of wires that isn't very organized and can't be giving us the best possible connection.
  • meryl and i worked on the bathroom some today. put down the kerdi membrane on the floor and then she left for work at the a's. then i did a bit of the shower, but i can't finish it all because i'm waiting for some thinset to dry that i applied earlier this morning in a low spot on the wall. it's the first time i've worked with kerdi. kerdi over durock is kind of overkill, but it's also considered best practice nowadays.
  • yesterday after work i installed the light and fan trim on the ceiling and also installed the primary light over the sink location.
  • in retrospect i wish i had tried to do a mud job on the floor. it wouldn't have come out as excellent as the one's don did when i worked for him, but i think it would have been better than messing with durock and self-leveller to get the right height and a true surface around the toilet. live and learn.

  • 8/21/10 (10:15)

  • ran this morning. plantar fasciitis is acting up. just got new orthotics though, so that may have happened just in time. will break them in over the course of the next week and see if they offer relief.
  • the daily show should move to philadelphia because it would be easier for the guests they have on their show. since about 25% of them appear on fresh air on npr first, it would make it much more convenient for the guest to go from their interview with terry gross to their interview with jon stewart if they were in the same city or even same building. the daily show should also try to save some money by firing the person in charge of getting bookings and just pay the person who does it for fresh air. is it that there are really that few interesting people to interview or do they just have amazingly similar tastes?

  • 8/20/10 (18:18)

  • re: the u.s. debt. seems to be getting out of control pretty quickly these days. originally i thought it was the result of a few things: wars in iraq/afghanistan, bush tax cuts, recession leading to decreased receipts from income taxes (fewer people have jobs, less money coming in for govt.), tarp, other stimulus. however, in the last week or so here's what i've found: iraq/afghanistan total cost to date about 1 trillion. tarp cost to date: 66 billion (because banks have paid most of it back. frontline documentary made it appear as though at least a few of the banks didn't even want to take the money, which is contrary to the usual narrative of them coming to govt with their hand out).
  • looking at this chart it looks like spending has increased dramatically while receipts for the govt. have plateaued or even declined slightly (depending upon how far back you go). if you compare 2005 to 2009 in 2005 dollars the govt. made only $200 billion less in 2009, but spent 800 billion more. i would like to know where the 800 billion went. some to the wars and $66 billion to tarp, but where's the rest? it would be nice to have a graphical representation of spending by department/program over the course of the last 5 years to see how priorities/spending habits have changed. wasn't able to find that sort of thing during my research.
  • the most strinking thing to me was how much of that gap was the result of spending and how little the receipts of the govt. changed over time. i think the problem is that so much of our budget is predicated upon the assumption that growth is a constant. so long as the receipts go up, you don't notice that the spending is also going up. but when the receipts stall, the spending becomes exagerrated.
  • bring back the fucking ccc. 3 million jobs to fix up the fundamentals of the country and gave people some damn pride. seems like a lot more bang for your buck with a program like that. not sure why we can't do something like that.

  • 8/18/10 (14:35)

  • didn't get anything done today. cleaned up a little around the house, but not much. went on a wild goose chase for good paint, but the stores around here don't have exactly what i'm looking for and certainly not at the price i'm willing to pay. sorry, $65/gallon just isn't going to work for me. so i think i'll go with the cheaper paint and live with it.
  • internet is still as spotty as ever.
  • hopefully getting my othotics today. my right foot has definitely been feeling the pain the last couple times i've done a hard workout.
  • bought tickets to the ucd/ucb game as well as the ucd/sac state game (in davis). also planned out two visits to usc games in la and probably one in palo alto. now i'm thinking about getting one game to see the niners before they leave candlestick. never been to a niners game and never been anywhere near candlestick so i figure i should go while both are still around. thinking seahawks on 12/12.

  • 8/15/10 (12:37)

  • ran a 10k today. good is that it was flat and the weather was really cool so it was ideal conditions. bad is that i ran it entirely by myself. time was 55:50 (meryl beat me by 25 seconds) which is a bit over a 9 minute mile. first mile was 9:45 because i treated it as a warm-up. in terms of how much i've been working out i think the time is fine. in terms of what i did in high school i think the time is awful. but i'm as fit as i've been for many years so i guess that's the good news. running again has definitely made me recall the workouts we had for track and cross-country. in retrospect those workouts were quite difficult. especially running for track where there were a lot of interval repeats at high speed. brutal and not at all close to what i'm doing to myself now. most of my workouts now are 3-4 miles at about 8:45/mile. i'm trying to work in some speed work, hill work, and interval training to maximize the reward for the time i put in. the more i hurt during the workout, the less i'll hurt during the relay. instead of running five times a week for a couple hours with great competition, i run a few times a week mostly by myself (meryl usually does a different workout) and am done in an hour.
  • worked on the texture in the bathroom yesterday. will finish that up today. also want to get some more trim up in there (got started on the window trim yesterday). had to make a new window sill from scratch poplar, that took a little while. had to rip a bevel in the face, then cut to length with bevels on the side. then i cut out a notch so it fits inside the jamb and overlaps the skirt by about 3/4". put in the jamb pieces as well. still need to do the quarter round and casing (which meryl is prepping for paint). trim can be good when it goes well because it really makes things look nice. i'm not great with angles, though, and i haven't done much of it so it can be a challenge.
  • got some inner thigh chafing going on and my calves are tight. feel fine other than that.

  • 8/13/10 (18:06)

  • profile on newt gingrich. he's even worse than i thought. he's a smart guy in a way, but sometimes he seems certifiably crazy. total jerk in real life. would love to see him up against obama and have obama rip him a new one. newt's smart, but i think he's angry and obama is as cool as the other side of the pillow so he could probably make newt look like a crazy old white guy.

  • 8/8/10 (9:24)

  • how about a customer service line for all things government related? i think customer service is something that's really lacking in the government sector. you can write to the mayor or your senator, but that generally doesn't get anything done. when you go to the dmv or local licensing office they don't treat you with any respect because they know they have your business no matter what. it's the law so you're obligated to go to them if you want to be in compliance. the govt. has a monopoly on so much and the employees (for the most part) don't seem to want to help so it's no wonder people have such bad experiences. if the dems or any other party that is pro-govt (including my green party) wants to advance their cause, they should focus first on the govt. doing what it already does, well, rather than expanding what it does. so, rather than creating other bureaucracies like financial regulators and healthcare systems and a new mms, they should make a concerted effort to increase the quality of the current government institutions from the local to federal levels. accountability, ease of use, quality customer service. if they improved in those three arenas there would be a lot fewer republicans out there.
  • worked on meryl's dad's new place yesterday. they have a big hearth in front of a gas fireplace and they wanted it taken out so they could put wood flooring there and have a tv where the fireplace is. yesterday we demoed all the brick and were able to salvage most of it. took the rest of it to the dump. also did some exploration on the fireplace and capped the gas line. next step is to remove the fireplace completely, cap the flue, reframe the enclosure, drywall and paint. originally i was thinking we could plaster over the fireplace trim pieces using plaster weld to help hold the mud in place, but then i thought about the expansion/contraction of the metal and decided that would probably not be a good idea so we're going to pull the entire fireplace. it's a nice little project. it's nice working on a house that's only 15 years old because there aren't dead rats and copious amounts of dust, there's not asbestos or lead to worry about, and things are done pretty well so there aren't absurd surprises.









  • 8/6/10 (17:13)
  • been working on the house after work lately and trying to make up for lost time. got the walls filled in with drywall and wonderboard. started taping the seams with thinset on the wonderboard. next step is to tape drywall and then paint the ceiling before any tile goes in. then trim, then paint the walls and then move on with the waterproofing membrane. i decided to go with the kerdi membrane because it's the industry standard. we'll see how that works out. hydroban seemed easier, but heard less about it and things that seem easy usually aren't.
  • funny to see the media coverage on the chelsea clinton wedding. what a complete waste of human resources. didn't actually watch any of it because i have more important things to do (like clip my toenails, pick my nose, organize my paint cans, count the blades of grass in the backyard, etc.), but saw a recap of some of it on daily show and it seemed to me that the major media outlets really need to take a look at what their purpose in life is. it's time to reevaluate your life if you're spending 12 hours camped out in front of the mansion relaying rumors to the public.

  • 8/2/10 (18;24)

  • two more pieces of wonderboard to hang in the bathroom before the walls are all covered. that's good news.
  • i don't read mad magazine these days, but i probably should. used to love the old mad paperbacks. especially liked the al jaffee stuff which is priceless. his stuff centers on the stupidity of humanity and society. so, he had a series of books like "snappy answers to stupid questions" and one on non-existent inventions that were total failures. to the best of my knowledge he still writes for mad magazine and still designs the folding back cover which was always my favorite part. great comic mind.

  • 8/1/10 (9:26)
    craft fair went about as expected. sold a few things, but not a heck of a lot. i don't think it has a heck of a lot to do with the quality, rather, i think it's more about the taste and expectations of the shoppers. people who make the inventor of the pet rock aren't likely to fully appreciate hand-crafted goods. i'd say about half the stuff at the craft fair wasn't actually hand-made, rather it was designed by an artist and then duplicated by a machine. so, there were lots of t-shirts and poster prints. meryl got some good leads, though, so that's promising. she's got another day to do today. i'm staying home to work on the house.