12-30-05 (19:54)
  • miami looks like trash tonight. it thought they were a top five team most of the year, but lsu is destroying them right now. 40-3. apparently i'm not very good at picking winners.

  • 12-29-05 (22:01)

  • i know it's weird to say, but here it goes: i have to give a certain amount of respect to carson palmer for signing his multi-million dollar contract extension (through 2014) with the bengals today. here's why: if he had the kind of year that he had this season a year before he became a free agent he could easily get twice as much as he signed for today. instead being greedy and going for the big contract a few years down the line, he made a commitment to stay with his team for the next 9 years for less money than he would have gotten later. in sports (and life), loyalty, and the ability to forego larger sums later, is a rare quality.
  • i also have to throw some respect to one of the best franchises in sports - the green bay packers. i used to hate them because they were nfc rivals of the niners, but both teams suck now so i'm able to be more objective. i love the fact that green bay is owned by its fans and i love the sense of community and loyalty that that inspires. i also like the fact that, unlike the niners, they have stood by their star player in his darker days. i hated it when the niners let montana and rice go...though i have to acknowledge that, in the first case, it led to the emergence of the second best quarterback (steve young) of all-time (well not quite, but still...). anyway, i hated that they told rice to take a hike. he's the greatest player of all-time (this time i'm serious) and he helped make the franchise great. to give him the boot in the twilight of his career was disrespectful. i like the fact that the packers have essentially left it up to farve. that kind of confidence and loyalty is rare and admirable.
  • december has been a long month.
  • updated top 10 of 2005. got inspired and wrote the reviews for the top ten albums of the year. gushed out one.be.lo, but that was expected.

  • 12-29-05 (16:28)

  • updated movies list.

  • 12-28-05 (23:34)

  • i can't get over the end of that nebraska/michigan game. there were so many mistakes by everyone involved in that play. it was pretty disgusting.

  • 12-28-05 (21:19)

  • the nebraska/michigan game just ended. easily one of the worst officiated games i've seen and probably the most bizarre ending i've seen live. a missed past interference that should have kept the drive alive for michigan. instead nebraska gets the ball back and punts it with about 18 seconds left (should have been closer to 30, but the refs took their sweet time). michigan qb almost sacked, but throws an incomplete pass. 2 seconds left. run one more play, a 15 yard completion and they run the hook and ladder made famous by cal versus stanford. there were 8 latterals, a couple fumbles and the entire nebraska team stormed the field. they should have been penalized for that, but it wouldn't have mattered if tyler ecker had latteraled it to a faster player who would have likely scored if he had broken it inside. it was almost a more stunning ending than the cal/stanford game. amazing. ecker got tackled out of bounds and the game officially ended. the players were clueless and the officials should all be fired for their negligence and stupidity. a shameful game in many ways, but it was about as close as you get to becoming one of the most exciting of all-time.

  • 12-28-05 (18:26)

  • raymond chandler lived at 6005 camino de la costa in la jolla CA. i'll be living on camino la costa in austin. kinda cool.
  • boise state/bc game was good. i picked bsu before the game, but they lost by 6. had a chance at the end though.
  • common surnames:
  • Rank Name Population

  •  1  Smith   2,772,200
     2  Johnson   2,232,100
     3  Williams   1,926,200
     4  Jones   1,711,200
     5  Brown   1,711,200
     6  Davis   1,322,700
     7  Miller   1,168,400
     8  Wilson   934,200
     9  Moore   859,800
     10  Taylor   857,000
     11  Anderson   857,000
     12  Thomas   857,000
     13  Jackson   854,200
     14  White   768,800
     15  Harris   757,800
     16  Martin   752,300
     17  Thompson   741,300
     18  Garcia   699,900
     19  Martinez   644,800
     20  Robinson   642,100

    12-28-05 (14:10)

  • meryl came over for a couple days during the holidays. it was good to have her around during christmas.
  • i haven't had a christmas at home in years. i always had to stay in davis because of tower. i think melanie always went home for christmas as well so that means this christmas was probably the first in four years that i spent with other people.
  • updated movies list. watched syriana the other day and thought it was about as good as good night and good luck, which is to say that i wanted to like it, but couldn't. i think both have their heart in the right place, but lack in the storytelling and character development categories.
  • got a lot of books for christmas. also got some socks, a couple t-shirts, some clothes, nd some money. a good haul on the whole. my cousin got an ipod and it made me remember what it was like to get the one thing you were really excited about and then it becomes your obsession for the following days/weeks/months. it's good to have kids around for that reason alone - they provide a reminder of your own childhood.
  • updated top 10 of 2005. reviews are forthcoming.

  • 12-24-05 (21:51)

  • of course the day after i talk about how great steve smith is he gets one catch, one run and then gets ejected for touching a ref. to be fair, he took the blame like a man and the "touch" was perfectly harmless - i see guys in the nba do the same thing all the time, but i guess there's a zero tolerance policy in the nfl.

  • 12-23-05 (23:48)

  • there was an espn conversation with steve smith about his recent pro bowl selection that went something like this:
  • "congratulations steve on your pro bowl selection. you said before that you wouldn't consider yourself one of the best receivers of all-time, what about now?"
  • "no. i'm just a young pup who had a good year. i'm going to try to continue to help my team every year as much as i can."
  • i'm glad he's turned out to be a relatively humble person.
  • i went to james' (old high school friend) place tonight and we talked about steve smith a bit. he mentioned that his last conversation with him was on the bus to santa monica community college. steve was working at taco bell at the time and had just been accepted into utah university. james congratulated him and said good luck with his studies. stevonne gave a knowing look, shook his head and replied "i'm going to the nfl." james said cool and good luck, but had some doubt in his mind. i would have too, but he made it anyway.
  • saw syriana with james and a co-worker of his. afterwards we chatted about sports, music and life. james is such a laid back and good guy. hanging out with him is easy and fun. i wish there were more honest, caring and kind people in the world like him.
  • sometime last week we had a buyer who said he "wants to buy the books" and was "prepared to give a check for $10K in the next week." he laid about a bunch of the specifics and we wrote back and forth a couple times and were in agreement on what was included in the deal (about 20k books) and how much the deal would be for ($20k). last night he sent an e-mail calling off the entire deal. this has been the biggest of a series of canceled and changed orders. the very first order i tried to fill went unfulfilled because the book was in a random pile where i couldn't find it. i found it a week later and contacted the person who was interested, but they had already found the book elsewhere. i guess this is the book business. really, it's business in general, but it didn't hurt so much went i was working at tower. 1) business was so much more plentiful at tower because it was a brick and mortar establishment with less competition. 2) i had less interest invested there. very depressing.
  • yesterday was just full of stupidity. two cars almost ran into me while i was running errands with my grandmother. i had to endure stupidity at every establishment in which we shopped. incompetence was the theme of the day yesterday. we went into a lamp store to pick up a couple lamps which had been dropped off for repair. it took them 15 minutes to find the lamps and ring up the cost of the service (which was incomplete anyway). while we were there we had to endure a spoken word cd playing overhead which went something like this: "K is for king of all kings. jesus was the king of all kings. he allows us into his kingdom when we admit our sinful nature. we our his favorite of all his creations, but we are all born sinners....N is for nobility. god's nobility sheds light and truth upon us all. blah blah blah." it was awful.
  • my aunt and her family arrived last night. it's a full house now. this christmas will be unusual; which isn't all bad. more of the family will be here than is usual, but my grandpa won't be around for the first time. meryl will be here so that'll be good. my dad already gave me my present, noteworthy for two reasons: 1) it's unusual to get a present from him 2) it's even more unusual that it's wrapped. it makes me pretty sad that my grandpa isn't around anymore. i definitely feel like i've gotten to know more about him since he's died. there's all sorts of positive stuff i'm learning about him now that he would never mention because he was so humble. it's remarkable to see how well known and respected he was in certain circles (the book business, film music, etc.). the other day i was downstairs and i picked up a book (there are 20,000+ books down there) that happened to be dedicated to him. within a month or so of working for joe (my middle/second boss at tower) i found out  (because he told me) that he was thanked in the liner notes of two albums. but it took knowing my gramps for 26 years before i discovered these things about him. frankly, i wish he had been a little more proud of his accomplishments. i wish he would have shared them with me. but that wasn't really his style.

  • 12-20-05 (01:00)

  • been too busy to consistently update.
  • went to amoeba today with my sister. found two great items while there. binary star's "masters of the universe" and, more importantly, blackalicious' long out of print "melodica." very happy i finally found both of those. i've been looking for the blackalicious album for at least four years now.
  • we did a lot of christmas shopping and generally had a good time. after that we went to my mom's and had dinner and watched a bit of bad santa; one of meryl's favorites.
  • while watching jackass the other night it occurred to me that these guys, while extremely stupid, do serve some purpose; and i don't mean the obvious purpose of comedy. while they are quite funny, that is only a minor element of their worth. the worth of them, and their kind, comes from their blind pursuit of a high. for these guys it generally manifests itself in the form of some potentially painful stunt. without people like this (by which i mean: people whose logic and thought process is severely lacking) we would not know what humanity is really capable of. in this sense the guys on jackass sometimes brush up against people like lance armstrong or michael johnson - people who expand what is possible for humanity. that said, i don't want to immortalize the cast of jackass, or place them in the same league as armstrong or johnson, but they serve a similar purpose. i personally think the cast of jackass is closer to the class of people who smoke bananas and inject bleach into their veins in order to find out if it'll get them high. these people, too, serve a purpose. by not thinking about the potential downside they filter out all the bad things and the rest of us are left with the less harmful substances that produce highs: pot, speed, etc. for every drug we have you have to assume that there were 1,000 other substances that were boiled and injected or smoked or eaten in order to see what would happen. a lot of people like johnny knoxville have died in the pursuit of the next high, whether in the form of a motorcycle jump across the grand canyon or the burning/inhalation of a manmade chemical.
  • the front page of the life section of usa today had a story on something i've spoken of before. it addressed the emergence of google as a sort of auxiliary brain. people know they don't have to remember certain things anymore because the internet is always close enough. i've called it a willful atrophy, they characterized it more as a convenience. then again, it was usa today.
  • updated movies list.
  • the other day someone on sportscenter said "when he's healthy, grant hill is one of the top five players in the league." i immediately laughed, grabbed a pencil and wrote the following names: kobe, iverson, nowitski, james, mcgrady, wade, duncan, garnett. hill isn't as good as any of those and there really can't be any debate on the following: kobe, iverson, lebron, duncan, shaq. further, his stats and impact have got to be lesser in comparison to the others: wade, garnett and mcgrady. this is not to mention guys like kidd, nash, arenas, billups, yao...
  • it's funny how frequently people say "not to mention..." and then they go ahead and mention all the things they claimed not to mention. fucking weirdos.

  • 12-18-05 (13:42)

  • i'm glad that the colts lost. i was pretty sure that they'd lose either today or saturday. two reasons: both teams they're playing are very good (SD and Seattle). i actually think that san diego is better, but less consistent. san diego has the edge because they had to win today and because this is the first game that was worthless to the colts. i also thought that one less day of rest may have made a difference in the seattle game. anyway, between the two teams i was pretty confident that the colts would lose and i'm happy they did.
  • sold a few more books this week, that's nice.

  • 12-16-05 (20:13)

  • updated movies list.

  • 12-15-05 (00:22)

  • according to rapper b.g. "pimping ain't easy." but i gotta say that selling books is even more difficult. it seems that very few people are interested in buying books. the few leads i've gotten have mostly fallen flat. the guy who bought $5k worth of books last week is coming back on saturday for another $1800, but he's the only sale so far and when we talked today he essentially told me to not get into the book business. he's kind of a dick. but what's worse than that is the fact that he's right. the used book business sucks from a monetary point of view. i've tried to think about creative ways of getting rid of a large quantity of books and i can't come up with much. selling them as kindling is the most feasible thing i've come up with so far.
  • updated movies list.

  • 12-12-05 (21:19)

  • i hope the kings make a move for ron artest. peja sucks when it matters and we need the defense. typically the kings don't go for players with issues like artest, but the acquisition of bonzi wells broke that mold so perhaps they'd be willing ot make the move for artest. while there are a lot of plays run for peja it's not like the offense runs around/through him. it's always run through the center (divac and now miller) so pluggin in artest shouldn't be a problem. i'd like to see it get done.

  • 12-11-05 (18:55)

  • rudy behlmer and some other film guys who knew my grandfather came over today and looked through his notes. they took a bunch of it and i guess he's going to have a collection in the library named after him because he had so much. that's pretty cool.
  • overall today has been pretty blah. didn't get much sleep. football was lame. no sales. tried fixing a table, but i don't have the right materials/tools.

  • 12-11-05 (01:32)

  • i'm watching the pamela anderson roast right now. roasts are so funny in such an awful way. one guy said that courtney love looks worse that kurt cobain. that was wrong in a couple ways. there are some good zingers.

  • 12-10-05 (17:38)

  • watching heisman trophy ceremony right now. it's nice that vince young is a good guy after being in a gang and whatnot, but it's more impressive to me when a person without extraordinary talent escapes that life. it's far more easy for a guy who is 6'5" and 230lbs to become a talented athlete. it would have been interesting to know what he would have done if he was 5'7" and 150lbs. people without that kind of talent who escape that life are more inspirational to me. it's harder and i think i can relate to it a bit more. at the same time i don't want to take much away from young, he's apparently made some good decisions and that's a good thing.
  • i think bush will win the heisman because he seems to be more popular and he has a better highlight reel. that said, i think a better argument could be made for young. his supporting cast isn't as good. unlike leinert, he doesn't have a back as good as bush or white to make him look good. and of course that goes the other way - bush has leinert to help take some of the pressure off of him. that said, bush is a more dynamic player than anyone in college football and i think that's why people like him so much. he can change the game with a reception, a pass, a run or a punt/kick return. i actually think quinn is as much a contender as leinert, but his team wasn't as good and leinert won last year so that's why leinert gets the edge.
  • almost done entering in all the ross macdonald books. tiring, boring work, hopefully it leads to a big sale. i don't know how many times i've typed "light rubbing to spine extremities, otherwise VG." or "back panel lightly soiled, wear on edges, else Near Fine."

  • 12-09-05 (00:02)

  • had a big sale today. very happy with that. still have a lot of work to do.
  • watching fox news is funny. it seems like they make even less and less of an effort to be balanced everyday. it's just so obviously slanted it's ridiculous.
  • updated movies list.

  • 12-08-05 (01:26)

  • online listing finally updated correctly. now things should hopefully pick up. we'll see.
  • watched two great movies today, but didn't have time to update the movies list.

  • 12-07-05 (00:25)

  • went golfing with my dad today. my old babysitter's husband was there too. it wasn't all that great.
  • afterwards i sold some cds at amoeba and picked up a few items while i was there.
  • after that i had sushi with my mom and that was tasty. we went to a bookstore afterwards and i looked for a pricing guide on collectible books but couldn't find one. i found some for toys, stamps, coins, trains, comics, baseball cards, football cards, dolls and more....but none for books. i'll assume it was in a different section. that's better than assuming a bookstore didn't have a single book about book collecting.
  • meryl's the greatest.

  • 12-05-05 (22:54)

  • one thing that's nice about working where i live is that i can (and do) work throughout the day. i'll wake up and do some work. then i'll have something to eat and watch tv. then i'll work for a couple more hours. then i'll listen to some music and work slowly. then i'll stop and organize my room. then i'll work some more. then i'll eat. then i'll work. then i'll clean up the basement. then i'll watch tv. then i'll work. for data entry and price comparison work it's nice because those tasks are so tedious.

  • 12-04-05 (23:22)

  • duke saved themselves with a half court shot with 1.6 left on the clock. bastards. great shot though.
  • oregon is ranked higher than notre dame, but notre dame gets to play ohio state. it makes sense from a historical point of view, but it sucks for the ducks. notre dame played tougher teams overall.
  • vick got destroyed against the panthers today. i really think that teams put too much emphasis on running qbs. it's a good quality to have, but, more often than not, they rely on their athleticism to make plays. instead they should be pass first and use their legs to create opportunities for their arm. that is, my vision of a great running qb is one who doesn't run for yards, rather he runs to make more time for a pass. guys like vick are fun to watch, but making a game plan for them is almost like trying to control chaos. so much of their game is predicated upon making the most of chaotic situations. and while that's nice from time to time it's not something you can count on in the long run. what you want in your qb is smart decision making, good leadership, accurate passing and an ability to read the defense. i dislike peyton manning, but he's probably the best example of this in the league right now. all this is why leinert and palmer are going to be better qbs than marcus/michael vick and even vince young. young is a great athlete - far better than manning or palmer or leinert - he's 6'5", 230 lbs and he moves like a running back, but that doesn't mean he's going to be a top tier qb. he'll be good, but the offensive schemes in the nfl just don't take advantage of that kind of qb yet. defensively it's easier to have good defensive ends to help seal the edge and have a middle linebacker spy the qb. changing up blitzing schemes and changing defensive looks is usually enough to keep running qbs under wraps. all that said, from what i've seen, young has better accuracy than vick or mcnabb or culpepper so he might finally be a good hybrid of accuracy and running ability. i'd still take leinert though. on the other end of the spectrum you have a guy like bledsoe who can't move for shit. if you don't have a really good offensive line then you're asking for trouble. of course, the game still benefits the pocket qbs so having a guy like bledsoe is usually better than having a guy who can run well, but can't pass very well.
  • speaking of mannings...eli looked like the worst combination today - he wasn't particularly nimble and his passing was pathetic. not a huge fan of the mannings.

  • 12-04-05 (20:03)

  • friend of grandma's came by today and bought a few boxes of books. that makes me feel like the ball is rolling a bit.
  • so far all my efforts have been delayed by various technical hurdles. all of a sudden my digital camera and computer aren't communicating. tried uninstalling and reinstalling software (which i had to download because the original cd is in storage), but that didn't work. have no idea what the problem is. either the wireless card screwed something up or the absence of the printer throws things off a bit. those are the only two things that have changed since it was working last.
  • learning a lot about the book business. it's like learning about the used vinyl business, but i don't have a guide and there's more pressure.
  • watched some football. niners lost again, i owe my dad $50. usc looked good and so did texas. it should be fun. i expect sc to win, but they are beatable. i also don't like the 32 day lay off between games.
  • die hard seems to be on just about every night on the action channel. i've been watching bits of that as i go to sleep. there's no film that's perfect, but die hard comes close.

  • 12-04-05 (01:34)

  • watching a bit of the 78 version of the big sleep. looks like total crap. mitchum is a good actor, though clearly past his prime at this point, but even he doesn't do much to elevate the picture. makes one appreciate the originall all the more.speaking of the big sleep...i've got several first edition copies if anyone's interested.

  • 12-02-05 (22:17)

  • the amount of work ahead is simply staggering. spent much of the day getting computer online. bought a wireless card, configured that and now things are good. cleaned for most of the rest of the day. took out two big trash bags worth of crap. lots of rat related trash. both in the sense that there was a lot of trash that actual rats created and in the sense that my grandpa was apparently a pack rat who never threw anything away.
  • sorely neglecting my movies hobby. it'll take me a week or so to get up to speed with the new job. the card files don't make much sense. i still don't know my way around the mess known as the book room and there are rat turds everywhere.
  • at tower we get annual reviews. one of the review criteria is "general/customer service" and there are several criteria under that heading: "always wears name tag. absences & tardies since last review. friendly and helpful presence on sales floor. quality of customer service, including floor etiquette and general manner. correct phone etiquette and use of paging system. ability to take messages. represents the store in a courteous, profession manner, maintaining exemplary standards of conduct and customer service. handles customer complaints and service issues promptly and professionally." since it was my last day i did a review for a co-worker named christo. i made it more fun by incorporating an hidden message to the regional director (Kevin). here's what i wrote for the "general/customer service" heading: "Keeping his name tag on and visible is no problem for Christo. Even when Christo is late or absent he makes sure to call in advance. Very infrequently is Christo a problem when it comes to attendance issues. In fact, he, more often than not, helps to fill the voids left by other supervisors. Nary a negative word is uttered about Christo's customer service. Some find his service a bit curt at times, so he could work at this. Usually Christo is a great example of phone etiquette and proper paging techniques. Christo is generally a positive representation of the store. Kindness and understanding in the customer service realm come easy to Christo, but he occasionally allows his moods to influence his level of service. Service issues and customer complaints are generally dealt with fairly and creatively by Christo." the first letter of each sentence strung together spells: KEVIN SUCKS. other than that my last day at tower was without much fanfare. ideas of company wide e-mails deriding the corporate structure and competency were left unmanifested. oh well.

  • 12-01-05 (23:59)

  • first night at grandma's place. three orders to fill so far. not online yet - that's the first order of business for tomorrow. then i've got to clean the book room. then i've got to prioritize titles to sell.
  • last day at tower was on the sad side.
  • i have several boxes of promos to sell so that'll bring some needed cash flow.
  • i wish i had meryl around.

  •