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.
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.
updated movies list.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
"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.
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
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
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.
updated movies list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
had a big sale today. very happy with that. still have a lot of work to
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
updated movies list.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
i wish i had meryl around.