12-30-07 (21:35)
  • did a lot of cleaning and organizing today; that's always a good thing.
  • seen almost 320 movies this year. i've had a strong december to make up for some weak months.
  • currently working on the top 10 of the year. meryl's done with her's and mine is in the finishing stages. that said, i think i'm going to give the list a week's worth of grace time to catch a couple flicks that deserve consideration.

  • 12-29-07 (12:58)

  • worked every day this week except christmas. don't think i'll go in today. got the main chunk of the slate project done, but there's lots left to do. the good thing is that i think i've come up with a suitable method for approaching the remaining sections. i'm almost out of slate, though, so i'll have to hunt for some more suitable pieces for the project.
  • still broke, but some xmas money and working during the week that the alumni house was closed will help. should be able to pay off the credit card by the time the bill comes.
  • the asu/texas game was another pac-10 disappointment. i went into this year thinking that the pac-10 was the second best conference in the country (behind the sec). at one point i even thought that the pac-10 was as good as the sec. both the sec and the pac-10 ended up being worse than i thought. around the time cal fell apart, so did my hopes for pac-10 dominance. ucla lost to teams like utah and notre dame, usc lost to stanford, oregon lost dixon which changed them from the best team in the nation to a team that lost three straight games without him. oregon state was somewhat of a surprise, but i expected them to be pretty good before the season started. asu was a nice surprise during the year, but proved to be overrated. we're 0-2 in the bowl games. i haven't seen the emerald bowl yet, it's on the tivo which is now at meryl's dad's. i'm trying to avoid learning the score of the game so i can watch it later tonight.

  • 12-24-07 (23:47)

  • christmas eve doesn't have the same allure and anticipation that it once did. such is life.
  • scraping by isn't fun.
  • went to the alumni house to work on the slate patio. may go again tomorrow, we'll see. definitely will return on wednesday, though, to see if i can make some major headway on the project that won't end.

  • 12-23-07 (23:48)

  • worked a bit today at the alumni house on the slate patio project. think i've found a good solution for the worst part of it so that's good. more will be known tomorrow though. also did some painting there yesterday; it was a small painting project and i don't mind those so much. actually this slate patio is going to keep me busy this week while the alumni house is closed and that'll bring some much needed dough next time i get paid.
  • saw three movies in the theater today. worked out pretty well, saved some money, got to check three flicks off the list.
  • ucla/byu game was good, but had a disappointing outcome. blocked kick with time expiring. 1% chance that happens. the worst thing is that a million mormons in utah thanked the good lord for reaching down and changing the trajectory of the ball; and they believe that's what actually happened. goddamn fucking byu.
  • niner game today was good. they won and that's nice, but i can't help but feel like the win wasn't for real since tampa brought in their second stringers half way through the game. nevertheless, the niners put together some nice plays and i was encouraged by their defense. the qb position needs to be completely scrapped. alex smith hasn't shown me much thusfar and i'm not on the shaun hill bandwagon either. half the writers and commentators in the bay area think mike nolan should be fired and half think that shaun hill is the second coming of christ and the third half think the whole team is in the shitter. i'm a member of the fourth half because i believe that nolan should stay, hill is so-so and they need an offensive coordinator who can call a decent game.

  • 12-18-07 (14:37)

  • two-lane blacktop is a good movie and i was happy to hear a while back that it is coming to criterion in the near future, however i wouldn't ever pay the $200+ that it was going for on dvd before criterion made their announcement.

  • 12-18-07 (12:09)

  • sweet ride.
  • don't like the rain. snow is great. don't mind it being cold, but rain and wind are crap. maybe i'd rather live in a place like ohio where winter brings snow and very cold weather, rather than just overcast skies and rain. nothing fun about that.

  • 12-17-07 (13:19)

  • no work today or tomorrow. worked saturday. will work wed-sat this week. could use the money, but also like the time off to get things done. reviewed a bunch of movies, going to cut my hair, going to drop the bug off for some servicing, and cleaned up a bit.
  • huckabee seems to have momentum lately. perhaps it's because of his religous credentials, something i thought would give mccain an advantage (because he was courting falwell et al) over romney and giuliani in the early states, esp. south carolina where he lost to bush in 2000. some conservatives think that huckabee is a dem's dream, though, because he'd be easy competition. this is one reason why i like listening to what the crazies are saying.

  • 12-14-07 (14:49)

  • the stock market is just legalized gambling; it's also bipolar. this wouldn't bother me if people acknowledged this fact and didn't put so much importance in its daily whims. it's been up to about 14,000 and down below 13,000 in the last month or so and every day people make a big deal about point swings. up 150 one day, down 180 the next. nit-picking over fed rate cuts, or not. bad earnings reports from a couple companies, etc. it's silly.

  • 12-11-07 (00:58)

  • never enough time or money to get everything done.
  • maybe i need to stay up late more often so i can get everything done.
  • went to la. had some really good greek food. saw my family. saw john. picked up the bug. drove it out of the mechanic's garage (after handing him $1400 in cash) and it died as i pulled onto the street. tried to start it back up to no avail. figured i flooded the engine so i waited and tried again. nothing. walked over to mechanic and told him what happened. he was surprised. looked at car and found loose wire. fixed problem, all has been well since. close call, thought i was going to have to kill someone. all told the car has cost me over 2k when you take into account the bills from both mechanics, the new battery, the lost wages, the new club, the john muir book (the other john muir) "how to keep your volkswagen alive," gas, etc. that said, it's up here and running well. need to take it into the shop one more time to get the oil changed and valves adjusted. normally i'd do both those things, but the engine's warranty is void if that doesn't happen within 600 miles so i want to get some documentation to that effect.
  • lots of stuff to do these days. i hate all the maintenance that goes on in life - haircuts, nail clipping, oil changes, grocery shopping, bill paying. i'd much rather trade all that for seed planting, harvesting, milking, slaughtering, raking, plowing, fence building, etc.
  • completely broke again. i was doing well for a month or so. xmas is killing me too. haven't done any shopping for others and the alumni house is closed from dec. 22 to jan. 1. might be able to swing some hours during that break to work on a couple bigger projects, though. so, while i won't get my full 20 hours/week during that time, i should be able to obtain a few hours to keep the ship afloat.
  • need more freelance work. need more skills and tools and contacts. taking a class next semester at laney should help a small bit with the skills. the americorps money might help with money for tools. establishing contacts is sorta happening slowly.
  • cleaned out the bug today. all my sister's stuff is gone. next step is giving it a proper cleaning inside and out to restore some of its self-confidence. after that i hope to prep for carpet and then install some good loop carpeting. i'll also fix up some of the minor interior touches like finally giving it some sun visors, a new rearview mirror, correctly installing the stereo i took from the corrado, installing a new glove compartment, and replacing some lost/broken knobs/hardware. that stage should take a few months and require under $500 assuming i do it all myself (which i will) and nothing goes horribly wrong.
  • the drive up was good. it drove as well as it has since i've had it which makes sense since the engine was essentially rebuilt. it took me 9 hours because i stopped 4-5 times to give it some time to cool off. during that 9 hours i didn't have any music (because the stereo that's in there doesn't have a face plate) so it was a fairly boring drive up the 101. the 101 is better for a few reasons, but, considering how well it did, i probably should have taken i-5. along the 101 the hills are less drastic than those through the grapevine. the gas is cheaper. the service stations are more frequent (important to consider when driving a car that might break down). the air is cooler (important when driving an air-cooled engine).
  • note: i was formerly impressed by the first mechanic i took the bug to because he could tell that i wasn't using 20w-50 oil in the bug just by listening to it. in fact, the noise he heard was loose rivets on the camshaft. i took the box of old engine parts and looked at the camshaft...i'm no longer impressed.

  • 12-5-07 (22:36)

  • november was a down month for movie watching. gotta get my shit back together to finish the year strong and reach the annual 300 movie goal.
  • busy as usual. did some work for my aunt this week. the alumni house has been busy as well.
  • going to la to pick up the bug on friday. if all goes well i'll pay for it that afternoon and drive it up to oakland on sunday. after that the restoration begins. i plan on starting on the inside and working my way out.

  • 12-3-07 (21:56)

  • j.a. andande and mike wilbon have both echoed my sentiments that hawaii deserves to be in the national championship game.
  • adrian peterson is insanely good when healthy. if he played every game for the next 12 years he'd have all the important running back records and would surpass barry sanders, emmitt smith, and jim brown as the best running back of all-time. however, he's probably going to only have a few good years and a lot of injury problems along with a crappy quarterback that won't be able to give him any space.
  • karl dorrell is gone from ucla. that sucks. i'd upgrade the defensive coordinator and bring in a new guy there. i'd also like to bring in troy aikman as a qb coach with the idea of grooming him for offensive coordinator (because the current one sucks) and possibly head coach eventually.

  • 12-2-07 (20:40)

  • ucla lost to texas today. it was a close game and texas got a lucky win so i'm not too broken up about it. augustin took a shot as he was going out of bounds and he airballed it. luckily one of his big men was in position and turned the miss into a dunk. the ap saw it differently than i: "With Darren Collison guarding him, Augustin gave up the ball to James in the low post." um, no, not at all. it was an airball and james did a good job of following up the shot. but to say that augustin "gave up the ball" as if he had planned it is a stretch. mbah a moute had a shot to win the game as the clock expired, but he missed it. a fun game. ucla was down by 12 at the half and they fought back as they always do so, again, i'm not too depressed about it.

  • 12-2-07 (09:47)

  • regarding the espn stat that usc beat only 2 winning teams this season compared to some sec teams that beat 5 or 6...first of all, usc beat 3 teams with a winning record: oregon state, oregon and arizona state. second of all, usc went into the season with a tough looking schedule - a lot of road games against good teams like cal, nebraska, oregon, asu, and notre dame. and a tougher non-conference schedule (nebraska and notre dame) than most sec teams. lastly, sec teams rack up easy victories against cupcake teams like troy, western kentucky, florida atlantic, miss state, la tech, tulane, middle tennessee, new mexico state, tennessee tech, and a slew of other crappy teams. after racking up easy victories they look like they have a bunch of good teams so that when they play in-conference games both teams look as though they're winners so even the loser of the matchups of games like auburn/lsu or florida/georgia, look as though they're really good. in the pac-10 everyone plays everyone. usc plays everyone in the pac-10 as does stanford, cal, ucla, asu, etc.

  • 12-1-07 (22:44)

  • well, #1 and #2 lost again this week. if hawaii pulls out the win vs. washington and i had a vote i'd vote osu #1 and hawaii #2. fuck lsu, va tech and everyone else. hawaii would be undefeated and i think that's more impressive than two losses and a couple close wins, which is what lsu has. georgia and kansas are ranked higher than lsu, but they didn't win their conference or division so putting them in doesn't seem right. espn showed a stat that usc has only beaten two teams with a winning record this year. that's somewhat surprising, but i think a testament to the fact that the pac-10 really beat itself up this year. cal tanked big time. oregon beat up everyone and then lost the mvp in the country and went 0-3.
  • my guess is that it'll be osu and lsu, but i could see it being any of those teams in the top 7 that didn't lose today.

  • 12-1-07 (20:00)

  • good usc game today. karl dorrell is on the hot seat, but i hope he's around to coach ucla next year. he's a good coach/recruiter and seems to be a solid guy. the knock on him is his coaching down the stretch, but you gotta cut the guy a bit of a break because the usc game is always the last game of the year for ucla, and losing to them has been a foregone conclusion the last 6 years. this year he lost his two best qbs and the starting rb, as well as a few other players. yes, they should have done better against teams like utah and notre dame, but i still think they should give him another year. usc's offense looked so-so today, their defense looked great as usual. they allowed 7 points, but it came on a great catch at the end of the half when i think their guard was down a bit.
  • i expect arizona to give asu a run for their money today. az is a bit underrated and asu is a bit overrated.
  • i'm watching the missouri game right now and it's 0-0. my guess is that oklahoma will win which means osu would play west virginia (assuming wva beats pitt, which isn't necessarily going to happen in spite of what all the prognosticators are saying). i would like to see an osu/usc matchup because i think osu's defense is the only defense in the country as good as usc's. i think that one would be a 21-17 type of game.
  • a lot has been said agains the bcs system lately. i'm the first to admit it's flawed and difficult to understand, but i'm not at all in favor of a playoff of any sort. this is coming from someone who would have loved to see usc play lsu in 2003 when they shared the national title. i also would love to see usc, who is playing well right now, have a chance to go up against cupcake teams like kansas this year. so despite it benefitting my favorite football team, i still don't like the idea of a playoff in college football and there are a couple reasons why: many proponents of a playoff system (usually 4 or 8 teams) say "every other sport has a definitive champion, college football should too." they see the uniqueness of the college football format as a weakness; i see it as a strength. no other major american sport has a system like college football and i think it affords a unique experience which also heightens the regular season games. this is a major component for me as a fan of college football - in what other sport does every gametruly matter the way it does in college football? the answer is undoubtedly none. even in the nfl, where only 16 regular season games are played, you can enter the race for the championship having lost half your games. the nba doesn't start getting interesting until the last month of the season. the same could be said for hockey or baseball.
  • i'm not saying that the bcs is without it's problems. i've been a supporter of smaller conferences since my mind was changed a couple years ago when i took notice of boise state. i think strength of schedule should be a smaller compenent of the computer's rankings, and hawaii this year and boise state last year are perfect examples of why this is true. the truth is that the big ten and big 12 aren't as good as most people think and the wac isn't as bad as almost everybody thinks. the bcs did a good job when it decided to not calculate the top 25 until the fifth week or whatever it is. the old way of ranking teams from week one gave too much consideration to the big schools like osu, usc, michigan, florida, lsu, etc. i think the ap would be wise to hold their rankings until the third week or so as well. this year it was proven that the experts don't know what the fuck they're talking about anyway. ucla, nebraska, louisville, rutgers and florida state were ranked, kansas, oregon, bc, asu, illinois, and missouri were not. so, the bcs needs tweaking, yes, but i don't want a playoff. the other thing about a playoff is that no one will ever be happy. which four or eight teams would you have in a playoff this year? it's not any more clear than who should be #1 or #2 under the bcs system. the current system is unique and allows for a year that is filled with drama and meaningful games.