12-30-08 (15:35)
  • big news of the day isn't that the house is officially ours, rather it's that mike shanahan was fired as coach of the broncos. jeesh. also heard that martz was fired today. i'm tired of the niners firing their offensive coordinators; it's getting silly.
  • going to go pick up the keys at 4pm.

  • 12-28-08 (21:55)

  • bowl season has been decent so far. pac-10 is 2-0 which is good. oregon state will have a tough time without jaquizz rodgers in the game. big ten hasn't done so well the last couple years. as much as the pac-10 was trash this year, i think we ended up with 4 good teams: usc, cal, oregon, oregon state. arizona is a step below them, but also beat a ranked byu team in their bowl game. so, actually,  half the conference has a claim for being ranked.
  • visit to la was pretty good. didn't get to see james which is unfortunate.
  • got a flat tire last night. before we (my grandma hitched a ride up with me) left la i had to swap it out for the spare. having a full size spare is nice. there's a screw in the other tire so a patch should be sufficient.
  • niners won the last game of the season to end with a fairly respectable 7-9 record. with a couple more wins next year they could make it into the playoffs since they're in a weak division.
  • tough year for detroit.
  • favorite receivers in the draft: crabtree (ttu), jones (oklahoma), hicks (unc). would like to see the niners get alterraun verner (ucla) in the 2nd round (or later). he's the best cornerback i've seen in college, but i guess that's not really saying that much since i watch a lot of pac-10 games and not much other than that.

  • 12-23-08 (21:45)

  • finished the academy awards page the other day. have a little write up with some notes as well as a link to the complete list which includes the films i would have selected as the best of the year alongside the academy's picks.
  • i'm liking the truck, it's just a nice useful vehicle to have. i enjoyed the unwavering reliability and smooth ride of the camry, but i think that a truck suits me better because of the utility of it. if i were rich i'd get a little yaris hatchback as well for driving around town or longer road trips.
  • meryl's sick now. this cold definitely seems to be going around town.

  • 12-22-08 (17:28)

  • i think i have restless leg syndrome. it seems like one of those new diseases that isn't really a disease, but my leg has this vibrating feeling and i find myself moving my legs a lot. going to increase my iron intake and see what effect that has. also trying to stress out less, but life is hectic. think i'll drop one of my classes now that the house is looking like a done deal. so i'll have 4 classes instead of 5 on top of work and a house. i figure that life will be pretty lame for a year or so until the major work is done.
  • 2008 has been a year of toys and change. stopped working one job, started going to school. bush is out, obama is in. got a new: truck, cell phone, ipod, house, ps3, and lots of tools. my hope is that things will get less complicated with time, that'll be a goal for 2009. simplify.
  • asbestos abatement began on alumni house hallway today. got to work at 5am to begin disconnecting the range (it's 220v hardwired into the wall), the dishwasher, and the ice maker. moved all those out of the kitchen along with the freezer, the refrigerator, the long stainless steel prep table and everything else that was on the ground. went smoothly and everything was out on time (even though they showed up 45 minutes early). you can usually count on contractors to be late or arrive on the outside edge of the arrival window that they give you.
  • got a new serpentine belt for the truck. it'll also need new front brakes (and probably rotors) in the future. the oil pressure sensor is faulty or the sending unit isn't working properly as well. both those things can wait a bit. still a good deal so long as that's all that needs to be done. i think i learned from the corrado debacle (i took this one to two mechanics), but there's no such thing as a sure thing. my dad bought a new nissan versa and it needed a new transmission before the odometer hit 1,000 miles. true story. nissan was my third choice for him behind toyota and honda. now it would be nearly my last. i'm trying to take a zen approach to this car, we'll see how it goes.
  • thought about selling my shit on ebay to see if it would get me popular. i'd be willing to be that, given the proper presentation, someone would bid on a pile of shit.
  • still feeling sick, but i'm functional now.

  • 12-20-08 (17:33)

  • bought a truck today. when i first went looking for trucks i considered buying a new one because i figured there would be good end of year deals along with incentives to reduce inventory on bigger, less fuel efficient vehicles. quickly found out that the prices were still too high for my budget. so i started looking for low mileage used trucks, but those were all around 10k which is about 5-7k less than a new truck and "low mileage" generally meant over 50k miles. eventually i found that the higher mileage trucks seemed to have the best value. you could spend half as much and get a truck with 100k miles. since the primary goal of this truck is to last a few years until i can save up for a new truck, that seemed like the price range that made the most sense. ended up buying a truck that had almost everything i wanted at a price below blue book. it will need new brakes in the future, but i don't feel it's a huge concern right now. the one sacrifice i made with this truck is that it's a v6 which means it doesn't get the same fuel economy as a 4 cylinder and v6s also tend to be less reliable overall. hopefully it lasts me a few years. the other issue, but this is true with all trucks, is that it's a longer vehicle than the camry so parking in berkeley is going to be tougher (although it's about 7" shorter than comparable tacoma). it's a ford ranger and i would have preferred a tacoma, but those are expensive so...
  • still sick. yesterday was worse. we had planned on going on a road trip this weekend, but my cold stopped that.

  • 12-18-08 (21:16)

  • feeling very sick; this sucks.
  • truck prospects aren't great. could miss my trip to la if i don't find one soon.

  • 12-17-08 (20:37)

  • just sold the camry. feel more sad about it than the corrado, which was a lemon from day one. would have loved to keep the camry if i could justify having three cars. i need a truck and i'm not rich enough keep the money tied up in the camry i.e., i needed the money for the down payment. looking for used tacomas and rangers at this point. we'll see.

  • 12-15-08 (19:11)

  • move went better than expected, that's always nice.
  • structural engineer looked at the house and thought the foundation was in very good condition. that is very pleasant news. hopefully the next stage goes well. if it does, we could have it in a week or so.

  • 12-15-08 (10:23)

  • just got back from my first final. this week is going to be busy. today i have to clear out the biggest room in the alumni house so that the carpet installers can do their job. some big pieces of furniture that are going to need moving. tried to secure the use of a pallet jack, but that has proven an illusive goal. plenty of buildings on campus have one, but finding one nearby that i can definitely use today is the rub. today's level of fun rides almost entirely on getting one. if i can't find one then it's going to be a day of heavy lifting.
  • tomorrow i have to move some of the furniture back into the main entryway so that the receptionist has her desk area back.
  • my second final is on wednesday, but i already took it, so really i'm just turning it in and we have a little end of year party.
  • thursday is the company holiday party. i'm in the process of burning 100 cds so that everyone has a copy of the holiday cds that i put together. everyone got a chance to pick their favorite song from 2008 and those picks make up the majority of the two cd set.
  • today there are two inspections on the house - chimney and foundation. chimney inspection went fairly well. one chimney needs some bracing and the other needs a partial rebuild. i was assuming the worst (both total teardowns) which would have seriously made me question getting the house since i'm not at all a chimney expert. the other inspection from the engineer takes place about the time i hope i'm finishing up with the move at work. if that inspection goes relatively well then we'll very likely get the house and have to start the moving process soon. there are some things that will need to be done before we fully move in - primarly securing the front and side doors properly. also concerned about the electrical capacity as the service is older than moses. would like to avoid rewiring the entire house.
  • more furniture moving at work takes place next week for installation of flooring in hallway and kitchen. busy month all around.

  • 12-13-08 (22:51)

  • going through some music of 2008 to pick out my top ten. i don't listen to nearly enough music these days. it's quite a tragedy. one of the things i love most about road trips is being able to listen to my music. i want to go on a road trip long enough to listen to all my music. right now i have about 104 days of music, so i'd have to be in the car driving for about 2500 hours to listen to it all. sounds fun.
  • watched four movies today. also went to a play version of willy wonka and the chocolate factory. my cousin, emily, was in it. it was funny because kids at that age (7-9 y.o.) aren't always quite on top of things like getting on stage on time or remembering lines. best play i've ever been to for the simple fact that it wasn't put on by a bunch of idiots who took themselves too seriously.
  • should be able to reach the 300 movie goal this year. even though i didn't watch a shitload of movies this year, i feel i did a good job with what i did watch. lots of best picture winners, lots of movies from my must see list, lots of movies in the theater, lots of noir.
  • made a donation to wikipedia the other day, you should do the same. one of the best resources there is. i buy an almanac every year and consult wikipedia daily.
  • leg is twitching more today. it sorta comes and goes.
  • heisman went to bradford. that's who i would have voted for if i had a vote. tebow is good, but doesn't have numbers in the same league as mccoy or bradford. bradford led possibly the best offense in moden college football history (partly because they have a coach who doesn't let off the gas, for better or worse). mccoy is solid and a close second if you ask me. michael crabtree will likely be a better nfl player than any of the three.

  • 12-12-08 (18:18)

  • the offer on the house was just officially accepted. next step is getting inspections and then escrow. could be ours by the end of the month.

  • 12-10-08 (18:51)

  • december is shaping up to be busy as ever.
  • next semester i'm signed up for five classes. won't be curtailing my hours at the alumni house because i can't afford to. it'll be interesting to see how annoyed by the whole thing i get by the end of the semester.
  • bank is getting the house appraised. there's another offer on the table, but we don't know anything about it. maybe we'll have an answer by year's end.

  • 12-8-08 (22:32)

  • pretty good game for the niners yesterday. the future looks good again, just like it has for the last three years. qb position is still a question mark as far as i'm concerned so that's a big problem.
  • i think texas does have a legitimate gripe, but i'm not shedding any tears for them. i think a plus one format might be a good idea. let's say usc kills penn state and alabama beats texas. i would like to see usc play florida/oklahoma for the national championship. of course there were need to be another vote and there would be more potential controversy, but i think it might appease some and would be more definitive than the current system.
  • leg still has some vibration in it from time to time.

  • 12-7-08 (15:04)

  • went to the flea market today. a few good deals, only bought $9 worth of stuff.
  • the house we made an offer on is getting closer to getting an answer. it's been a month or two by now. got word today, though, that the copper plumbing was stolen recently. that's beautiful. if the bank hadn't been so slow in responding we would have moved stuff there by now and established a presence which would have scared away thieves. just gives us more reason to knock down the price if you ask me.
  • went out looking at trucks yesterday. even with all the incentives they're more expensive than i could afford at this point so if i end up getting one it'll have to be a used one. i can't say i've had good luck with used cars in the past. they've all cost me $500+ in the first six months. new clutch on the escort, engine rebuild on the bug, shocks on the camry, new everything on the corrado. it's not a thrilling prospect, but i need some vehicle that can carry sheets of plywood and drywall. thought briefly about buying a trailer for the camry, but that's a big pain.
  • i think i forgot to mention that i went to an immortal technique concert a couple weeks ago. it was a good one. seems like the real deal.

  • 12-6-08 (17:04)

  • relatively unimpressive victory by usc today. they allowed a touchdown (after a turnover, one of two during the game) and didn't score a lot of points. they missed three field goals, which is pathetic. ucla's defense is very good, so that's part of it, but usc offense just isn't what it was a few years ago. sanchez is capable, but not great. penn state has a great defense so it'll be interesting to see what usc is able to do. that said, usc generally steps up pretty well in bowl games so i look to see their offense play better than they did today. ucla was a 33 point underdog which seems like a fool's bet to me. usc isn't a huge scoring team these days and ucla has a better defense than people think. they lost to asu 34-9 and asu isn't that good so people look at the score and figure that usc should be able to hang at least 40 points on the same ucla team. trouble is that 28 of those 34 points were scored by asu's defense on turnovers. ucla's defense only allowed 6 points in that game. they also allowed 34 points to oregon state, but i think that osu is a tough matchup for bigger teams since he's so small and crafty. ucla allowed 41 to cal, but cal has a better offense than usc and it was at cal (though the margin of victory was the same). ucla did have one awful defensive game against byu where they allowed 59 points which is just unexplainable other than it was the 2nd game of the season.
  • usc is going to lose their third offensive coordinator in the last 5 years. it's frankly stunning how well they've done when losing so many key guys on and off the field. next year they could very conceivably be out of the top 10. they're losing something like 7 great seniors off the defense and their offensive coordinator. it's going to be a tough year. i think they'll probably lose early to ohio state (at ohio state). osu won't be losing as many seniors, will be at home, and pryor will be even better next year. usc's chance at a rose bowl next year is frankly slim. cal will be better without the distraction of longshore and the tree sitters. oregon will be better without qb injuries. oregon state will be more experienced. arizona might be good for an upset here or there. it's been a good ride so far so i have to enjoy it while we're on top because it's bound to come to an end and next year is looking like a good candidate.
  • "if you beat #1, you are #1." that's what craig james said today about florida's chances to be in the national championship game. it's a stupid argument. guess who would be the #1 team in the nation today if we followed that philosophy from day one...utah. usc was #1, oregon state beat them, utah beat them in the next game and then went on to win the rest of their games. so, craig james, is utah the #1 team in the country? they beat the team that beat the #1 team, and they're undefeated so why not?

  • 12-5-08 (09:58)

  • alabama is a 9.5 point underdog to florida. i'd definitely take them with the points. i don't necessarily think they'll win, but they're a good bet with that many points. i think the top four teams are all pretty equal and they could all beat the raiders. should be a good game either way.
  • hopefully oklahoma loses, i'm not a big fan of them.
  • if oklahoma does lose the question becomes: who plays alabama/florida in the national championship game. traditional thinking would say texas since they're ranked #4 and usc is ranked #5. assuming usc beats ucla today i would make the argument for usc on the following grounds: 1) they won their conference. 2) the pac-10/west coast teams do get a raw deal because many of the writers/coaches in the east don't bother staying up to watch the late night west coast games. 3) i think that most people are less likely to jump on the pac-10 bandwagon when they're good. traditionalists tend to pump the big 10, sec, and big 12 before favoring the pac-10. it's too bad, but i think that's the way it is. realistically, though, i think it's only possible if: oklahoma is defeated by 10+ points and usc destroys ucla (42-0), proving again that their defense is the best in the country.

  • 12-2-08 (16:01)

  • apple doesn't make the 160gb ipod anymore. losers. good thing i got it while i could.

  • there's a little vibrating or buzzing sensation in my right leg from time to time. just started a couple days ago. this follows a mysterious itch that i had on that leg. hopefully it's not lyme disease. hopefully it goes away on its own. would be nice to have some health insurance.