2/25/11 (16:53)
  • hope to finish up meryl's room this weekend. have some shelving to build and trim to finish up.
  • looking forward to the oscars. smart money seems to be on king's speech, but i like social network to take the prize. i think it's a more memorable film in the long run, though the academy likes stuffy british stuff for some reason.
  • if i were rich one of the things i'd do is hire a reference librarian or the like to do my bidding. so, i had a question today about the tax structure in the u.s. that would probably require a good amount of research. i know at one point the taxes on the rich were something like 90%, now they're like a third of that. at the same time we have taxes on things like tobacco that weren't taxed before. i would like a report on federal and state (CA) tax structures over the course of the last 120 years. that way i could see how the feds made their money before the income tax and during it. in down times as well as good times. the same for the state. california is too reliant on home prices for much of its tax revenue, how has that shifted over time? so many questions, so little time.
  • so, if i were rich i'd have all sorts of questions like that and i'd have various assistants find the answers or conduct studies or polls to figure out all the things that i'm curious about. it would be really awesome.
  • the other thing i'd like to have if i were rich would be a chef. i hate cooking and that would be a great luxury.
  • city of berkeley is shafting me on a ticket. i filed an appeal and i guess they never got it so now i have to pay $123 instead of $43. wrote them another letter, we'll see what happens. hate the city of berkeley.
  • ucb's basketball team is facing some probation and limits on recruiting because of violations. the ncaa just picks a few schools every year to investigate and most of them are probably corrupt in some way if they're at all successful, then they slap them on the wrist to keep everyone in line. i hate the ncaa.
  • according to the weather experts it's going to snow in oakland this weekend. i'll believe it when i see it. maybe in the hills they'll have a little, but i doubt we'll have anything of note at our house.  weathermen are a joke.

  • 2/21/11 (18:38)

  • structural engineering is pretty interesting to me and i wish they offered an intro class at laney that doesn't use a lot of math.
  • was at yogurt park the other day getting a frozen yogurt and the girl behind the counter was telling her friend about a date she went on. here's what she revealed: the guy was really nice, the guy was short, the guy is really into her. she's not interested in the guy. i found it a sad commentary on young women. guys do the same thing in a different way.

  • 2/17/11 (17:16)

  • have fewer than 10,000 checked songs to rate in my itunes library now. total unrated still is around 15k, but less than 50% at this point. that's good news.

  • 2/15/11 (17:10)

  • been talking to some tea party people online lately and it's more or less like hitting your head up against the wall. there's no way most of them will ever trust obama so they're all just going to ride things out until he's gone. one day we'll either fail as a country or figure out that we can actually get shit done if we're willing to work together.

  • 2/14/11 (17:28)

  • spent this weekend and friday at meryl's dad's/stepmom's place working on a new fence. actually, it's an extension of an existing fence that defines their back/front yard. they're taking away sf from their front yard and incorporating it into the backyard. we hoped it would get done in three days, but i think we still have another two to go including painting. there were multiple obstacles from getting a definite plan to problems with the two person auger to sprinkler lines and drainage lines and roots. getting the layout on a straight line was also a challenge and i'm not sure why we weren't able to achieve better results. part of the problem is the 6x6 posts which amplify inaccuracy in layout. another part of the problem was the unwieldy nature of the auger which had a tendency to drift off course. another part of the problem was not double-checking measurements when setting posts. lots of lessons learned since it's the biggest fence project i've worked on before. our side fence project went well, though a last minute hitch in the layout made for a design choice that i ended up regretting.
  • work at home has stalled somewhat while we wait for the carpet installation. we need to finish with the trim around the window and also paint the room, but it's primed and otherwise pretty much ready for carpeting. after that we can build the shelving that meryl designed and be done with it.
  • next project after meryl's office is the bathroom. that will be a big one. multiple months. have to level the floor, install a pocket door, build a wall, install a shower enclosure, drywall, tile, paint, install fixtures, plumbing, electrical...all the good stuff.
  • gabriel over the white house is finally available on dvd. must see film.

  • 2/7/11 (17:41)

  • superbowl was pretty good. didn't go as i expected (i thought the steelers would win, and i certainly didn't foresee 3 turnovers). what was amazing is that there have been 35 out of 45 superbowls where one team turned the ball over 3+ times. that's ridiculous. evidently the team forcing 3+ turnovers is now 31-4. packers offense wasn't real impressive, but they took advantage of the mistakes. biggest play in my opinion was the fumble forced by clay matthews.
  • one great commercial and one really funny commercial debuted.
  • got a lot done around the house yesterday. did lots of little things like cleaning up and clearing out and organizing.
  • worked on trim and texture on saturday while meryl was out. almost done with the window. will wait to do the baseboard until after the carpet is down.

  • 2/1/11 (17:47)

  • been doing real well on the animal room. ordered carpet. they'll come tomorrow to measure and then hopefully install soon afterwards (though we think it's going to be a week or two because it's a special order item).
  • updated the pictures page. should be finished uploading sometime tonight.
  • completed 1,033 pushups in 7 days in tribute to jack lalanne. the most difficult part of it was remembering to do them. really didn't get sore at all which is actually pretty surprising since i had to do about 145/day.
  • oftentimes the most conservative among us are the most vocal about family values. i think that most of them would gladly help their brother/sister if they were down on their luck, however they wouldn't do the same for a stranger. so, really, they just have a different definition of family. it's not that they're opposed to helping others, it's just that they only want to help their close family members.
  • i'm not sure how it is in other countries, but there seems to be a significant minority of americans who are vehemently anti-left, anti-obama, anti-republican, etc. i think it manifests itself differently from those on the left, but both extremes are part of the problem. it would be lovely if we could have a serious conversation about the issues that plague the country, but we're not there because the media is inept and the taste of the american public is in the gutter. until we can have honest conversations using facts and historical evidence i don't think things are going to get much better.
  • what my generation needs is someone in charge who can lead with purpose and vision. someone who can give us a destiny. right now it honestly seems like there's not a lot of direction to all this energy. that was the brilliant thing about world war 2 - we pretty much were all on the same page. i'm not saying it was all good - there were things like manzanar and idiotic propaganda like "loose lips sink ships" that fed a slightly paranoid/racist undercurrent of emotion. but on the whole we were fighting a common (and worthy) enemy. it got our shit together for us. what would really be great would be an alien invasion to bring us together; preferably one we can win. short of that i think humanity is in store for a significant population correction in the next 100 years.

  • nice site on the california budget that does a good job of providing the information in a relatively straight forward manner.