talked with the contractor
today about the garage. until we get the engineer's work (should be done
tomorrow) i can't really do a heck of a lot of planning, but we talked
broadly about numbers and what he'd do vs. what i'd do. i'm hoping that
we'll get the specs from the engineer and have this week to get some of
the materials we need to get started. it'll give us time to clean out the
garage and get everything ready for them. the custom metal pieces and larger
beams will probably take a while to get, though i've never purchased a
20' long 6x10 beam so i don't know what it'll take to get that. plus it'll
have to be delivered and all that so starting in two weeks seems more reasonable
than starting next week.
i think it's more important
to be intellectually curious than it is to be smart. it's more important
to be thoughtful than knowledgeable. more important to be a hard-worker
than well off. it's better to be critical than cynical.
going to pfa to see a capra
film on the big screen. hopefully we can see two for the price of one,
but i'm not sure what the policy is there on that. haven't seen much early
capra so it'll be nice to see some american madness-era flicks. they both
star stanwyck who i like.
updated the top
ten of the 00s. luke decided he wanted to do it as well. didn't think
he was the list-making type, but there it is.
engineer will be done with
drawings, etc. on monday. spoke with the contractor today and we're going
to come up with a game plan on sunday. we'll see what he'll do and while
we can do and how much all this will cost.
i'm not that old and not
extremely aware of how things have been in the past, but it does seem as
though it's a new age that we live in from a political perspective. brown
winning in ma and upsetting the dems' supermajority and the expected fallout
as a result is as good an example of this as anything else. the dems seemingly
need to be filibuster-proof in order to get anything done. it's a testament
to the pathetic political culture we find ourselves in today.
the daily show recently
had a piece
on keith olbermann which pointed out that he's become just another ideological
name caller. the point is that even a lot of the good guys are only good
because they're on our side, but really they're doing as much to elevate
the discourse as the mark levins and sean hannitys of the world. so tonight
we had obama's state of the union speech. it was the best state of the
union speech i've ever heard, but like i said, i haven't been around all
that long. if you're not a stick in the mud ideologue like half the country
(on both sides) seems to be at this point, then you were probably moved
by something in the speech. it was capra-esque, and though it could easily
be chalked up to more talk (probably the things politicians are best at),
i think the ideas he put forth and the things he asked for show that he's
genuine about wanting to move forward in a meaningful way. he (rightly)
scolded both sides for bickering and not being team players. as good as
he was at being reasonable and appealing to our sense of pride (he invoked
americanism to hopefully get us all on the same page), i don't foresee
it doing much. ultimately it comes down to the fact that we get the government
we choose and we're too stupid and apathetic to vote out the ideologues
and vote in new thinkers and reasonable people. i've come to the conclusion
that he probably wants to do more, but he's more willing than i would like
to compromise than i would like.
i liked that he talked
about the awful supreme court decision that came down in the last week.
it hasn't gotten as much talk as it deserves and i'm glad he addressed
it. alito, the little bitch that he is, was shaking his head after obama
mentioned it. hate that asshole. he was funny, too.
elizabeth warren is fucking
awesome. i trust her more than any other single person in power in washington.
she's smart, she's on the right side of the issues and she's the kind of
person you would love to work for if you were someone with half a brain
and motivation to actually make good change in the country. she's a great
pbs and npr have long been
my favorite news outlets, but when it comes to tv coverage i think cnn
is the best of the cable or major networks. they have a lot of staff doing
fact-checking, compiling date, and giving "expert" opinions from a variety
of viewpoints. they get silly with the technology sometimes and they're
a step below pbs, but i think they're better than fox, msnbc, and the networks.
justin finally submitted
his top ten of the 00s.
john was the only one who didn't participate. loser. now i'm thinking about
my top tens of the 90s which would likely be a good deal tougher since
that's when i grew up.
just found out that howard
zinn died. that's a real loss, unlike, say, the loss of a freak like michael
jackson. a great mind.
at about 4am this morning
i heard a big bang or thud that woke me up. i assumed that something in
the "animal room" fell. meryl woke me up later to tell me that it was the
shower door which had shattered. not sure how it happened, but that part
of the house doesn't have much structure so it might be sinking just enough
that it tweaked the shower door until it broke. so i ran out today and
got a piece of sheet vinyl to screw onto the frame. will do that in a minute.
i give obama a b or b-
for his first year. i didn't expect him to be as good as those who voted
for him (which is partly why i didn't vote for him) so i wasn't as disappointed
when he didn't get it all done.
went to the doctor today
for my allergy test. they do a blood test instead of a skin one. i don't
think that the blood test is as good, but i don't really know. we'll see
how that turns out.
some guy did a study and
published it in nature magazine about the benefits of barefoot running.
he discovered that it's actually about how your foot lands, more than the
fact that you aren't wearing shoes. when you have shoes you're more likely
to land heel first. if you don't wear shoes you're more likely to land
on the front of your foot. i've known about this for 15 years when my track/cross-country
coach showed me that i should land on the front, outside part of my foot.
it's more efficient and transfers less impact into your knees and leg bones.
really all you need to do is look at the best runners in the world and
pay attention for about 10 seconds to know this. i can't recall having
ever seen an expert runner land heel first. everyone from sprinters like
bolt and johnson to long distance runners like gebrselassie and komen lands
on the ball of their feet first. this gets filed in the "duh" category
if you ask me.
oink founder was recently
guilty. wish that site was back.
off to listen to obama
this weekend was somewhat
of a waste. cleaned a bit around the house with sarah. that kicked up a
bunch of dust and now my allergies are going crazy. that sucks. sarah brought
her computer over because it's having issues. she has a virus so i'm trying
to fix that, but it's not working so far. haven't done a full format in
many years so i'm reluctant to resort to that. we'll see.
went over the hill to work
on meryl's dad's place which is being rented out and the gutters were sagging.
couldn't find gutter clips that would fit at any of the hardware stores
so we cleaned them out and secured the clips that were existing. still
need to find extra clips and attach those in a couple spots.
watched the football games
and neither turned out how i wanted. the vikings were clearly the better
team and probably would have won 6-7 times out of ten, but they had a bunch
of turnovers that lost the game for them. favre's interception at the end
of regulation was pathetic. while he was rolling out i was thinking he
should just run and slide and go for the field goal, but he threw it across
his body and that was the end of regulation. a bad way to end a pretty
good career and a great season.
so, basically nothing got
done on our house and my allergies are annoying me so this weekend was
mostly a failure. hopefully we can get started on the garage next weekend.
allergy medicines are about
as good as itunes.
back feels a lot better
today. spent most of yesterday in bed watching movies and reading so the
rest really did some good. getting paid to rest is also a nice benefit
of a "real job."
it's 49 degrees in the
house now. less than 55 and you feel the bite of the cold. what makes it
worse is that humidity is always around 80% which is ridiculously high,
even during the rainy season. dehumidifiers are silly expensive. i've taped
off the three floor vents in the house. next i have to seal the two holes
in the floor - one in the bathroom and one in the laundry room. i'll work
on that tomorrow when my sister is coming to help work on the house. hopefully
closing the house off from the humidity of the crawl space will bring the
temp up and humidity down.
engineer came out today
to take some measurements on the garage. hope to have a good game plan
by the end of next week. in the meantime we're working on loose ends like
the foyer area. next loose end might be the laundry floor, but there's
a decent amount of work there and we want to hit the ground running so
we don't have to worry about taking the laundry elsewhere.
we also seem to have a
fly problem. not sure where they're all coming from, but quite a few houseflies
have been in the house lately. i kill or capture (in the vacuum cleaner)
them all, but there are always more. i'd say we've offed about 30 in the
yesterday was a pretty
lame day. it rained all night the previous night and in the morning there
was a leak at the side door that we installed. in looking at the door sweep
i found it doesn't do much to stop driving rain and the threshold is pitched
slightly inside. so i bought a new door sweep and hopefully that will fix
the problem. also cut a drip kerf in the head jamb which will break the
surface tension of the water. one of the problems is that the water was
coming down the stucco, onto the head jamb and rolling in towards the door
and then falling right at the base of the door. by cutting a kerf at the
front the water won't roll in towards the door more than 1/4" before it
falls. the dremel multitool was excellent in this application. there's
literally no other tool i could have used to get the same results in this
situation. usually this is used on window sills and is cut on the tablesaw
before installation. we got the door pre-hung so i couldn't have done it
on the tablesaw even if i thought about it at the time. having the right
tools and knowing what their potential is is half the job.
the rain also has led to
quite a buildup of water in the crawlspace. we have major drainage issues
all around the house that we'll have to address in the spring/summer. we
rigged up meryl's old fountain pump to a gfci and extension cord so it's
slowly pumping out water from under the house. it works and it was free
because we already had the required materials so it'll do for now.
meryl got some joint compound
on the walls in the foyer area so that's almost looking finished. one or
two more coats and then it'll be ready from priming and painting. then
i need to install a strip or two of flooring and some trim at the base.
went to home depot and
while we were leaving it was starting to rain and some lady couldn't get
her newly purchased toilet into her car. so i picked it up and wiggled
it into the car and thought nothing more of it until about a hour later
when my back started to hurt. now i'm at home instead of at work because
my lower back isn't feeling very good. it's not the worst it's ever been,
but i can't put on socks and tie shoes without it hurting so i figured
resting was a good idea. thankfully i have sick time now so it won't cost
me anything. hadn't thrown out my back the last two years so that's an
okay streak. just have to be more careful. updated the health
we also got some work done
in the attic. still have a lot to clean up, but got the middle section
of the attic pretty clean including the storage area so that's good.
had an engineer and contractor
out yesterday to look at the garage. came up with a good gameplan for righting
the ship and making sure it won't move in the future. when it's done i'm
confident it'll be the strongest thing on the property. that's good news,
but also a sad commentary on the structure of the houses built at this
time. honestly i'm not certain how this house stood up to loma prieta.
the stucco is probably the biggest thing keeping it together from shear
raining a lot lately.
now that we have access
to the side of our house since we built the fence, we can see how bad the
drainage is on that end. it's pretty bad so we'll have to tackle that down
the line as well. probably will take a weekend. probably will do it in
spring or summer.
tomorrow we have an engineer
and contractor coming out to take a look at the garage and give some ideas
of how to approach this project. i hope to work with the contractor to
get the garage up and properly structured at a reasonable cost.
what's with the controversy
with harry reid? the guy told the truth and, if anything, insulted the
american people. he didn't say anything bad about obama. worst thing i
can find in the quote is that he said "negro" instead of black or whatever
else is in vogue these days. guess we should get angry with the uncf
(united negro college fund) too; insensitive bastards.
have i mentioned that itunes
is probably the worst program in the history of programs?
got the new letters up
on the wall at work. since we changed our company name i had to take down
the old lettering and put up the new stuff. getting the old adhesive off
was a bitch. then i had to repair the wall, paint it and put up the new
stuff. probably took me like 7 hours total which is why the sign place
wanted to charge almost $400 for the job. thankfully it was a three day
weekend so not too much time was lost.
we've been working on the
front door area lately since work on the garage has hit a stand still.
no quote yet from the second guy and the first guy was good, but he wanted
to bring in an engineer and all that. i felt more confident in his abilities,
but i think the other guy would be cheaper and the other guy wanted to
do an entire perimeter foundation and i think that would be preferable.
we'll see what number he comes up with.
we're hoping to get curtains
up this week. we'll see how that goes.
the usc situation is interesting.
first, i didn't like the idea of jack del rio, i generally don't think
much of nfl coaches coming to college or vice versa; yes i'm aware of carroll's
nfl history, he was the exception. i like lane kiffin a little more than
del rio, but am worried about brining him in since he's had ncaa problems
in the past and obviously usc is suffering a bit in that area right now.
second, i think the ncaa is a corrupted and awful organization that cares
very little about the student athletes. they should be doing more to protect
the kids through education and selective opportunity. what you have now
is the equivalent of a fundamentalist parent saying no sex, no drugs, no
caffeine, no staying out past 9pm, etc. it's backwards and only serves
the media contracts and the upper level schools, including usc in football
and unc in basketball. one of the facts that we need to relate to these
kids is that less than 3% of them are going to sniff the nfl so they should
think about other things. we should talk to them about the leeches out
there preying on guys like chris webber or reggie bush or fill in the blank.
we'll see how everything
shakes out. usc probably has a while to go before they're back in the rose
bowl hunt. we had 3 5-star recruits (most in the nation) this upcoming
year and i wonder how many of them will stick around in spite of carroll
being gone and the possibility of draconian sanctions from the ncaa. hopefully
kiffin brings his dad and ed orgeron with him. if so, that would be dynamite
and we'd be right back in the thick of things. carroll probably took his
son with him as well as ken norton jr. which means that the three best
recruiters that we have would be gone. kiffin and orgeron are as good as
the last two, but pete is impossible to replace.
this weekend was more or
less a waste. we worked on the structure for the garage all day yesterday
and a couple hours today and only moved it about an inch. we went through
all this trouble to build two walls perpendicular to the ridge and jacked
those up in order to relieve pressure on the south wall which is so badly
out of plumb. then we used two come-alongs to pull the wall into plumb,
but it didn't move much. pretty disappointing. not sure why it isn't moving
more, but it creaks a lot so i'm wary of moving it anymore. we're essentially
doing what the engineer told us (though he said there should be a 4x4 on
the exterior of the wall and we're using a 2x8 on the interior because
we don't have access to the exterior since it's on our neighbor's property).
i'm basically out of ideas at this point. we're going to get some estimates
on the cost to get the garage in a reasonably upright position so it's
not so unsafe and unsightly that it scares buyers away. one option is to
rebuild the south and west walls one at a time. we could probably do this
ourselves. if we were to do that i'd want to redo the foundation underneath
the walls at the same time. a professional crew could redo the whole thing
in a week or two, but i have no idea how much they would charge for something
like that. this is a pain. i would like to have a usable garage with a
door that functions properly and some light and outlets and minus the san
andreas fault that is in the middle of the slab currently.
next saturday i have to
work at the alumni house so that'll another wasted day. this is getting
jon and monique came by
today to check out the progress, good to see them.
hope to get the structure
for the garage done tomorrow. once that is done we can begin work on the
electrical and roofing for the garage.
re: the xmas day bomber...it
just shows how rampant the incompetence is in this country and the world.
the dutch fucked up, the uk didn't share critical info, and we fucked up
too. it defies common sense and i think this was a more catchable breach
than the 9/11 success which was carried out better and had less strong
evidence and came as a bigger surprise. fool me once...
i'm not blaming it on obama
or napolitano, but they probably get the brunt of it politically. if we
can't catch this guy who has been ratted out by his dad and bought a one
way ticket and was on the watch list and didn't check any baggage...then
we're probably doomed. that said, a few hundred deaths a year to terror
isn't that big a deal in the rational sense which is why i don't concern
myself with it personally. however, it's a big deal to everyone else and
it steals time and money from more important duties which makes it, like
the wars in iraq/afghanistan, a big deal. look at it this way: let's say
obama works 12 hours a day for four years, that's 4404 hours (including
leap year) that he has for his first term. 1,000 of those hours are probably
going to be spent campaigning for dems or himself. now he's down to about
3400 hours to address as many of the country's problems as possible. not
much if you ask me. when this kind of shit happens it's not just political,
it's much bigger because dumb ass people (80% of the world population)
get scared by statistically small things like this. so now a couple hundred
more hours are going to be spent on terrorism and security on planes because
of this guy with a bomb in his underwear. not sure if you know this already,
but the terrorists totally won. i'm talking they're the niners and we're
the broncos in the 1990 super bowl. not a close game, they won and they
continue to win because we're too stupid to stop them and too stupid to
know that this stuff should matter about as much as shark attacks in the
pacific ocean or drowning in your pool. maybe we should make it mandatory
to learn how to swim or something. ridiculous.
i actually feel sorry for
the guy. npr talked to someone who read his posts on various internet forums
and it sounds like he was struggling to do well in school and had problems
with the SAT and wanted to go to an ivy league and he's the youngest of
16 kids and all that. it's a sad story, really. he fell through the cracks
and the assholes gave him some false hope, happens all the time. i remember
being in the dorm, on my own for the first time, and there were some guys
from some christian fellowship who would hang around a lot. it's the same
thing, really. take advantage of kids in a vulnerable situation and try
to flip them. fuckers. thankfully i didn't fall for it, though i did give
them a chance and found what they were selling was a pile of shit.
guess i'll watch the bcs
game tonight. hate both teams and think alabama will win, but so does everyone
else. texas is overrated, but i wouldn't put it past mack brown to come
up with a win. he's a pretty good coach and when you have 4 weeks to prep
for a team coaching is more important. this, incidentally, is why i think
osu beat oregon. they had like 5 weeks to prep for a deception-based offense.
osu probably knew every possible option just as well as jeremiah masoli
did. 24-21, alabama.
13th year of writing on
this page. wonder how many of us have been doing it that long on a consistent
worked a lot on the end
of the year type page updates. finished the film stats and best of 2000s
lists, among other things. got the all of 2009 page up and running. those
are nice when i'm looking for something i did and i know the year, but
can't remember the month.
updated all the pictures
for the house, included captions for context.
looked over the last year
a bit. obviously the big story for me was the house. sometimes i look back
and think we didn't get much done and then i'll look back and remember
all the little things, that are easily forgotten, that go into projects
like replacing two decks, installing three doors and three windows and
painting and texturing and plumbing and wiring and cleaning and living
normal lives and watching sports from time to time and working more hours
and going on a (short) vacation.
happy with all that i learned
this year. hope to not make the same mistakes i've made in the past.
put a coat of oil-based
paint on the shelves in the pantry. guessing we'll load that up with food
next big project is the
garage. gotta get it plumb-ish, gotta re-roof it and gotta get some power
to it. have a couple details to iron out on the electrical front. know
a guy to hire to help with the roof and hoping that our current plan for
getting it upright works out.
went to the doctor today.
splinter in hand is puffy and red. when i squeeze it, it oozes a bit so
i figured it was infected and needed attention. i'm almost certain that
the splinter is still in there since i heard it break when i was pulling
it out a few days ago. so the doctor looked at it a bit and said it'll
either fix itself or get worse and i should come back. he can't see it
and neither can i so nothing can be done, according to him. so i get health
insurance and already i'm wasting doctors' time. did make it worthwhile
though by getting the seasonal flu shot. also got my blood workup back
(because i was at the doctor last week to get a check up for the first
time in 5 years). turns out that my cholesterol and blood sugar levels
are perfect and i don't ever need to see a doctor again. my body does right
by me for the most part. not in love with the allergies that i get during
the spring, but it's a solid machine other than that. thanks body for being
good to me. i will continue to eat red meat on rare occasions, have an
active job, not drink, smoke, or do drugs, live with as little stress as
i can considering the house situation, and get plenty of rest.
meryl's art room is essentially
done. she still wants to move her desk in there, but that's easy enough.
i'm pretty happy with the shelving unit i built and meryl designed. it
looks a little small in the picture, but it's about 8 feet square and holds
her tv and almost all of her art supplies. very handy and it looks pretty
nice. she's wired up for the satellite and network tv and ethernet and
phone and has plenty of power throughout the room. it's got four can lights
and a ceiling fan with its own light as well. i also built the legs for
the table i'm sitting at. she wanted a countertop height table for her
barstool chair and for working while standing.
art room not so long
gotten a lot done in the
last couple days. built meryl's custom shelves for her art room. thanks
to the fact that i got the sprayer back from the shop i was able to paint
them all in a reasonable amount of time as well. sprayer makes the job
so much quicker and it looks better too. also sprayed the kitchen pantry
so i just need to cut and install the shelves.
still need to finish up
some painting at the alumni house. may do that sunday. we'll see.
been busy compiling a list
of best songs, albums, and films of the decade. got some friends to make
their lists and putting that on a page along with my picks. a couple people
are lagging so i'm waiting for their responses before i post the page.
also need to do all the
year-end stuff like making new movies pages and all that jazz. end of the
year is always a busy time for the webpage.
in the meantime i updated
the 2009 top ten list which includes my ten best of the year as well as
the picks from meryl and me for best actor/actress and all that stuff.