went to lassen this weekend.
we left friday after meryl got off work and drove for a couple hours until
we got to fairfield. the traffic was bad pretty much the entire way so
we decided to eat dinner and wait out the traffic. as a result of the long
dinner and the shitty traffic, though, we didn't get to lassen until around
11pm. we went to a couple camp sites and they were completely full which
was unexpected, but not the end of the world. rather than going to some
crowed cookie cutter campsite (alliteration) we decided to camp out at
a picnic spot which was empty and still had a pit toilet and level ground
for the tent. we set up camp in the dark and got to bed around midnight.
the next day we broke camp
and had a clif bar and water for breakfast; yum. we drove to the lassen
summit parking lot which is around 8,500 feet in elevation. from there
is about 1,950 feet and 2.5 miles to the summit, making for a 5 mile hike.
the sign posted at the base of the trail says it takes 4-5 hours round
trip, and i think johnny said it would take us about 3-3.5 hours. i was
a bit concerned because i'm out of shape and elevation takes it out of
you even more quickly. thankfully, though, my body tends to answer the
call despite my not keeping it in the greatest condition. i was tired after
less than a quarter mile, but i plateaued and never got really tired. we
stopped several (7?) times on our way to the top, and twice on the way
down, to take pictures, rest and drink water. we made it to the top in
85 minutes and back down in 53 (with about 20 minutes of enjoying the view
and eating another clif bar at the summit). so the entire hike was only
2hrs 18min and we were both satisfied with ourselves for that. afterwards
we drove to the bumpass hell parking lot and walked to the thermal features
they have there. that was another 3 miles round trip with a 700 foot change
in elevation. all told we hiked 8 miles at elevation with a change of about
2,700 feet. frankly, i don't think either of us thought we would have done
that - me because i consider myself in pretty bad shape and meryl because
her knee still isn't great after the surgery. plus, i didn't think we'd
have much energy after doing the lassen summit. i'm not even sore, i've
got some tightness in my lower calves and some chafing, but i wouldn't
mind going ahead and doing it again.
after doing that we decided
to change the plan and leave lassen to visit chico (because neither of
us had been there before) then drive to clear lake state park and camp
there. chico wasn't as bad as i had always heard. certainly the outskirts
of the town were depressed, but the downtown area was nice enough. we stopped
at a little pub for an early dinner and had a good meal. the pub even played
immortal technique, ice-t, and mitch hedberg. afterwards we went to some
root beer/ice cream joint that had dozens of sodas and good ice cream sundaes.
having had our fill of chico, we left for clear lake and (hopefully) a
nice place to camp for the night.
the drive there was nice
- we took a lot of minor highways, parts of which reminded me of the blue
ridge parkway back east because of how fun they were to drive (fast road
with turns and hills). it's a good thing i got my rear suspension taken
care of before the trip. the landscape varied from the barren heat of chico
to the wooded areas around clear lake to the farm roads alongside vineyards
that were reminiscent of napa. finally we arrived at clear lake state park
and inquired as to the cost and availability of camping. there was only
one spot left and the cost of camping was $29. we opted to continue on
the road in the hopes of finding something better. it's definitely disconcerting
that, as taxpayers, the price for a camping spot in a state park is $29.
there are hotels in many spots throughout the country that are $20-30.
why should it cost $29 to set up a tent and sleep under the stars? edward
abbey is turning in his grave.
after driving around for
a while and not finding a suitable place to set up camp we elected to drive
yesterday was a relatively
lazy day - we watched a couple movies and i watched the rest of season
six of the west wing, as well as a couple episodes of the sopranos, season
tomorrow i leave for la.
i'll be there for a while to watch the dodgers/giants series (bonds isn't
going to play for at least 1 out of the 3 games, i hate that guy). what
the hell does he get paid for?
bill walsh died today.
unlike lombardi and some other football geniuses, walsh left a legacy of
coaches in his wake - shanahan, holmgren, hackett, green, seifert, fassel,
and many others who worked under those who learned from him. he also crafted
the most successful offense of all-time and had a nose for talent - young,
montana, rice, haley, lott, craig, etc.
it's interesting to note
which people brought up the pat tillman death, and at what point. at first
it was guys like limbaugh and hannity, and they brought it up to drum up
support of the war and in the spirit of jingoism (it recalled the old poem
"dulce et decorum est..."). now, though, people on the left, like olberman
and those on air america, bring it up as an example of the politicization
of tillman's death and corruption (because of the cover-up of the truth
behind tillman's death - friendly fire, and, according to his mother, possibly
murder by someone on our side).
obama said that he'd visit
leaders like castro if he became president. today the clinton camp attacked
his decision to commit to such a thing and called him naive. the whole
thing has become a two-day story, which is pretty silly if you ask me.
both candidates' spokespeople looked pretty petty when they debated it
on hardball today.
going to lassen (again)
this weekend. hopefully we'll be more prepared this time. plan on hiking
to the summit, seeing some sights and then driving back.
noise pollution isn't talked
about often enough. they need to come out with some bullshit study that
finds posits that noise doesn't have a deleterious effect only while the
noise is being heard, rather that it causes internal stress that haunts
those affected by it for hours after exposure. then they can come out with
another study that identifies a disease (let's call it noise sensitivity
disorder, aka NSD) that leads to heart disease, diabetes, and erectile
disfunction. maybe then a debate about noise pollution can begin.
seems like everything is
a disease these days.
tivo's great and all, but
the software could be so much better. ease of use, an undelete feature,
more control over the options, etc. would all make it a real winner.
lindsay lohan is pathetic.
tcm is great.
bored. not tired.
took the car in today to
get the rear struts replaced (finally). over $600 later and it's done and
i can finally stop worrying about it.
working on my aunt's kitchen
this week. she's got three layers of wallpaper on the wall which is unusual,
and annoying, but it'll get done nonetheless.
had a little phone interview
with a contractor today. he does mostly commercial stuff, though, so it
wasn't really what i was looking for. while i was talking with him my cordless
phone ran out of battery life so i hooked up the other phone and called
him back. after doing that we got disconnected a couple more times. it
was a disaster in more ways than one.
if i had a truck i'd pick
up people's trash and take it to the dump for them, at a cost of course.
the strike seems to still be going and it's affected different areas to
differing degrees. my aunt has had her trash picked up twice and we've
had our trash picked up once. some places still haven't gotten any service
since the strike began.
went to lafayette to sell
my old sony receiver. kinda sad to see it go. i got lucky driving out there
though - had all lanes open east through the tunnel, and looked at the
traffic coming back with dread knowing that i was in for a long wait. but
by the time i got the money from the guy and he tested it out, the traffic
had cleared and all tunnels were open going west.
yesterday i had a short
work day because i only worked on touchups and cleaning up the workspace.
got a call from my sister around 1130 telling me that my dad (who has been
to northern california to visit twice in the ten years i've lived here)
was coming to town and that we'd go out to eat lunch because he was only
an hour away. after some dawdling and getting lost, the two of them showed
up at my place at 3:30. we went out for what ended up being my only meal
of the day. afterwards we came back to my place for a bit and talked about
movies and such. meryl came home from work and then we decided to go to
the a's/orioles game. sarah had to wake up early so we dropped her off
first. the game was pretty uninteresting except for ellis breaking up a
no-hitter in the 7th inning with a homerun. i've been to about six games
at the coliseum and the a's have only won once; against the bosox in the
11th thanks to a chavez walk-off homer.
meryl's with her mom this
weekend doing arts and crafts. i'm here catching up on sopranos watching,
movie reviewing and mp3 sifting.
updated the afi
list to include a color-coded marking of films i haven't seen as well as
those that appear in my top 25.
seen 22 movies in the last
21 days and that's a better pace that i've had over the last few months.
going to watch beckham
there was a 4.2 earthquake
around 4:30 this morning and the epicenter was pretty close to us. i was
having trouble sleeping last night and felt dizzy and nauseous and then
the earthquake woke us up. afterwards i looked around the apartment and
looked outside, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary so i tried going
back to sleep. i still felt dizzy, though, so i didn't get much sleep until
around 6am. i still feel a little nauseous right now so i'm not sure what's
finished up the laundry
room at my aunt's place today. looks like the kitchen is next, that's going
to be a bit tougher.
the move on the part of
the democrats to get a bill passed that would bring the troops home was
a good one. i don't think it was a good move in terms of bettering iraq
or our standing in the world, but from a political point of view it was
wise on their part. the democrats don't want to inherit a problem if they
get into the white house so if the bill had passed then the troops would
have come back and iraq may not have been front page news everyday. even
if they didn't get the required 60 votes (and they didn't, they only got
52), they still won because the war is unpopular and it makes the administration
and the republican party look unresponsive and unwilling to change course.
so, it was good politics, but, as usual, that's not what makes the world
better. to me, the move is just further evidence that both parties play
the partisan game when they feel it will help them win in the future.
neighbors had some fight
tonight. it was entertaining for a couple minutes, but it was essentially
an unstaged episode of jerry springer heard through the front door.
haven't been too lucky
in my job hunt. part of this is because i've been picky and part of it
is because i haven't been checking as many sources of jobs as i should.
got a couple more offers
on the corrado, but nothing over $500.
going to sell my copy of
"my dinner with andre" on dvd. it's been out of print for a while and fetches
upwards of $100. i've heard from a couple sources that criterion owns the
rights and that they plan on releasing it on dvd in the future, so it seems
to make sense to get what i can out of the dvd while it's still rare. i
actually have several dvds that are worth $50-100+ because they've gone
out of print.
still working on converting
my dads vhs to dvd. i've got about 170 to go which means about 340 more
taking my car in next monday
to finally get the rear shocks taken care of. the front shocks cost about
$700 so i'm expecting the rear to be the same, if not more (because they're
in worse condition).
finally got a few long
film reviews in after a couple months of shorter reviews. watching good
saw an ad for a professional
organizer the other day. i don't know how much she charges, but it seems
like something i could do, i just never knew there was a market for it.
i love organizing and archives and storing things. unfortunately i don't
have enough stuff to keep me busy with projects like that. if you know
anyone who could use an aspiring professional organizer (or handyman/utility
guy, for that matter), then lemme know.
been having slightly more
fun with cooking than usual. i think having copious cloves of garlic on
hand helps in that regard. in general, i think being good at anything is
as much about creativity, experience and knowledge as it is about having
the proper tools.
started looking for ways
to unload the corrado. pick and pull offered me $121 for it. a single door
handle is worth more than that.
haven't gotten much done
been watching more movies
lately, that's always good. saw the newest die hard flick today. according
to imdb.com the director of the newest installment was born in march of
1973 and was 13 when he first watched die hard. obviously this is impossible
since die hard was released in july of 1988.
ran a bunch of errands
today. washed the car, went to amoeba, got some stuff for the baseball
scrapbook (which still isn't completed), dropped off some stuff at goodwill,
this week i'm working on
the second bedroom in my aunt's place. don't think she has anymore work
for me after that. been following up other job leads - one with a tile
contractor, but i'll have to wait a couple weeks on that one before i know
the verdict. the other is for the cal alumni association. called the lady
and i think she called back, but she didn't leave a message. it's easier
to look for a job when you're actually unemployed, but then you don't have
the money so...
ladybird johnson died today
(or yesterday?). she was one of the more important figures in the environmental
movement so it's sad to see her pass.
caught up on my movie review
queue today. i feel like i'm always busy these days.
much has been made of john
mccain's trouble these days. i still think he'll emerge as a top two candidate
in the republican party, but i've been known to be wrong. i think he's
closer to the base than giuliani and i think romney's war chest is bloated
because of his personal wealth and (i suspect) his rich mormon contributors.
i also think that, like it was for bush in 2000, south carolina could be
a turning point for mccain. he's been courting the christian coalition
vote for well over a year now and i suspect he'll get better support in
the more conservative states which could help him raise more money and
give him greater momentum leading into the home stretch. i also think that
playing the underdog has proven fairly beneficial - you don't take the
heat like the front-runner, for one. bush, kerry, and clinton were all
behind in the early polls and found ways to win their pary's nomination.
i also have to say that
i disagree with the people who are advocating pulling out of iraq. that's
an unpopular stance for a leftist to take, but i don't think that leaving
the mess that we've created is what's best for the region or the world.
i also think that the politicization of this decision is unfortunate and
is, ironically, what got us into this bullshit in the first place. i don't
believe in the reasons for going into iraq, i don't agree with the way
in which it was executed, i don't like anything about it, but i do believe
in commitment. i think leaving would create a vacuum that would likely
end in genocide and civil war and a destabilization of the region. of course
anything we do over there is tainted so we're more or less stuck. i think
that our troops need to be considered peace-keeping forces and be at the
control of the iraqi "government." there are all sorts of ethical considerations
and implications to a policy like that, but we've destroyed the country
and thrown it into a state of chaos so we need to do every peaceable thing
we can to get their systems (power, water, sewage, governmental, etc.)
back up and running efficiently while keeping the peace. hopefully that
would include a greater focus on lending our knowledge on implementation
of governmental systems like schooling and economic stimulus than policing
watching ferris bueller's
chipotle is probably my
favorite place to eat out. it's cheap, tasty, and healthy.
finished the fifth season
of the west wing yesterday. aaron sorkin wrote for the first four, but
left after that. it's still good, but the characters have changed and the
writing isn't as smart. i'm onto the third season of the sopranos as well.
meryl made me breakfast
on my birthday. afterwards we went to santa cruz. we played some kickball
(which ended in a tie), ate, and watched the best private fireworks show
of my life. luke always does a good job. also got a nice birthday cake
to take home.
got a bunch of stuff this
year. a few books, a bunch of posters (national park and movie themed),
some dvds, and more.
worked on painting my aunt's
living room last week, going to finish that and move onto one of the bedrooms
new seven wonders of the
world were released yesterday. the easter island statues didn't make the
cut and that's a shame.
ferris bueller car.
been looking for carpentry
jobs, but haven't had any luck so far.
i think not having a fixed
schedule is nice on the one hand because it allows me flexibility to run
errands and work on projects and do stuff at my leisure. on the other hand
i don't have a fixed time when i watch movies or update my page, etc. i
watched the most movies when i was working nights at tower and would eat
dinner and watch a movie. it was a good schedule and the routine lent itself
to getting plenty done. without the routine my life seems to go in more
pronounced ebbs and flows - i'll be really busy for a couple days and then
have one lazy day. today's a busy day. i had three ebay auctions end, i've
gotten a lot of email, i got a bunch of blank dvds in the mail (for the
vhs to dvd conversion i'm doing for my dad), etc. hectic.
the whole libby situation
is predictable. it's funny, but not because bush commuted libby's sentence,
rather because of his reason for doing so. in his speech he said that the
punishment was "severe" which is funny because he said early in the investigation
that he would be tough on whoever was responsible for the leak. it's also
funny because bush was the governor of texas which doesn't think it's too
severe to give the death penalty to mentally retarded murderers. it's looking
as though he'll likely pardon libby in his final days as president. i didn't
hear any of the right-wingers talking about bush's decision, but i would
expect their line to be something like: "the left's outrage over this is
hypocritical because clinton pardoned more people during his presidency,
including one of his donors." this is a typical tactic employed by the
right - when they can't be outraged about the principle of something and
when the facts aren't on their side, they accuse the other side of being
hypocritical. this is what many of them do on the global warming issue,
for example. i've heard limbaugh talk about al gore's private jet and how
polluting it is, for example.
worked at my aunt's the
last couple days. finished the entryway and one wall of the living room.
doing it one wall at a time is a bit slower, but much better from a mental
standpoint because i don't get tired of doing a single task over and over
in the process of uploading
my updated pictures page. it's almost 10 gigs, though, so it's going to
take about a day.