3/31/11 (18:04)
  • so why is mj sporting a hitler mustache these days?
  • had a headache the last two days. almost never get headaches. trying to get hydrated since that's probably what it was.
  • finally finished the fence project yesterday. that was a learning experience. big project. having the paint sprayer really paid off because we were able to give it two coats in just a few hours. think it was 140 linear feet and all but about 30 feet of that needed to be painted on both sides.

  • a couple shots from the back yard:


    a shot from the front

    demo begins:


    layout begins:


    digging begins

    posts going in


    sealing the wood

    getting creative with one post that fell between several roots

    assembly begins





    assembly continues, finishing stages


    priming begins


    finishing coats



    3/29/11 (18:27)

  • not much to say.


  • 3/28/11 (19:50)
  • tied for first in the march madness bracket. if uconn wins then i win it all. if not, then it comes down to final score and i lose. for some reason i picked the final score as 115, which is awfully low. if i was thinking about it at all i would have gone with 130-140, but i evidently wasn't thinking.
  • obama's speech tonight was a good one. his speeches are typically quite good and convincing. unfortunately his actions leave a lot to be desired. he's not doing a good job with either side right now, at least in my observations in talking with people. i've not found a single person who characterizes themself as happy with him so far. that said, i also get the impression that people would give him a second chance if he were to be up for reelection right now. ron paul gets more traction because his idea that the fed is to blame for everything appeals to a lot of people. i don't pretend to understand all this stuff, but i really doubt that getting rid of the fed or going to the gold standard is going to fix a lot or all of the problems we face. it would be great to know how things would pan out if each ideology got to do exactly what they wanted to do.

  • 3/23/11 (18:01)

  • according to the comcast tech who came out and fixed our problem last week, comcast was somewhat infamous for their bad customer service in the past. so far in my experience with them, they've been really good and even better than at&t which ran a new phone line at no charge for us when we were having internet problems with them. their techs have been out three times and were late once (and it was a contractor who does work for comcast). they do a good job of communicating their eta and following up on service calls. their over the phone service is also good (24/7 support). so, good for them for identifying the problem and fixing it. maybe we can find out who was responsible for this turn around and hire them to run the dmv.
  • in other good news - i finally got the remastered copy of paul's boutique. it's one of those albums that needed a remastering. low volume and some other problems. best of the doors and metallica's ...and justice for all also fit into that category. whoever produced ...and justice for all should probably be shot. at any rate, they split up the b-boy bouillabaisse which is pretty cool (though i had done that myself several years ago). it's originally a 12+ minute song and now it's 9 shorter tracks as one medley. one of those holdovers from the cassette/record era when tracks weren't divided so stringently. bass kicks more and the volume level is much more in line with the rest of the albums in the world. it also comes with a commentary download, which is them just talking about stories surrounding the recording of the album. yay.
  • for those keeping track, that means i now have six copies of this record. two on vinyl (one to listen to and one sealed), one of the regular cd, one imported copy of the cd, one of the paul's boutique demos and now the remastered copy.
  • haven't been getting much done around the house lately. sean and i cleaned up a bit in the backyard. hampered by the weather lately. also between projects at the moment.

  • 3/21/11 (19:10)

  • dropped sean off at the train station about an hour ago. it was a pretty good visit. he still has trouble remembering things and lacks basic social skills. bought him a little notepad so he can write things on it that he should remember. so we made a couple lists of things like house rules, things we did over the weekend, foods he likes, etc. funny kid. hanging out with him definitely gives me a different perspective on my everday life.
  • why is it that updating itunes is a 45 minute long process? why do they bug you to update it every other day? because apple is run by fascists.
  • going to try to lose a few pounds this year. basically gained about 3 pounds a year for the last 12 years or so. not so bad because i was about 10 pounds underweight to begin, but now i'm only about 15 away from being overweight so it's probably about time to actually pay attention to that stuff.
  • dad gave me his movies book that has all the movies he's seen in the theater since 1993. i'm transcribing them to an excel file. it'll actually give me a good idea of some of the films i've seen as well since it includes many of the films i saw before keeping track in late 1999. unfortunately, they're just films from the theater and there's not much data between 1997 (when i left for college) and late 1999 (when i started keeping accurate data). it includes 2010's data which is important because he saw 410 movies in the theater that year.

  • 3/19/11 (10:37)

  • been cruising the internet a lot more the last several months finding all the stupid and funny stuff it has to offer and following different memes. it's a crazy world out there. here are couple recent ones:
  • friday
  • bike
  • skiing

  • 3/17/11 (20:57)

  • crappy beginning to the tourney this year. they have all the games available now, which is great, but that also means they don't feel it's necessary to cut away to the games that have an exciting finish. since i, and many others, watch the games on a delay, this is a problem. also, the first round play-in games are a fucking joke. ucla dodged a bullet today by barely beating michigan state after being up by 23. pathetic. i think i had them in the elite 8.
  • have i mentioned the idea of giving tickets to jaywalkers in berkeley so you don't have to raise the parking tickets every few months? jaywalking leads to more human suffering than parking in a spot for more than 2 hours. do i really have to point this stuff out?
  • how about selling lactase pills at ice cream parlors? been to as many ice cream places as anyone else i've ever known and never seen a place that does it. great idea. $.40 a pill and you get a sale that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. places should do this.

  • 3/16/11 (17:36)

  • had a long series of discussions with the peoples republic of berserkeley today. long story short i owe them $123 for a $43 ticket i shouldn't have gotten in the first place. sent two letters to them trying to contest and no dice. too late, blah blah blah. ultimately they can do whatever they want. most of the underlings were quite useless, the one supervisor i spoke with seemed nice. she also played the game well. saying she wanted to help me, etc. but kept saying that she couldn't do anything and then waited for me to respond. i'd restate my case and this continued. the tactic is a classic one employed by homeowners when dealing with contractors. they say "i'd love to do this project, but the price...it's just so much." followed by silence, at which point the contractor is supposed to feel uncomfortable and say "well, i can work with you on this by giving you a discount here and there." at any rate, it's the cost of doing business in a place that so many other people are doing business. modernity is great.
  • classy guy. counterpoint: Jalen Rose clearly states that these were his feelings when he was a FRESHMAN at Michigan. He also states that the reason these feelings came about were because he was JEALOUS of Grant Hill's family situation. The adult Jalen Rose admitted that he had immature feelings as a kid and also recognized, as an adult, that they were not justified in truth! I'm glad Mr. Hill is defending himself and his teammates, but Mr. Rose made it clear that he doesn't believe the same things that he thought as an 18-year-old kid now that he is a grown man who has a lifetime of new experiences.
  • would like to see the documentary as the fab five played prominently in my life in a way. they were perhaps the first in a long line of following sports and being gravely disappointed. i was in hawaii on my paternal grandpa's dime and we watched the game. he knew nothing about basketball, but liked to gamble so he said he'd bet $20 against whatever team i liked. kind of a dickish move in itself, but whatever. i bet on michigan and he bet on unc. long story short michigan didn't do so great and the game ended quite infamously and in heartbreaking fashion. at one point in the game, however, unc was up and my grandpa said to me "looks like my niggers are doing better than yours." it was that day that i lost $20 and a grandpa. i was a chris webber fan for years afterwards; he was a misunderstood guy in a lot of ways. got heat for that bonehead moment as well as taking money from boosters while at michigan. of course he was also the best player on the kings when they had their glory days. always felt bad for the guy more than anything else. felt like our fates were sort of tied together in a way because of what we both went through because of that game.

  • 3/15/11 (17:51)

  • less than 8k songs left to rate on the ipod.
  • still trying to get the router setup now that we're with comcast. not sure why this stuff is so difficult.

  • 3/10/11 (18:59)

  • meryl's still sick, but getting better.
  • going to johnny's this weekend to install a water heater and visit the guys. hopefully get some wiring done in luke's garage too. that would be fun.
  • saw this guy's vehicle in berkeley the other day. what a nut.

  • 3/8/11 (17:26)

  • some ideas:
  • a website for people to report bad drivers. it could be either serious or not. you get cut off by a psychotic in a scion xb with license plate 6PLT718 then you go on the website and report it with a comment like: you, sir, are psychotic and shouldn't be allowed on the road. why did you flick me off?
  • pothole app for the iphone or whatever. you see a pothole, you tell your app where it was (gps tracking can pinpoint it) and then you submit this info to the city jurisdiction. it's very easy for the city to implement this: get a computer science intern from a local college to write an app and install it on their system. citizens download it for free and it generates emails, faxes, print-outs, whatever for the city on the other end. this could easily get done in 2-3 months, soup to nuts. i can pretty much guarantee, though, that it won't happen anywhere in this country for another year or more because they haven't come up with the idea and/or lack the ability or desire to implement it in a reasonable timeline.
  • stop saying joe namath was a good qb. his stats prove otherwise. he had one above average game and has made a killing ever since. he's a drunk idiot and a piss poor football player. congratulations, you led the league in interceptions 4 times and tds 1 time. you had more tds than ints 2 times in your career and a career qb rating of 65.5 which makes you good enough to be the 3rd string qb on some teams today and 14 points lower than elvis grbac and 10 points lower than steve bono (remember them?).
  • how about a charlie sheen translator? you type in something like "do you want to go out to dinner tonight?" and it spits out something stupid like "my monkey spirit is summoning the goddess Hestia from afar, will you come. of course you will." could be good for a few quick bucks if it goes viral.

  • 3/6/11 (16:47)

  • worked at meryl's dad's this weekend. had planned on finishing the fence and then priming/painting it, but rain thwarted the painting portion of that. we did finish the assembly of the gate and the door and the top cap; a very labor and lumber intensive fence. pictures to come later.
  • we also worked on the area that used to be a fireplace insert. it's now where the tv resides and we finished the mudding and sprayed some texture. i think we did a decent job of blending the textures and when meryl paints i told her to use a 3/4" nap roller to blend everything together even more. there was a lot of patching to do because we exposed the header and jack studs so we could remove the jack studs, insert a simpson hh4, and gain 3" of extra space for the tv in the process. it was a lot of work for such a small amount of space, but it helps a lot because the tv isn't obstructed now.
  • we also installed a small bit of trim around a bread box corner in the kitchen. i had previously cut it higher to make way for the new granite installation. since there needed to be wiggle room for the granite, though, the cut had to be higher than the finished surface of the granite so we installed bit of shoe molding to hide that.
  • next time we go out there we'll spray the fence and we'll be all done.
  • back is feeling mostl better now.

  • 3/4/11 (8:29)

  • supposed to get comcast internet this morning. we'll see if that happens.
  • this weekend we hope to finish meryl's parents' fence and tv nook. it's supposed to rain, however, so i'm not sure of the likelihood of those projects both getting finished.
  • hurt my back a couple days ago and am still recovering. not real bad, but bad enough to be stiff and somewhat worthless. been trying to rest.

  • well, comcast guy came and went. turns out we need the modem on hand for him to complete his installation. modem is on order and tracking info says it will be here today. not early enough, though, so we'll have to wait until next week. didn't think they needed it because at&t just has you do that part yourself. my bad.