11-30-08 (13:12)
  • went solo for thanksgiving. chinese food and a milkshake. yum.
  • went down to la for the notre dame/usc game. usc looked amazing on defense as usual - didn't allow a first down until the last play of the third quarter. the problem is the offense which works only in spurts. need to work on that for sure. also had the usual problems with penalties. against cal the penalties cost us 2 interceptions. in this game the penalities cost us 2 touchdowns. one on a touchdown on a punt return that was called back because of a block in the back. the other was on a holding penalty i think which was called back and then notre dame came up with an interception.
  • oregon state lost yesterday in a shootout which means that usc will go to the rose bowl and win the pac-10 if they beat ucla next week. oregon state was without quiz rodgers and that could have been the difference, but i never thought that osu would have allowed 60+ points to any team. tough loss for them. the rose bowl is getting to be old hat at this point. it would actually be nice to be in a different bowl so we could face an sec team or something. i would love to see usc stack up against the offense of florida or alabama or oklahoma. essentially, it would be nice to be in a game where a win really meant something. if they win in the rose bowl against penn state then people will just say that it's not a big deal - usc is ranked higher and they're playing in la. usc would be expected to win that game and winning those games earns you no respect; unless of course you destroy the opponent, but then it's not an interesting game to watch.
  • so, it's nice to have the opportunity to be in the rose bowl and be #1 in the pac-10 again, but i wish that the rose bowl were a little more flexible about it's pac-10/big 10 matchup. i think the usc has a great chance to beat anyone they play and i wouldn't necessarily say that about all the teams in the top 5. i don't think that the sec or the big 12 are as good as people are making out. my top 5 are: florida, oklahoma, usc, alabama, texas.
  • usc has allowed 10 touchdowns in 11 games so far. they've allowed a total of 19 points in the second half in the 11 games combined. this defense is the best i can remember in college football. they had one bad half against oregon state (3 tds in the first half) have been absolutely dominate otherwise.
  • went shopping early on black friday for the first time in my life. kind of interesting. went to a bunch of different places: target, office depot, best buy, michael's, home depot, lowe's, and wal-mart (out of curiosity). wal-mart was the busiest followed by best buy. bought a sliding compound miter saw at home depot because the discount was just too good to pass up.
  • left at 7am today to miss the traffic. ran into some traffic, but that was as much because of the heavy fog as the number of cars on the road. still made the trip in about 5hrs 15min. when i drive by myself i generally don't stop for gas or food and can make it in about 5 hrs. listened to a few episodes of car talk, animal collective, and some standup comedy.
  • just watched the last bit of the niners game. they won!

  • 11-25-08 (19:09)

  • finished the deck on sunday. took longer than expected, but it looks pretty good overall. the last deck board was bit obnoxious and they opted to have a sort of ledge built so that took longer. would have rather just put the last board in and been done with it. learned a lot and got paid pretty well.
  • thinking about buying a truck because i'll need it if i get a house or work for myself more often. the camry is a workhorse, but i just wonder how many miles it has left at this point.
  • james bond list with the ones i've seen is below. pretty sure i've seen at least two of the three question mark movies, but i saw them before i kept track so i can't be 100% certain. will watch the rest within 12 months.

  • yes 1 Dr. No 1962 Sean Connery Terence Young
    yes 2 From Russia with Love 1963
    yes 3 Goldfinger 1964 Guy Hamilton
    yes 4 Thunderball 1965 Terence Young
    no  5 You Only Live Twice 1967 Lewis Gilbert
    yes 6 On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 George Lazenby Peter R. Hunt
    no  7 Diamonds Are Forever 1971 Sean Connery Guy Hamilton
    yes 8 Live and Let Die 1973 Roger Moore
    yes 9 The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
    yes 10 The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 Lewis Gilbert
    yes 11 Moonraker 1979
    no  12 For Your Eyes Only 1981 John Glen
    yes 13 Octopussy 1983
    yes 14 A View to a Kill 1985
    ?   15 The Living Daylights 1987 Timothy Dalton
    yes 16 Licence to Kill 1989
    ?   17 GoldenEye 1995 Pierce Brosnan Martin Campbell
    yes 18 Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 Roger Spottiswoode
    ?   19 The World Is Not Enough 1999 Michael Apted
    yes 20 Die Another Day 2002 Lee Tamahori
    yes 21 Casino Royale 2006 Daniel Craig Martin Campbell
    yes 22 Quantum of Solace 2008 Marc Forster

    11-22-08 (22:57)

  • most of the reporting about the downfall of the big three has centered around their reluctance/inability to foresee the importance of fuel efficiency in cars. part and parcel of this argument is their reliance on suv sales to drive their profits. two things: the american people love(d) suvs and bought them in droves, the big three responded by producing more of them. it was a high profit margin product and was seen as a savior by some. had bush not been president and the price of oil stayed relatively low (like where it is now) the big three wouldn't be quite where they are now. the other thing is that the big three have made fuel efficient and eco-friendly cars that haven't been nearly as successful as the prius, which is what most people have pointed towards as the model of success. chevy has the cobalt and the aveo which are both cheap and eco-friendly/fuel efficient cars. ford had the escort and now the focus. chrysler sucks, though their sebring is about as fuel efficient as the camry.
  • another issue with regard to fuel efficiency is the miscalculation (esp. on the part of gm) of the influence of ethanol. they produced a lot of e85/flex fuel cars and the whole ethanol thing never really worked out. had there been a greater emphasis on developing sugarcane based ethanol then i think it would have been a better idea, but corn-based ethanol had a lot of problems from the get go - decreased energy return and the need for corn in other industries: feed for animals, corn for corn syrup which is seemingly used in everything, corn used to manufacture biodegradable silverware, corn for humans, etc. corn for fuel was just never a very good idea. you can blame that one on the primary system and iowa being first in line. american car companies also spent too much time, effort and money on hydrogen fuel cell technology. that may yet pay off (in 20 years), but has been a waste in the short-term. you can blame bush for a big part of that.
  • also, all the car makers are hurting now. toyota least of all, from what i hear, and they're down about 25% from this time last year. toyota, a company i like quite a bit, wasn't immune from catering to the "bigger is better" crowd. they upsized their toyota tacoma (a truck i liked before) and the highlander. the tundra was marketed as a brute and the 4runner has been a part of their line for a long time. the problem with the big three is only partially that they didn't have a more balanced line of vehicles. their problems are deeper than something as simple as not having a few more small cars to offer. they have been seen as inferior quality-wise for some time now and that reputation has been difficult to shake, whether it is true or not. i don't think that most ford vehicles are as bad as vw, but vw is doing fine because they're a bit like apple in that they have a successful cult brand associated with their products. i also think that the unions are strangling the big three to a certain extent, though they shouldn't be the scapegoats.
  • if i were the gov't i'd offer not $25 billion in aid, but $50 billion. $30 billion of that would be a loan (at 10% interest) and the other $20 billion would be essentially free, but would come with many strings. american production has to be at least 80% within 10 years, paycuts for executives of at least 10% across the board, no outlandish bonuses and a freeze on all bonuses/crazy stock options for three years, increased emphasis on developing battery technology as well a mandated 25% of vehicles in their line with a hybrid option by 2015, and chrysler would have to be absorbed by gm or ford (preferably ford because i think they're a better company).

  • 11-19-08 (22:33)

  • finally sold one of our alphabet abacus kids' play toys. can't say that it is worth the time and effort, though.
  • looks like i'll be going to fresno for thanksgiving. that'll be interesting. haven't seen that side of the family in about 7 years.
  • looks like prop. 8 is going to the ca supreme court now. no big surprise there. just knock it down so we can move on towards banning republican marriage and allowing polygamist marriage. sounds good to me.
  • getting close to the end on the deck project. learned a lot in the process. if i'm going to be at all successful in the long term i'll need a good partner who i get along with. bid work is difficult so i'll stay on a t&m basis for as long as possible.
  • big game this weekend is oklahoma v. texas tech. oklahoma is great at home so i'm guessing they'll pull out the victory. their offense puts up bigger numbers, but texas tech's defense was better than expected against texas. i'm hoping for a big oklahoma win to throw things into chaos at the top. usc doesn't have much of a chance to sneak in no matter what, but there are a couple long shot scenarios that could mean a national championship berth for usc. what could be insane is if four of those top 5 teams fall apart and oregon state holds on to win the next two games. you could have a situation where usc would be tied for first in the pac-10 and technically not allowed a rose bowl berth, but could be in the national championship instead. wacky, but really unlikely.
  • mike mussina is retiring. great, solid pitcher. solid guy too. good to see him go out on a high note. he's one of two 20 win pitchers i picked up on the waiver wire in fantasy baseball. great pickups i must say.

  • 11-18-08 (19:36)

  • haven't been doing a good job of watching movies lately.

  • 11-18-08 (11:52)

  • skipped class today. hooky is good once in a while. didn't get much sleep last night.
  • the deck projects is nearing completion. putting the decking down, but these damn hidden fasteners take forever. if i build a deck for myself i think i'll skip the hidden fasteners, too expensive and too much trouble. it'll be nice to have free time again.
  • i lived in sylmar for 9 years and don't remember fire ever getting close to us, but it's been near my mom's home twice this year. within a half mile both times. embers were flying close to the house this last time. jeez.
  • blu-ray players have dropped under the $200 barrier now. i see that as the line where they become more attractive to the average consumer.

  • 11-9-08 (20:49)

  • usc game was a close one. too many penalties. overall our offense was poor, but our defense showed why it's the best in the nation. they've only had one bad half this season which led to 3 tds and one loss. them's the breaks. taylor mays is a beast and put two pretty big hits on a couple cal receivers. this year's defense with the offense from 2004 or 2005 and you have the best team in college football history, no doubt. oh well.

  • 11-6-08 (08:30)

  • i owe america a bit of an apology for underestimating its ability to recognize the obvious (that the republicans have done an awful job and there needs to be a change in government). i thought they were going to elect mccain because i didn't think people were bright enough and evolved enough to vote against the republicans and for a biracial candidate. i was wrong; thankfully. it wasn't an overwhelming victory like reagan in 1980, for example, but it was a nice spread. as jon stewart pointed out on yesterday's awful daily show, a 52/46 spread in the popular vote led to a 2:1 spread in the electoral college showing, once again, that the electoral college is worthless. it was a lay up for the dems and they made the shot. the american people got over some things that a lot of people didn't think we'd get over for many years, if ever. an historic night not only because of obama's race, but also because of the fact that he won states like virginia and indiana which i really didn't think could happen. it's good to see.
  • i also see obama as sort of the leftist version of reagan. the victory margin wasn't nearly as great, but obama does have a sort of teflon exterior. they tried pinning various things on him and nothing stuck: acorn, william ayers, reverend wright, he's muslim, his middle name is hussein, he's inexperienced, the terrorist fist bump, he's a socialist, he wants to spread the wealth, etc. nothing ever stuck, nothing really stayed a story for very long.
  • hopefully the left keeps the fire to his feet and doesn't go into hibernation like it did with clinton. the resurgence of the left was the best thing about the bush presidency (next to the extended daylight savings time) and it would be a shame to see it disappear just because we got someone with whom we are more comfortable.

  • 11-5-08 (08:22)

  • there was some celebrating last night. people honking horns and whatnot. still don't know the outcome of some of the propositions. apparently we're not completely united yet because someone stole our copy of the paper. that's unfortunate.

  • 11-4-08 (16:18)

  • watching the coverage. so far nothing too big. mccain gets kentucky, obama gets vermont. cnn is shamelessly promoting their coverage - pointing out that crowds in time square are watching cnn, showing off their hologram technology (pretty cheesy), etc. msnbc is putting the nail in the coffin of the republicans already. a bit premature if you ask me. fox is playing it pretty straight so far, though they have a new toy they're showing off as well. what a bunch of losers.
  • so far cnn coverage is best of the three. fox has the race as tighter than the others. cnn and msnbc seem to be jumping the gun a bit in my opinion.
  • looks like tn and ky have gone to mccain. oh to obama. that means that this is going to be the first time in at least the last 10 elections that the winner hasn't won the following states: ky, tn, mo, oh.
  • also, if obama wins that means that the redskins game streak is still alive. 17 out of 17 times when the redskins have lost their last home game before an election the party that lost the popular vote in the last election wins. last night they lost. last election the dems lost the popular vote. strange but true.
  • a republican has never lost ohio and won the election, looks like that one is still alive as well.
  • looks like obama is going to win. historic night and a good one for america. now the work begins. get shit done you assholes.
  • mccain just gave a great concession speech.
  • chris matthews gave a great little speech about what obama's victory means for the country, about how we've led the world once again and how much this means to african-americans. good stuff.
  • on the one hand i feel really good about tonight. on the other hand it looks like obama is going to win with about a 52/48 margin and that's a bit pathetic. if we were truly progressive and intelligent and fed up with the status quo and rational and informed, obama would have gotten about 70% of the vote. a 52/48 majority is somehow considered a revolution. what does that say about the political climate?
  • at any rate, i'm happy with the outcome given the realistic choices. there are plenty of things i disagree with democrats and obama about, but they're better than the alternative. i give this inept and pathetic party four years to win my vote for next time. they have no excuses now.

  • 11-4-08 (07:38)

  • will probably know by the end of the day who the next president is going to be. if it's obama i wonder how bad bush's outgoing acts will be. if it's mccain i think he'll tone it down a bit.
  • hopefully they wait a little while before they start campaigning for the next one.

  • 11-3-08 (19:13)

  • obama was just giving a speech about his grandma and said that "she was born in kansas in a small town in 1922 which means she lived through the great depression, she lived through two world wars...." i wonder if the media is going to pick up on the fact that he doesn't know when the first world war ended the way they picked up on quayle not knowing how to spell potato. not likely.
  • to my knowledge there hasn't been a black president in a european nation. can anyone confirm/deny this? does that mean we'll be more progressive than europe if obama wins?
  • i have a dream of a day when obama will be seen as the centrist that he really is. when we have a viable liberal alternative - someone who supports gay/polygamist marriage, is against capital punishment, and war, and is for single payer healthcare for all. that'll be the day. i'd like to say that tomorrow, if obama wins, is a stepping stone, but i don't really know that things move linearly. that which is gained today can be lost tomorrow. we made some small progress after reagan/bush with clinton, but then went backwards with bush 2. it's not like 8 years of obama means 8 years of a true liberal after that. i sorta feel like you have to take what you can when you get in power because you never know when some "contract with america" bullshit is going to derail your agenda like it has in the past.

  • 11-3-08 (15:51)

  • big day tomorrow. obama continues to gain momentum and it looks like he'll have a pretty easy win. i still don't know how much i trust the poll numbers. i just don't think that the electorate has changed so drastically in four years. i hope it has, but i sort of doubt it; maybe that's just because i'm pessimistic when it comes to human nature. we'll see. this is the world's most expensive horse race so we may as well enjoy it.
  • raining.
  • i could totally be a fox "news" pundit. what a sweet gig that would be. "tax cuts are dangerous, 9/11 changed everything, socialist policies restrict freedom, socialized healthcare would lead to long lines, blah, blah blah." i've got the talking points down and i'm ready to get paid.

  • 11-3-08 (08:25)

  • not going to class today.
  • worked on the deck in the mud yesterday; that was slow and dirty. took a chunk of skin out of my left thumb in the process. my left thumb gets a lot of abuse.

  • 11-2-08 (22:28)

  • yma sumac died yesterday. she had a five octave vocal range and was a rare talent, look her up.

  • 11-1-08 (15:23)
    watching cal/oregon game live right now. rare lately as i've had work on the weekends. it's been raining most of the day which means i didn't have to do any work on the deck project. i did wake up early and go to the site to receive the trex delivery and unload 44 16 foot pieces of cayenne trex. nice looking stuff, but it's kinda heavy and it was raining so i got a little muddy.