baraka is now on blu-ray.
not terribly into the world
series this year.
got a raise last week,
second one in the last couple months. also got a couple more duties, but
it's basically just a formal acknowledgement of what i'm already doing.
making $20/hour now which is plenty good for me. still no healthcare though.
still busy with the deck
project. will probably take a couple more weeks. more complex that i had
anticipated. a definite learning experience. working by yourself takes
quite a bit longer. need to find a good partner.
wrote a check for 30 bucks
and wamu cashed it for 50. called them up and they took care of it. i've
been with wamu for 10+ years (started as american savings actually) and
haven't ever had this happen. no complaints though, too bad they're not
too bad about nolan getting
the boot from the niners. singletary is a good replacement, but i would
have liked to see nolan and one of their qbs get more than a year to gel
with an offensive coordinator. not a well run franchise right now.
the debate last night was
a little more interesting, but still essentially just a couple of glorified
stump speeches. the moderator was, as always, basically as useful as a
stack of index cards. we need at least one more person in there to mix
things up. ralph nader, ross perot, whomever. they talked a lot about joe
the plumber which led to today being his 15 minutes of fame. seen a few
things that reduce plumbers to toilet-clog-cleaning, ass-crack-showing
fat guys. ha ha. funny to a point, i guess. i had this view of plumbers
until i was about 10 when i first saw this old house and discovered how
much expertise goes into bringing water into a home and then taking waste
out. it's an incredibly difficult and time intensive process. i think it's
the hardest and most difficult work in the residential trades. electrical
work is straight forward. framing is relatively easy. most roof work is
easy enough. foundations are hard work, but not rocket science. painting
is easy to do, but painting well takes experience and skill. but the difficulty
involved in properly sizing supply, drain, waste, and venting for a proper
plumbing system is rather difficult. the codes involved with plumbing are
as extensive as any other trade; probably more so. cutting cast iron pipe,
finding proper avenues for drain and waste piping without destroying the
framing, etc. are difficult and require more intellect than the average
person would anticipate. plumbers also deal with natural gas which, next
to electricity, is probably the most dangerous thing in the house. hvac
is also difficult and involves a lot of planning. so hopefully anyone reading
this has a little more respect for the guy who makes it possible for you
to have water without having to walk down to the river and allows you to
take a shit in the warmth of your house, rather than trudging out to the
stinky outhouse in the middle of a rain storm.
looked at the polls and
ran some electoral college numbers today. i generally assumed that mccain
would win a couple swing states by stealing votes with vote counting machines,
intimidation, etc. i also looked at historical data. for example, north
carolina hasn't gone to a democrat in the last 30+ years yet is considered
a toss up at this point. missouri has voted the same way as ohio, tennessee,
and kentucky in the last ten elections. tenn and kentucky are red, but
ohio and missouri are considered toss ups. so, in these instances i gave
the toss up to mccain because of historic precedence. with these assumptions
and some gut feelings i came up with another close election day with mccain
winning with as few as 270 (the minimum required) and as many as 286, depending
upon the breaks. i also ran some numbers assuming a clean election, no
and success of the obama mantra of change. best case scenario there had
obama winning 340-198. so, i think obama has a bigger upside potential
and more room for error, but when push comes to shove i think we're probably
in for another tight one with mccain potentially winning the electoral
vote (though likely losing the popular vote). to this point i've felt that
obama would win because of the national polling data and his momentum and
campaign strategies. this is the first time i've looked at things state
by state. the worst case scenario is mccain winning with just 270. the
best case scenario is obama winning with a wide margin like 340. could
be interesting if the exit polls have obama winning, but the actual numbers
start coming in with mccain on top. fun times.
worked on the deck project
friday night and all day saturday and sunday. also today and will do a
couple hours more tomorrow. thought i was going to get some help from the
homeowner, but that hasn't happened yet so things are going slow.
here's one for you: wednesday
is the street cleaning day so i moved the bug off the street on tuesday
night. during my lunch break on wed. i come home and move the bug back
onto the street about 3 minutes before the no parking due to street cleaning
window expires. the street had clearly been cleaned though so i didn't
think i would get a ticket or anything. come back out of the house about
15 minutes later and the bug is right where i left it and all is fine.
come home after work, a bit before 6pm and don't see the bug where i left
it. it's up the street and parked with the right rear tire on the curb.
first the obvious: no meryl didn't move it, no it didn't roll down hill
- it was parked down the hill, and it was locked, the club was on, the
kill switch off. so, no one could have moved it using conventional means
and no one could have gotten into it and started it up. not only was the
door locked, but you actually need the key to lock the door - if you lock
it and then close it, it will become unlocked. so, the only reasonable
explanation is that someone towed it or dragged it up the hill. considering
it was in gear i think that dragging it would have done it harm, but it's
impossible to tell. the only mark on the car was some chips of paint on
the license plate cover, which makes me think someone tried to push it
up the hill, but those paint chips could have happened some other time
without my noticing. police confirmed that the city didn't tow it. asked
two neighbors about it and they didn't have any information. one of them
is a guy who hangs outside a lot so i thought he may have some info. the
other guy was the person i suspected was behind it. he lives in the house
where the bug has been parked for the last month. when i asked him he said
he didn't see anything, but he was less than convincing.
49ers found a way to blow
the game the other day.
i don't remember the last
time i saw usc shutout an opponent, but i have a crappy memory because
it's happened several times under pete carroll and i've seen about 80%
of the games during the carroll era.
don't love nike as a company,
but they make good, comfortable shoes and amazing commercials. here's yet
another of their classics, to the ecstasy of gold tune from the good the
bad and the ugly: here.
directed by david fincher. brilliant. top three movie score of all-time.
good to see three top 10
teams bite the dust this week. usc has an outside shot so long as they
run the table and get a few breaks. pac-10 sucking doesn't help them though.
hate to harp on a theme,
but i hate the SEC. people always talk about how tough it is to get out
of the sec alive. true, but the SEC also has almost a clear path to the
championship for two reasons: their perceived strength of schedule and
the conference championship. so while it's difficult for a single team
to get out alive (just as it is difficult for you or me to win the lottery),
it's nearly guaranteed that some sec team will be in the championship (just
as the chances that someone will win the lottery is near 100%).
big 12 has a similar situation.
texas looked good against
oklahoma. hopefully oklahoma will disappear now, they suck and i hate them.
i hate texas even more, but at least they don't suck.
got around to watching
the snl tina fey does sarah palin skit. pretty damn funny and spot on all
around - from biden wanting to not come off as a dick to gwen ifill feeling
like she couldn't do any actual moderating because of the allegations that
disassembled tom's deck
over the last couple days.
well, sure enough, sarah
palin held her own and thus won the debate. david brooks, the asshole that
he is, essentially said the same thing. i still haven't heard anyone make
the observation that this is what happened 4 and 8 years ago with bush
when everyone expected him to implode. if you look at the text of what
she said, you won't be impressed, but in watching the debate in realtime
you get the impression that she was holding her own. a lot of the time
when she was talking she wasn't really saying anything, but she still seemed
to be saying something pleasant enough. she really stuck to the politician's
adage that you don't answer the question that's asked, you answer the question
that you wish was asked. she basically gave canned answers through most
of the "debate," but i don't know that most people will notice. no one,
not ifill, not biden, held her feet to the flames. and, most importantly,
she wasn't being the idiot that we saw talking with katie couric.
the right did a good job
of framing the debate: will biden be too rough on her? how much will she
screw up? biden pulled his punches and she held her own (is it that surprising
that a person who won governor was able to give canned responses? and answer
basic questions?). so, yeah, she didn't do much, but she still won.
it doesn't seem as though
the left has learned how to deal with the folksy appeal of people like
bush and palin yet. on snl they make fun of these figures as dolts and
morons. sure, they are simpletons and not real heady individuals, but so
is most of the world. most people aren't really intellectual the way that
jfk was. by making fun of these simple figures the left does a disservice
to its goal of knocking them down. there's an inherent lack of respect
that comes from the kind of coverage on the daily show or the mockery from
snl, and it's funny, but it doesn't win any converts and it lowers the
bar which is actually good for the subjects of ridicule (palin in this
case). my grandmother always reminds me of what eleanor roosevelt said
about democrats needing to run like they're scared. in the last couple
elections the dems have run like they know they're better and will be rewarded
accordingly. that hasn't worked out too well so far.
i wonder how true liberals
felt when biden kowtowed to the anti-gay fears of the majority. seeing
him admit he and obama were against gay marriage was pretty funny considering
how adamantly liberals support them. or how about him pointing out that
the tax rate of the rich under obama/biden would be the same as it was
under reagan. they didn't get to capital punishment which is another area
where obama differs from most real leftists. obama/biden also support "clean
coal" and nuclear power which isn't in line with most environmentalists.
looking forward to the
new episode of the office tomorrow. also looking forward to the vice presidential
debate. i do caution people against thinking too little of palin. we've
fallen for that trick before with bush. low expectations are easy to exceed
and thus it becomes easy to "win" the debate. controlling expectations
is very important from a political perspective and the palin people have
lowered the bar quite a bit for her. that's actually bad news for democrats.
i've yet to hear anyone take this point of view which makes it even more
frightening because it means we could very well be talking about the surprisingly
agile and intelligent palin by this time tomorrow.
got a pre-paid cell phone
on monday. i'm a sellout. it'll be convenient at times and there's no commitment,
though, so it's not such a bad deal in the end.
i'm 8 classes away
from a carpentry degree at laney. at my current rate i'd be done in about
16 months. there are about 10-12 classes i'd like to take, but on a part-time
basis that would take forever. i would be nice to learn cabinet making
and welding and those extra things as well, though.