10-20-09 (20:54)
  • some homeless dude came up to me and ryan while we were eating lunch today. he told us a few offensive, race/religion-based jokes and then asked for change. it was a good laugh so i gave him whatever change i had. i have actual respect for a guy like that who is out working for a living. should have given him more.
  • leaving for la tomorrow.
  • got some more electrical done today. another day i'll finish up the lights and hopefully finish the last few outlets as well.

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    10-19-09 (23:23)

  • johnny's wedding was a good one. meryl remembered that i had been to her grandpa's wedding so that means johnny's was the third in my life (that i remember).
  • need to find a way to be rich.

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    10-15-09 (23:15)

  • notre dame this weekend. that's a trap game if you ask me, usc has to contain the passing game and they'll be okay.
  • johnny gets married this weekend. second wedding in my life, pretty sure. went to my parents' second wedding and that's it. went to jonique's reception, but i don't classify that as a wedding per se.
  • starting to get roof estimates. first one was higher than thought, not thrilling news. ultimately, though, it's just money.
  • not sick anymore. got sick, got well, got sick again all within a month. first time i ever recall that happening. first time i was sick this year and it happened back to back.
  • updated house pics finally.
  • working on the art room. repairing the ceiling is going to take a bit of work, but that should be the hardest thing. all new electrical for the room will take 2 full days. paint. building wall shelving system. could get it done in a week if we really tried and had the week off.

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    10-13-09 (16:57)

  • raining like crazy most of the day. supposed to end by the end of tomorrow. roof is leaking worse than last time. yay. have a couple roofers coming out in the next week to redo the roof. that was something that was waiting for completion of the decks because i thought an inspector would be by to look at the roof, but apparently it's a mail in permit so we may be able to fast track that project.
  • got started on meryl's art room the other day. scraped the popcorn off the ceiling (no asbestos, thankfully) and started putting in recessed lights. will also put in a ceiling fan. need to patch/repair ceiling which is badly cracked first, though.
  • johnny's wedding on saturday, hopefully it's not too wet there.
  • the obama nobel peace prize thing is kind of a shock to me as it seems it is to many others. on the one hand you could make the argument that they gave it to him for what he hopes to do in the future and as sort of a motivator for him to, for example, not increase troop levels in afghanistan and to really be a peaceful force in the world. on the other hand, they explicitly said that they gave it to him because of his accomplishments so far, not for anything in the future. it's just a strange choice. it's not as bad as gorbechev or kissinger, but i don't think that adding 13k troops to afghanistan is something a nobel peace prize winner should really do. he's overseeing the most powerful and dominating military force in the history of the world, a force that is engaged in two wars, so...peace prize? i'm thinking that's not so apt. okay effort with mixed results so far? that's more like it.
  • decided i'm not going anywhere for the holidays. need to make progress on too many things at the house.

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    10-08-09 (18:18)

  • working 5 days a week is different, but not altogether bad once you get used to it. definitely could use the time off to meet with roofers and pick up the custom trim we had milled to match the original stuff for the kitchen and the rest of the house that needs it. in a couple weeks when i get my paycheck, though, i'll be happy about it. it'll be nice to do for a while. i get a lot done at work and it's nice to take a broken system and make changes towards a more reasonable one.
  • no progress on the house lately.
  • today npr had the winner of a contest put on by the health department. the contest was to make a psa for swine flu vaccinations or awareness. i think that the government and public schools should reach out to the public and their student body a lot more than they do. you have a wealth of creativity and talent in the country and it's going untapped in favor of paying "experts" to do what "normal" people could do quite easily. for example, uc davis paid some damn firm to redesign their logo about 10 years ago. why not give the students a chance and give them a free year's education instead? would have cost less, would have gotten the student body involved, would have gotten more total ideas on the table. everyone wins. the cal alumni association did the same damn thing this year - paid another firm to redesign their stupid logo instead of giving out a scholarship to design/art students at cal. this dude thinks that cal is best public school in the world, yet the alumni association doesn't think they can design a crappy logo (i've seen the new one, it's nothing stellar)? it's just crazy.
  • there was another bit on npr today that caught my ear. this one was about healthcare and a study one group did that showed, essentially, that the greater care rate per capita that was given in a given town the more likely they were to not benefit from that care. that is, that the towns with a lower rate of a given procedure had better outcomes. it was a really good piece and it broke down all the incentives that a pay for service system creates. doctors are more likely to recommend procedures, especially more complex/expensive ones and that that leads to people getting too much care (really, just not properly proportioned care). other studies confirmed this and found that as much as 1/3 of all healthcare spending ($660 bil)  is really overspending and, what's worse, is that that overspending is actually making us more sick or in more pain.
  • npr really is critical to who i am. npr is probably the best teacher i've ever had.

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    10-04-09 (14:28)

  • well i definitely was wrong about the cal/usc game. usc didn't play amazingly well on offense, but their special teams finally made some good plays, including one touchdown, and their defense continued its excellent play. the first drive of the game saw cal coming down the field and looking to get a td, but mays came up big with the interception in the end zone. that was a huge play. riley also had a bad game, but some of that was caused by pressure from the d-line. still plenty of work to be done for usc's offense.
  • "Even the speedy Best couldn’t get going against the Trojans. On one play in the first half, he was chased down by Mays for no gain on a third-and-2 run." that's the last line from the ap article on the game. if you didn't see the play then it would be an odd ending to the article, but that play encapsulated the game. jahvid best is one of the fastest people in california - he ran a 10.3 100m in high school. but on that play he ran towards the sideline and mays ran with him every step. that play was between the two fastest guys in the stadium and mays came out on top. i think that usc's team speed is really what hurt cal's offense. i suspect that's the same that happened against oregon.
  • boise state dropped a spot because uc davis put up a fairly good showing against the broncos. go aggies.
  • niners are looking good again. playoffs are in our future this year.

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    10-02-09 (18:51)

  • didn't get all that much done on the house in september. october is shaping up to be just as bad. did work for other people, work got busy, there was the after party lull and college football started. recipe for disaster.
  • i have decided that i'm not going to go anywhere for thanksgiving or xmas in an attempt to get a good amount of work done on the house.
  • chicago not getting the olympics bid wasn't too much of a surprise. personally i would have given it to madrid and chicago would have been second. tokyo got it about 40 years ago so they're out and the u.s. has more than its share so i didn't really think chicago was going to get it, though they would have done a great job. rio i still see as dangerous and i'm unsure about their transit system and engineering capabilities, but i've never been so i don't really know enough to judge.
  • big test for obama comes with his decision on afghanistan. i've been down on him basically since his second month in office, but this could really turn things around for him. if he stands up to the military industrial complex and the hubristic assholes who are talking in his ear about the taliban then he'll move into consideration for my vote in 2012, if he gives in and commits more troops he's doomed in my book. there came a defining point when jfk said no to more troops in vietnam, and, later, johnson said yes. though they are different situations in different regions, i find enough in common that afghanistan scares me. morally, too, i don't think we should be there. if we had a strong coalition from major european and regional players then it would be different. the u.s. is seemingly going it alone and obama has a chance to change america's foreign policy outlook. it's tough to guess what he'll do, but i don't foresee him pulling any troops out. it'll most likely either be a modest commitment of more troops (he might sell this as a shifting of troops from iraq to afghanistan, rather than redeploying troops from the states) or remaining with the status quo. of course, it doesn't matter what he really does because most on the left will continue to support him in spite of their anti-war stance. they love him like college kids love macs and he's better than the alternative.
  • going to be working 4-5 days a week for much of the next couple months i think. again, good for money, bad for housework.
  • we've started spreading our project list into the art room. meryl is all amped up and ready to go on getting that room ready for move in. hopefully it'll just take a couple weeks of solid work to get it prepped for her. reinstall window, all new electrical (lights and outlets), scrape popcorn ceiling (tested for asbestos and it's negative, yay), paint, build custom shelving unit, build legs for table tops, and make closet usable. really not that bad overall. concurrently i'd like to finish the decks and kitchen. after those three things it would be great to extend the fence and get some power to the garage. sometime soon i'll also look into getting a roofer out here.
  • big pac-10 matchup tomorrow. dad came up for the game. usc is favored by 5.5, but that's only because of cal's performance last week. had cal won that game, even by a point, i think they would be favored in this game. cal is a much different team at home and if i were a betting man i would definitely take cal with the points. they may not win, but it's a good bet that they'll be within 5 points either way. i don't see either team running away with it. usc is without their best all around running back and the qb situation is still touchy since barkley has missed a couple starts and isn't exactly a veteran with only 2 starts under his belt. defense will have to contain best. i see him getting about 90 yards and 1td since cal will probably look to get him back on track. usc's secondary is a shadow of what it was last year, but mays being back should help a bit there. if cal had hawkins and jackson they would eat usc's secondary up this year, luckily they don't.

  • usc's playcalling really needs to be better than what it has been so far this year. our offensive coordinator is yet another rookie for this team and he's called plays like it. that said, sarkisian took a while to get a decent feel for the playcalling so perhaps it's just an adjustment period. hopefully he finds some things that work tomorrow. on the road you have to figure that usc is going to give up at least 17-21 points to cal's potent offense so they need at least a few tds to win the game. of course in a tight game like this will be usc can't afford to turn the ball over. cal has a lot to prove after that oregon loss and dropping from 6 to 24 in the ap poll. i haven't heard any rumblings yet about tedford (who is the highest paid employee in the entire university of california system) and if he wins this game i doubt i will. but if cal loses then people might wake up to the fact that in this economy, with the cuts that uc has made across the board, with the recent protests to those cuts, in a public school system, and with poor performance...maybe it's time to dump tedford. the long and short of it is that usc has much less room for error on the road against this team than they have in the past and cal really needs to win this game. cal 21 usc 20.