9-30-07 (10:36)
  • didn't watch the niner game today, but the outcome was expected. their offense really isn't working the way we had hoped. losing norv turner was bad for the niners and bad for the chargers (who hired him). both teams suck as a result.
  • cal pulled out a squeaker against oregon. honestly, oregon looked like the better and faster team, but they made a few more critical mistakes and sometimes that's all it takes with teams that are evenly matched. fun one either way, especially since i didn't care who won.
  • long day of movies today.

  • 9-30-07 (14:06)

  • i am a fugitive from a chain gang is a great film.
  • usc looked pretty bad yesterday. i'd rank the top five as: lsu, usc, osu, cal, oregon. injuries to the #1 linebacker, two cornerbacks, and two of their five offensive linemen (among other smaller injuries) really hurt them yesterday. plus, they're never that great on the road. the usual things worry me: their secondary and their receivers. more than anything though, they need to be healthy. that's true for all teams that hope to compete for a national championship on any level. losing that many players just kills your chances. add the injuries to the fact that they were on the road and seemed to all be out of it mentally, and you have a close close game. i felt bad about the game pretty much right off the bat, i'm just happy they eeked out the win; mostly thanks to their defnese.

  • 9-30-07 (09:45)

  • study came out recently that showed la as the worst place for traffic with the sf/oakland area in second place. i was surprised that sf/oakland was so high on the list because it has bart which people seem to tout highly. for california it's pretty good, but nationally and globally it's really nothing to write home about. the study found, and i'm not sure how these calculations were done, that people in la wasted an extra 72 hours in traffic per year, compared to 60/year for sf/oakland. this study piqued my interest in each city's public transit systems. the bay area has the well known bart system and la has the newer and less well known metro system.
  • bart (founded in 1972) has 104 miles of track, 43 stations, and a daily ridership of about 323k people. 7.2 million people are in the bay area. la metro (founded in 1990) has 73 miles of track, 62 stations, and a daily ridership of about 277k people. 12.9 million people are in the la area (though the metro doesn't come close to reaching all of them because la is so spread out).
  • bart uses wider tracks which means more costly expansion. meanwhile, the metro uses a standard gauge track which makes expansion and renovation/maintenance much less expensive, and this translates to lower fares for riders: the metro costs $1.25 per ride and the bart uses a variable fare system that ranges from a minimum of $1.40 to $7.65. unlike most public transit systems in the country, bart does not have a unlimited ride card available, the metro, however, does.
  • there are two expansion projects for the metro in la that are currently underway. given the two current projects expanding the line into santa monica and further into east la as well as the aforementioned limitations of bart's expanding, i think that the la metro should get more ridership than bart within the next ten years; and could double by the time it reaches bart's current age of 35 (la's metro is only 17 years old). i've written to ted lieu (representative for torrance/west la) in the past to praise his support of the expansion of the light rail system. hopefully those in power follow his lead and continue to support the expansion of the light rail/subway system.

  • 9-28-07 (11:28)

  • bought two pairs of shorts for a total of $8 the other day. one pair was just $1 because the lady behind the counter made me wait about 20 seconds while she put away some stuff she was working on. they were originally $5 and she said she gave me a discount because i had to wait. bad for sears, good for me.
  • i'd like to point out that despite my support of reggie bush, he averages less yards per carry than his former usc teammate lendale white, who i liked more and thought was a steal in the second round of the draft.

  • 9-27-07 (20:10)

  • there's a new study out that links alcohol consumption to breast cancer. not binge drinking or getting drunk, just the occasional glass of wine. you know - the kind that they once recommended for a healthy heart. this is the kind of bullshit i've come to hate about the scientific community. i already had a rant about this though a couple weeks ago so i won't repeat it.
  • today was fairly productive. had a half day at the alumni house but didn't have any work for the tile guy. was able to run some errands and cross some things off my list. also got a check in the mail from the bureau of unclaimed property. a day after my rant about that and over a year after starting the paperwork process, the headache is over. yay.
  • a lot of people are jumping off the reggie bush bandwagon lately. there are a couple things to understand when rating his value for a team. the nfl is a two back league these days. the two teams to make the superbowl had two running backs that they relied upon. a thunder and lightning system and having fresh legs late in the game is what it takes against nfl defenses these days; especially in the playoffs after the wear and tear of an entire season. sure, tomlinson and a couple others will always have their value, but i think that teams that adopt a two back system are going to be better off. bush is part of a two back system and doesn't get very many games with more than 15 carries. last year he had a total of 155 rushes (89 fewer than mcallister) in 16 games, but he's more than just a running back. he also had 88 receptions (a team best) for 742 yards/2 tds, and 216 yards/1 td as a punt returner. his 9 touchdowns for the season was one shy of the team lead held by mcallister.

  • 9-26-07 (23:30)

  • tried dealing with government bureaucracy while at work today. called the city of oakland about getting my ticket reversed. also called the bureau of unclaimed property about getting my disney stock back. when i was about 12 my dad's mom gave sarah and me some disney stock. over the years that stock split to the point where we now have 24 shares each. because of some lame (and now illegal) program that idle property was taken by the state. for the last year i've been trying to get the stock back in my name. first my dad had to fill out paperwork and get his signature notarized. then we waited a few months. then we heard back from them and they said that since i was over 18 i had to do the whole thing over again. i did that and called back a couple times, but the woman who was working on my case was out of work because she was sick for a few months.
  • these are some of the reasons why people don't trust the government and become republican. i was wrongly ticketed and getting justice requires a lengthy process. in the meantime i'm subject to more tickets, especially since there's essentially no free parking in the entire bay area. rather than rolling the dice by leaving my car on the street, i took it to the garage at meryl's work. it also means that i have to take the camry to work because if i leave it unmoved for more than two hours i may get another ticket for having an expired permit. our permits, by the way, are free and when i talked with a representative about renewing my permit a few months ago he said that they'd be sending out renewal notices, but that they had a large queue so he wasn't sure how long it was going to take. rest assured, he said, tickets wouldn't be given out until after the permits were renewed.
  • then with the case of my disney stock - the government stole my property and has kept it for years and instituted a lengthy and costly program for retrieving it. npr featured a story on this that actually made me feel lucky. they told the stories of california residents who had their safety deposit boxes ransacked by the government and their belongings sold online. this happened without notification (in spite of the people being easy to reach i.e., having the same address/phone # for many years) and often when the property had been idle for even a very short period of time. this is ridiculous and criminal, but the fascists march on.
  • speaking of fascists, some of our citizens are being taken to guantanamo and held without trial for indefinite periods of time. this is so much like nazi germany and yet no one really cares. i mean, we care and we're aware of it and pissed off enough to vote for the other guy (kerry), but not angry enough to wage any meaningful protests or rebel in any effective way. we're as complicit as those in 1930s germany, the numbers are just different, at least for now.
  • dell is the first computer company to be carbon free or have zero emissions or something like that. i find this practice to be disingenuous, somewhat promising, and yet underwhelming. when companies say they're carbon neutral or that they have no carbon footprint or however they choose to word it, all it usually means is that they've purchased "carbon offsets." all that usually means is that they paid someone to plant trees in their name. those trees, presumably far away from the factories that do the actual polluting, supposedly suck up enough carbon to offset the carbon that those companies spew into the air. the calculations of this aside (e.g., do they count all the paper they use and the carbon required to make/ship that paper?), i think it's probably a bogus practice. if i were a logger in canada or the northwest or wherever, i would be faced with local laws that require me to plant one seedling for each tree that i chop down. many states/provinces have these sorts of laws on the books. if i knew that i were going to have to plant 1,000,000 seedlings at my own cost, i would love an opportunity to pass on the cost of that to someone else. enter: dell. dell feels bad about itself for whatever reason, or maybe just wants to feel better about itself, or maybe just wants some indie cred or a boost in its profile. so dell says that they'll pay me to do what i was going to do already and it's a win-win. i don't have to pay for what i was legally required to do, dell gets to pay their way to a sin free existence (sounds like catholic "indulgences" all over again) and consumers feel better about the world and dell. all the while no new trees were actually planted. all this is based upon speculation, mind you, but it's perfectly plausible and if it wasn't happening on some level then i'd be shocked.
  • went to sears today to get a replacement for a broken 1/4" drive ratchet. they exchanged it without fuss in under one minute. craftsman tools are great.
  • bonds's last home game was tonight. i saw him make a couple of bad plays in left field and also saw his last at bat which ended in a long pop fly that looked like a homer for a second. i feel bad for the guy on a human level. he's persona non grata pretty much everywhere now. he's going to have a depressing next 20 years, even more so than pete rose who people generally think should be in the hall. it's been amazing to see how quickly the fickle giants fans have turned on him this last week. they like the memories he gave them, but generally have a "good riddance" attitude towards him. i've gleaned this in talking with them, listening to them on sports radio and reading the sf chronicle, so this isn't coming from nowhere. this is more or less what happened to jerry rice towards the end of his career and, as a niner fan, i never liked that. i had many conversations about this, in fact. in this case i don't care too much since i don't like the giants and i don't like barry bonds, but i think it's lame of the fans to discard him after all he's done for the franchise. i generally think that if a player as closely associated with a franchise as rice and bonds were with their respective teams wants to continue to contribute, that team should allow the player to do so with reasonable compensation. rice went on to a few more productive years and another superbowl appearance. bonds will go to the al (home of dried up sluggers) and get another 20+ HR to make it that much harder for a-rod or pujols or whoever gets the record next. one of the worst things about sports is how quickly a team turns on a player when he is no longer useful. i hate it, and green bay's refusal to do it with brett favre is one more reason i love that team.

  • 9-25-07 (17:32)

  • learning a little bit at a time about tiling and whatnot. currently looking into carpentry/construction management programs at the local college. need to find out if my $1500 americorps education credit is for real or not. if it is, i need to find out how to get it and if it extends to learning materials or only tuition.
  • got another couple tickets this week. one was mailed to my mom, which means they got the license # and just sent the ticket instead of putting it on my windshield. the other was for an expired permit which is funny because just about everyone on the block has an expired permit. 1) we don't pay for our permits and 2) when i went to the office the guy said they were backed up and would send out renewal notices when they could. i'm going to contest that one.
  • definitely could use a weekday off.

  • 9-24-07 (22:36)

  • schedule got turned around a bit. working for tile guy tomorrow, alumni house wed. and thur. friday is up in the air.
  • worked on the corrado today. got the trunk working reliably. not sure if it has some remote capability, but there's some bar attached to the trunk latch that is connected to a little hydraulic pump. it's an odd car. hopefully i'll get that thing working well enough to sell by the end of the year.
  • was pretty productive today, but there's still so much to be done. always.
  • planning on making a trip to la next month probably.
  • new ipod came out recently. 160gb=enough space to fit all my music; assuming i re-encode everything to 128/kbps.

  • 9-21-07 (09:59)

  • working two jobs makes the week drag.
  • haven't been doing anything productive outside of work lately.
  • tgif.

  • 9-17-07 (22:17)

  • yesterday we spent a few hours at the hospital. meryl's digestive system went on strike and caused great discomfort. it had been getting steadily worse for a while so we figured it would be smart to rule out anything serious. turns out that she just needs some rest and fluids. she's feeling better now, but still not great.
  • at work today i worked on a solution for a broken axle on our golf cart. getting a mobile tig welder is more difficult than anticipated. tomorrow i'm going to rent a truck and trailer and take the job to the welder. also worked on installing a portable 16,000 btu a/c unit. looks like it needs a 20 amp outlet, though, so that's going to be outsourced.
  • 49er game was pretty fun. they were outgained about 2:1, but still ended up winning. those are the games they were losing last year and the year before that. naturally, the raiders found a creative way to lose to the broncos once again. they suck so bad.
  • biked to work today for the first time. it's a bit longer than i'd like, but i think i'll do it from time to time. coming back home is a fun ride because telegraph has a gradual incline the entire way.
  • into the wild comes out on friday. i'm going to try to read it before we see it. need to get back into the movie groove again. had a slow week.
  • later this week i'll have some work with the tile contractor. incidentally, my boss at the alumni house is named donna and the tile contractor is named don. it's odd that i found two jobs in the same week and both of them have "don" in the root.

  • 9-17-07 (17:55)

  • the great tony reali was born exactly one year before i was - july 4, 1978.

  • 9-14-07 (15:53)

  • found a way to download and save youtube videos, so i've been having fun with that. i like having the stuff for myself in case it's taken off the site (as happened with the teaser trailer for the hills have eyes 2, though it gets reposted from time to time) or the internet isn't working. i'm an archivist at heart.
  • the sopranos final 9 episodes trailer is one of the best trailers i've seen, but it wouldn't appear so unless you had seen the show. it's odd in that sense because it's amazingly effective at preaching to the choir, but doesn't do all that much for people who are interested in getting into the show. of course that makes sense since jumping into the show after six seasons isn't likely to happen.
  • finished painting the bathroom at my aunt's place. one room to go. so far i've done: two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, entry/hall way, and three bathrooms.
  • in seeing the game last week and having not seen any usc games this year, i would personally vote lsu as #1 ahead of usc. this is based primarily upon their performance against #9 va tech and the fact that i think john david booty (qb for usc) is overrated. don't get me wrong, they're still my favorite team and i love their chances, but right now they should be #2. if they beat nebraska at home tomorrow, especially if it's a convincing win, then i think they should go back to #1.
  • new amon tobin is solid.
  • one thing that has definitely gotten better over the years, in terms of film production, is the quality of the trailer. if you watch older previews they were pretty much trash. there wer longer takes and there was little attempt to mask what the film was about. all the artistry went into the making of the picture and the trailers looked like they were made by amateurs. film posters, though, were far superior prior to the 80s.
  • last night we worked on a video for meryl's video 1 class. this is the second one she's done so far. i like helping with ideas, but i don't like actually having to execute them.
  • some good (old) movie posters:

    some good nintendo-related t-shirts:
    9-10-07 (22:51)
  • 49er game was a fun one; ugly, but fun. at the end of the game the play by play guy said that alex smith (b. 1985) was the youngest starter in the league which isn't even close to being true. he's not even the youngest starter on the team. patrick willis starts at lb and was born in 1985. he may be the youngest starting qb in the league, but that'll probably change next week when quinn starts for the browns.
  • my fantasy baseball team backed into the playoffs by losing at least the last three weeks. but i made some changes and pulled out a 6-5 victory over the 3rd seed. his team was one run away from tying and he owned the tie breaker (era) by a small margin so he would have won. of course that goes the other way too. if i had one more run i would have won 7-5. this week i face my arch nemesis (marc) who had a bye week last week and comes in as the #2 seed.

  • 9-9-07 (23:29)

  • went to the solano stroll today. it's a big fair, parade, festival type thing that they've held around berkeley/albany for the last 30+ years. it was a fun way to spend a few hours. got to see (the great) barbara lee as well as a couple state representatives.
  • yesterday we took my cousin emily to her soccer game. she was shy about being on a new team at first, but she got settled in quickly enough. then we came back home and had pizza and played video games until her parents came home. a good time was had by all.
  • working monday through wednesday this week. hopefully i'll get some work on thursday and friday. if not, i'll paint one of my aunt's rooms. just two to go.

  • 9-7-07 (23:54)

  • had lunch with johnny and vern on campus today.
  • going to do some babysitting tomorrow for my aunt.
  • power's been weird tonight. had a few quick off/on cycles that affected the lights and microwave clock, but didn't shut down the computer.
  • as has become the standard, i find that a lot of right wingers have taken to the "hypocrisy" excuse on the craig issue. i've heard a few reports of republican congressmen saying that others in congress have been busted for equal crimes and haven't been vilified in the media. i don't remember what specific instances they referenced, but i think the big issue is their own hypocrisy when it comes to so-called morality issues.
  • thompson has joined the race after a long time of deciding whether or not he was going to run. during this time he didn't need to report fund-raising, so that was a pretty sly move. plus, he continued to stay in the polls and horse race (er, news) coverage. he's the truest conservative of the bunch so it should be interesting to see what happens. it definitely hurts mccain's chances now since thompson is more likely to get the base than mccain. so now i guess it's a race between the left and right wings of the right wing party.
  • finished the last episodes of the uk version of the office. good show, but not as good as the us version. the writing is solid and occasionally better, though they have the advantage of being able to show dildos and use bad words), but the characters aren't quite as well-rounded. the us version has better actors for the most part. jim and pam (us) are better than tim and dawn (uk), the bosses in the two are about equal, and the tertiary characters are better in the us version. both are funny and more interesting than, say, everybody loves raymond or whatever else has been popular in the last five years.
  • watched the first season of twin peaks this last week. not worthy of the hype, but it was an influential show in some ways and was definitely unique in many ways. that said, it reminded me a lot of some of the daytime soap operas, especially those that get into weird magic crap like passions.
  • i think that people who look at stock prices every hour are part of the problem.
  • there was some peta lady on the bill maher show the other day talking about "the real problem behind global warming." it's funny how much the focus has shifted over time. cafe standards, suvs, china, energy, foreign oil, and now eating local food. it's definitely a concern and may be the biggest of those listed. of course she also added that meat uses more energy to produce than vegetables, which is also true. what's most funny about these debates, though, is the reluctance and blindness of people to face the biggest problem - humans won't stop fucking. i guess nature will balance things out for us in one way or another eventually.
  • it's a bit annoying that the media reports basically any study that academia produces. the latest idea surrounding the honeybee not being able to find its way home is that a virus is causing the problem. some think that genetic tinkering will solve this. of course, earlier this year they thought that the problem was neonicotinoids in the environment. how can one have confidence in the media or in science when bullshit studies are pumped out several times a year. some saying that smoking pot reduces the risk of lung cancer, some saying that honeybees are lost because of chemicals, some saying that nutrisweet causes cancer, others saying that masturbation decreases the chances of prostate cancer. yes, those are all true studies that i've read/heard about in the last couple years. of course, beyond scientists who want glory and a media system that doesn't discriminate at all, there's the problem of stupid people who take things to heart without confirmation or in-depth study. all this is part of the reason that some people are wary of the idea of global warming. they hear that scientists had earlier thought the globe was cooling and that now scientists think it's warming and they're fed up with all the bullshit so they just don't believe any of it. of course, most of those people are probably just stupid, old, selfish and rich so they can't be bothered with worrying about their impact on the world.
  • somewhat geeky debate about apple being the new microsoft. good stuff. commentary and response. i think that apple is good at packaging and making things clean and user-friendly. i also think they sell their brand very well and their market (rich white kids) has enough money to pay a premium for stuff that's essentially been available in japan for 5 years. i don't think they're amazingly innovative, but they've sold that image fairly well. the control for the ipod, for example, is the same thing as the dial on my sony cd player, only flat. the iphone was billed as a leapfrog technology, but it seems like a simple extension of all the other blackberry type shit that's out there. on a related note, i heard that apple is working a penis enlarger that's supposed to revolutionize the market; it's called the "isuck." okay, that was cheap and easy.

  • 9-6-07 (17:29)

  • i've gotten more tickets in a few months in the bay area than in my entire life. not kidding. had to go to a long lunch and to the alumni house's storage area so i wasn't around to feed the meter. biggest reason i drove today was that i had my car in the shop and i just drove to work after picking it up. the check engine light came on and two days and $494 and a $30 ticket later everything's back to normal.
  • feels like the old college days when i couldn't ever feel comfortable monetarily. i need to angle for more hours at work or get the tile contractor to keep me busy on thursdays and fridays. thanks to the car trouble i'm back in debt again. that's always a wonderful feeling. hopefully i'll have enough to pay it off in full by the time the statement comes.
  • also have to pay for registration on the corrado and insurance on both the cars. i got the trunk key cut for the corrado a couple weeks ago and checked that off of the list of things to do before i sold it, but now the key isn't working anymore. treading water is fun.

  • 9-4-07 (00:00)

  • mom came up for the weekend so we had dinner at my aunt's this weekend.
  • johnny came back from the glacier yesterday as well.
  • went over to ryan and vern's the other day and we hung out.

  • need to go to the theater more often.