9-28-08 (21:40)
  • did some work for tom's family today. will be rebuilding their deck in the coming weeks.
  • looks like i got third in my fantasy baseball league. not bad. best thing is that i whooped the guy who has won like 4 or 5 of the championships in the last several years that we've been doing this.
  • saw a bit of the postgame interview with favre and it seemed like he lost the game because he was so low key. turned out that he threw 6td passes and they absolutely killed the cardinals.
  • was watching the fresno state/ucla game yesterday and one of the announcers started talking about fresno state not being used to the smog in la and how that would be a factor in the fourth quarter. it's a good thing i don't get my smog information from sports announcers. according to my alamanac fresno has worse air quality than la. they had about 50% more days that didn't meet acceptable air-quality standards (set by the epa, office of air quality planning and standards). incidentally, bakersfield is about 33% worse than fresno and sacramento is about 10% better than la. all this data is from 2005 which is the last available year in my 2008 almanac.
  • dale sveum, manager of the milwaukee brewers, said about c.c. sabathia's shutout performance today: "probably saw, you know, one of the greatest performances that's ever come around. on three days rest, in our era, nobody's ever done that before." impressive performance? yes. complete game shutout (gave up one run, but it wasn't earned) on three days rest is impressive. however, "nobody's ever done that before" is not only incorrect, it's a fact that you don't need a long memory to be aware of. just yesterday johan santana kept the mets in the playoff hunt by pitching a complete game 3 hit shutout on three days rest with 9 strikeouts. sabathia had 7 strikeouts and gave up 4 hits. very comparable games, santana probably had a slightly better game with at least as much on the line.

  • 9-27-08 (15:23)

  • everything's more complicated than it should be. this damn tv fix has taken about 4 hours of my time so far and they haven't fixed it.
  • put the camry up on craigslist to see if i can get some cash for it. also hoping someone will want to do a swap for a truck. figure that i don't need the car that much anyway other than going to la, and i can just fly there if need be. also figuring that this is as good a time as any to shop for a truck, which i'll need eventually and could use already.
  • i think that florida losing today is a bigger upset than usc losing on thursday. florida lost at home and lost to a worse team (in my estimation). then again i've had respect for oregon state for a few years because i've seen what they've done to usc (twice) and cal and other good teams. definitely hoping for meltdowns from all the top 10 or 15 teams. wisconsin and florida losing today helps. not too worried about the big 12 teams. certain that one of the sec teams will make it to the championship. i think usc gets overrated because of their dominance and prestige, but i think that the sec is way overrated. pundits constantly talk about how tough the conference is and how it hurts those teams because they have to play a conference championship game. the only thing that it does is virtually guarantee that one of those sec teams is going to be in the championship game. that is, unless some bizarre, crappy team (tennessee) comes in and wins the championship. in all likelihood, though, it will be a matchup between two of the following: auburn, lsu, florida, alabama, or georgia. and whoever wins that game will have probably one loss (unless they have a great/lucky season), but will have such a good strength of schedule that they'll be first in line of the one-loss teams. this is what makes it so tough for usc to make it. the sec, because everyone thinks they're the best conference, is virtually guaranteed one team. then you have a few other teams like penn state or oklahoma or texas or even byu that have a good chance of being undefeated. at that point you have to justify picking a one loss team from the shitty pac-10 for the championship game. as it looks right now, usc will play only one ranked team this year. notre dame might be ranked by the time they meet. cal, oregon and asu have the potential to be ranked, but they have to pull their shit together. ucla started well, but probably won't be ranked again this year. so, the conference's weakness is bad news for usc.

  • 9-27-08 (09:15)

  • paul newman died yesterday. he was one of the best and one of my favorites. cool hand luke is a top five or top ten film (depending upon my mood) and his performance in it was his best. my dad would say that his performance in hustler was even better, but my dad's often wrong about such things. newman was a great man and a great actor.

  • this has been my desktop background at work and home for the past several months:

    9-25-08 (22:36)
  • bad day. usc lost so now their best hope is for complete chaos and to run the table from here on out. realistically, though, we're looking at a rose bowl berth and a matchup against wisconsin or penn state (more likely) as a best case scenario. would much rather see them play an sec team for the championship. fuck the sec. of course they could lose a couple more times and get stuck in the armed forces bowl.
  • lending situation with the house is back to square one. things are tighter than a snare drum these days and we have little income and are looking only at fixers. apparently no one wants to lend you money for a house that has mold or lack appliances or rickety stairs or the like. all the things that we have no problem with. a few hundred bucks solves most of those kinds of problems yet they consider them deal breakers. looks like the pendulum has swung in the other direction. here's to reactionary bullshit.
  • speaking of which, here's to spending $700 billion after planning for less than a week and passing legislation patriot act style. worked out fine the last time so lets go ahead and do it again. this country is in the dumps.
  • heard that that bald mad money guy (jim cramer) was telling people to sell 20% of their stocks and money market accounts. beautiful. i need to work on lowering my expectations of humanity.

  • 9-24-08 (17:50)

  • haven't seen a lot of movies this year, but i think i've done a good job with the movies i have seen - lots of academy award winning best pictures (only four that i haven't seen now), lots of older films (mainly noir), lots of movies in the theater.
  • tv situation will hopefully be straightened out this weekend.
  • house situation got more complicated the other day when our lame ass lender jumped ship because we were looking at a major fixer. duh, that's what i told you on day one, you dolt.
  • figured out that the bug not starting was an ignition switch issue. battery was low so i did a quick charge which brought it to about 13.4 volts. tried cranking and nothing happened. checked kill switch and circumvented it just in case the switch was bad, though i was pretty certain that wasn't the case. checked engine compartment and all looked fine. checked ignition switch and looked okay until i started wiggling the wires a bit. one came off. put key in hole, held wire to other wire and it started cranking and started up fine. so, in the end, i had to hotwire it to get it running, but it works fine. now i just need to replace the switch or solder the connector back in place.

  • 9-22-08 (17:11)

  • all the financial problems are pretty obnoxious because much of them can be solved fairly simply. two things: transparency and regulation. right now there is neither when it comes to the securitization of mortgages and the selling of insurance (though they don't call it insurance) for those securities. of course the media has made things worse by pumping up the sensational nature of the problem so now you have people (and corporations, like gm, for example) cashing out their money market accounts and stocks and everything else. that's basically the same as a bank run which is what happened in the 30s (and also in "it's a wonderful life" and we all know how bad that almost turned out).
  • for a long time i've felt that the over-analyzing of this crap is another key component to the up and down nature of the stock market. the same thing happened with oil when everyone was reporting on the price of oil several times a day - more people got into trading oil and the price went up. all these financial assholes in new york who microanalyze the price of stocks minute by minute are part of the problem. there should be a cooling off period right now since things are so uncertain. they did a bit of that by banning short selling on financial stocks, but that's not enough. short-term trading needs to be reigned in as well. why should you be able to buy a stock on day one and sell it on day four? what's the purpose of the stock market? it shouldn't be to get rich through buying and selling stock within a week. you should be stuck with your stock a little longer than that.
  • one dead pixel on my monitor. not thrilled by samsung products as i've had screens by them in the past (one was a tv) and both of them showed problems earlier than i felt was warranted.
  • raiders are good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. lost yesterday when they were up most of the game. they suck. when al davis dies raiders fans should breathe a sigh of relief.
  • average year of release for films i've seen this year: 1979.93. first time it's been under 1980 this late in the calendar year since 2000. for reference, last year the average was 1985.9 and 1993.13 in 2006.

  • 9-21-08 (18:41)

  • bug won't start. not a battery issue, looking into it.
  • niners looked pretty good today. knew that the defense was solid, but, now that martz is in charge, the offense looks good as well.
  • house we're looking at has a few more problems than originally thought. i think it comes down to two things with these fixers: getting it at the right price and being willing to live in a construction zone for a while.
  • the new honda pilot has a v6 engine that can run on 3 or 4 cylinders to save fuel. i've wanted a car like that for a while, but i could never figure out how feasible such a plan was. does it have two crankshafts or does it simply inject air/fuel into only 3 cylinders? engineering has come so far in the last 75 years.

  • 9-16-08 (21:05)

  • on september 19th the webpage will turn 10 years old. had planned on looking over updates and compiling a greatest hits, but i don't have anywhere near the time to read through hundreds of pages of updates to do that so that's not going to happen.
  • busy.
  • found a good house yesterday, thinking about making an offer. stocks took a dive yesterday which means that my down payment also took a dive.

  • 9-14-08 (17:41)

  • just got back from a whirlwind trip to la to see usc vs. osu. wasn't a very good game unless you're a usc fan. osu was in it for the first quarter and should have capitalized on some opportunities, but they had some problems with execution and usc's defense stepped up so the final was 35-3. can't remember seeing a 1 vs. 5 that was so lopsided. i'm sure it's happened, i just didn't see it/can't remember it.
  • got 31mpg during the trip and drove less than 800 miles; both are pretty good.
  • if i were to get a bumper sticker these would be two possibilities: "my personal philosophy is summarized on this bumper sticker" and "i disagree with the policies of the bush administration"

  • 9-10-08 (18:28)

  • looks like the display issue with the ps3 is a problem with the hdmi port on the tv. the repair will be free, though, because i bought the extended warranty. not sure how much the repair would have cost, so i can't say whether the warranty will have been worth it; we'll see. it would actually be sorta nice if they couldn't fix it and just gave me a credit towards a new, better tv.
  • condiments are good. everyone has their favorite and every condiment has something it's best at. a1 for steak, ketchup for fries, mayo and mustard for tuna and sandwiches respectively. i think mayo can be added to just about anything to make the dish taste better - sandwiches (including burgers), tuna, steak, even fries (pulp fiction points this out). ketchup is also versatile and definitely my most used condiment (this probably holds true for the country as well). i use mustard selectively, though i appreciate the different flavors of mustard that are available - strong mustards, regular mustard, dijon, brown, etc. sometimes i'll mix it with ketchup for my fries, sometimes i just use it on sandwiches and burgers. i don't find it to be very good on a lot of different things, but it definitely has its uses. bbq sauce is good on sandwiches, steak, chicken, fries and more, but i don't use it very often. it's like ketchup's lesser cousin to me. i like them both, but i wouldn't use both, so i usually favor ketchup over bbq sauce; sorry bbq sauce, i still love you. mayo is the worst of the condiments i tend to use from a health perspective. i like that it goes with so many things, but i've shied away from it in recent years because i try to watch what i eat. i'll still use it on artichoke and tuna and the occasional sandwich that i eat. i'd probably be about 10-15 pounds lighter if i never used a condiment in my life.
  • gave bone marrow today.
  • the bug's battery is dead. it was street cleaning day which meant we had to push the bug into a neighbor's driveway and then i pushed it back onto the street after noon. for some reason it's not jumping so i'll have to figure that out. there's always something going wrong and that's both fortunate and unfortunate. fortunate because my job is fixing things, but unfortunate because it feels like you're never done fixing things. with the bug i felt like the only thing that really needed work was the brakes (and the exterior, but that's aesthetic) and now this comes up. setbacks are unfortunate.

  • 9-6-08 (21:19)

  • wrist has been hurting lately, been trying to stay away from the computer as much as possible. also been busy lately.
  • looked at a deck rebuild project today, pretty straightforward and i've worked for the guy before, so it seems like a good project. he also has a bunch of little handyman things for me so that's good.
  • the house search could really pick up in the next week or two.
  • got a ps3 the other day. set it up and it's beautiful. had some issues with the hdmi cable so i bought a different one. seems to be working now. hopefully it holds and i won't have the video issues any more.
  • college football today was somewhat tame. next week is usc vs. osu. been looking forward to that one for almost a year.
  • cal killed wsu. cal could very well be better this year than last (not that that is too hard). pac-10 is weaker and cal's non-conference schedule is easier (no tennessee). sure they lost hawkins, jackson, and forsett, but their qb position is solidified, the tree-sitters are gone, and best will fill in well for forsett.

  • 9-1-08 (23:13)

  • usc game was good, looked better than i expected.
  • ucla game today was great. first half was pathetic - 4 ints, down by 7 to the #18 team in the country. came back later and then gave up a tying field goal with 5 seconds left. wasn't really happy with the decision to squib kick it with 37 seconds left in the game. never liked the choice to give the team the ball at the 40 yard line when all they need is a field goal. i was right on that one since tennessee ended up tying it, but it ended up not mattering because of the missed field goal in OT.
  • good enough first week of college football overall. looking forward to osu/usc game on 9/13.
  • wrist hurting lately, should stay away from computer for a while.

  • today was the first time that i can remember that i got paid to do nothing. to my recollection i've never had a paid holiday until this labor day. thanks to a new policy of the alumni association part time employees are now eligible for paid holidays. when working at tower we would get paid extra for working on holidays, but we wouldn't get paid for not working. strange concept, but i'm happy with it.