9-29-09 (16:35)
  • i hate berkeley. funny because i was actually thinking this on my way to my car. i was holding a box of pizza for lunch and two separate people asked me if they could have it. huh? it's my lunch, no you can't have it. i have an infinitely greater level of respect for the many people who stand on high street or in front of home depot looking for work, than those who sit on telegraph ave. looking for hand outs.
  • then i got to my truck and saw that the passenger's side window was broken and the glove compartment was open. luckily for me the perp was either thwarted off by the car alarm or just grew impatient. they didn't take my leatherman or swiss army knife which were in the glove compartment. they grabbed a hand full of change which was in the cup holder, but that amounted to about $5. as best i can tell they didn't even look in the center console which is where i usually have my ipod. it wasn't there this time because i left it with my job site radio, but i don't think they even looked there so it probably would have been okay anyway. called the cops who basically just write it down in their little book and go about their business. no one was killed so it's not really worth their time. called the insurance company. i don't have comprehensive insurance so i'm on my own. thanks for nothing yet again. called the only ford dealership left in the near east bay and they wanted over $450 to install a new window and couldn't do it until tomorrow; and they're the best of the american car companies. called my mechanic and he referred me to an auto glass place that did it for less than a third of the cost of the ford dealer. all told i'm out over $200 because i had to cut my work day short to take care of this. didn't want to leave my car unattended and half open for four more hours and i'm working tomorrow as well. what a pain. overall i didn't get that upset, more annoyed by the whole thing. the person who did it didn't even do it right. they didn't do a thorough check of the car, they did it at the wrong time of day, they missed the most expensive items in the car: i had a few hundred bucks worth of tools in the back, i could have had my ipod in the center console, they didn't take all the change from the cup holder, i had a couple minor items in the back seat area, and they missed a pretty nice leatherman in the glove compartment which they opened. complete amateur hour all around. i can at least appreciate a job well done when someone puts my truck up on blocks, steals the tires, and hacks out my catalytic converter in under 5 minutes.
  • my first thought once i saw what had happened was "that sucks." my second was "when you live in a sewer you're bound to get dirty."
  • woman in my office was fired and her last day is thursday. throws a wrench into my schedule because now i'm forced to pick up the slack. don't think that they'll offer the job to me which is a good and bad thing. it would be great to have more money and the benefits package, but events/reservations planning is not at all what i want to do.

  • 9-22-09 (17:20)

  • went to boston this weekend with meryl to visit her dad/stepmom who moved there recently. always liked that town.
  • usc lost saturday in another post big game upset. there are plenty of legit reasons for them to have lost this game, but it shouldn't have happened. they were starting a guy at qb who hadn't started before, mcknight wasn't 100%, they lost a ton of guys on defense, jake locker (washington's qb) is actually a pretty good qb, taylor mays was out, they lost both their offensive and defensive coordinators, and perhaps most telling - the offensive coordinator is the head coach of the team that beat them saturday and their old defensive coordinator is the defensive coordinator of that same team. those two guys know everything there is to know about the players and schemes that usc was going to use in saturday's game and that's probably what ended up doing usc in. that said, pete carroll didn't learn from his stanford upset a couple years ago when he left booty in the game despite throwing 4 ints. carroll needed to pull corp and put mustain in. this was obvious at halftime, but carroll didn't do it and it cost usc the victory. rough loss that i didn't see coming, but which makes sense in hindsight. another challenge will be notre dame because of usc's suspect secondary this year. notre dame, assuming clausen is healthy, has the passing attack that could pick usc apart. cal, of course, should be the favorite in that matchup considering how usc is playing and that it's a home game for cal. oregon will also be a test, though i think cal and notre dame, because of matchup issues, could be bigger ones. i expected 2-3 losses this year, but never did i expect washington to be one of them.
  • while in boston we did a bunch of the usual touristy things. we went on a guided tour, went to the museum of science and the fine arts museum. we visited cambridge and ate at bartley's. i didn't have the this old house burger and i regret that decision. i had been to a few of these places before, but it was good to revisit them.
  • last night we saw the u2 concert which was pretty good. i like u2, but meryl and her dad love them so it was better for them than for me. snow patrol opened for them and they did an adequate job. u2 put on a pretty good show, though they weren't as punchy as they could have been. that said, it was a 2 hour show and they're old men. getting out of foxboro was a pain and took about an hour. we woke up this morning at 4:30 et and went to the airport. gotta go into work early tomorrow too so that's unfortunate.
  • lots of stuff that needs to be done on the house as usual. didn't get anything done today. work the next three days. hopefully this weekend will be productive. lots of odds and ends to be tied up.

  • 9-16-09 (13:57)

  • yesterday was unpleasant because i'm officially sick. worked half a day and called in sick today. still plan on doing some oddjobs tomorrow, though, so that should bring some money in. i had a pretty good stretch without being sick so i can't really complain.

  • 9-14-09 (19:19)

  • feel like i'm getting sick. think this would be the first of the year if it turns out to be a real cold. had plenty of allergies, though, so i've actually gone through more kleenex than i would have had i had a couple colds.
  • got started on the side deck, but didn't make much progress because of the unexpected rain.
  • did a lot of gardening over the weekend. planted a new cherry tree in the back. that'll be fun to watch grow. also planted some onions and some flowers up front. we'll see how it all goes.
  • after the deck is done and handrails are installed on both decks we'll try to get the art room window installed and flashed correctly. then we can get some bids on the new roof. also need to extend the fence between us and our northern neighbor so we can finally have access to that side of the house. of course it would be nice to get the kitchen officially done as well.
  • usc game was a good one. osu really played the better game, but usc stepped up at all the right moments and made the most of their yards. their defense stepped up big by getting 7 points early and only allowing 13 (2 points allowed by special teams accounts for the 15 that osu ended up with). special teams were bad, didn't get anything on punt returns and gave up the safety as mentioned. offense was one dimensional and the offensive line was inept for most of the game, but had a couple good drives and that was all it took. really, the defense won the game for them which is surprising because they lost so many great players to the nfl last year. i had them losing this game so they're already outpacing my expectations. that said, i could definitely see them losing to cal this year. cal is more seasoned than the younger usc team and it's in berkeley this year which definitely helps since cal is relatively poor on the road. article in the paper today said they were winless away from memorial stadium last year which is actually false since they won the emerald bowl which wasn't at memorial stadium. but the truth remains that cal isn't a great road team so they have a solid chance at beating usc this year. barkley played a fine enough game, making the right plays at the right time. playcalling was suspect at time and execution left something to be desired. really it came down to the offensive line either making holes or giving barkley time. when they did that they scored.
  • nobody puts swayze in a coffin.
  • got hosed on fantasy baseball in my dad's league. was either one stolen base or two runs away from winning the week. very tight matchup. suck.

  • 9-11-09 (23:43)

  • pretty psyched about the game tomorrow. usc vs. ohio state again. this time on the road, this time with a freshman quarterback, this time without the best defense in the country. still favored somehow. i've heard from handicappers that, on a neutral field, usc wouldn't be an underdog to any team in the country other than possibly florida. makes you wonder why they don't get to more national championships while teams like oklahoma and ohio state go there repeatedly only to be destroyed by their competition. can't recall a game in the last 5 years where usc hasn't been able to win with a single play. i.e., they have been within 6 points of every game they have played in the last 5 years. that's a stunning achievement. that said, i think this is the year that could change because of the reasons i mentioned - new qb, new coordinators, loss of several key defensive players, tougher road schedule - nd, osu, cal, oregon all on the road.
  • got my tooth taken care of yesterday. drove out to davis to visit the last dentist i had visited. hadn't been to her since 2005. she said i probably should have gotten a crown and there was a chance i would have to get a root canal (since the old filling was somewhat close to a nerve), but i got lucky and avoided both those things. she drilled out the old filling and put in a new one. no insurance meant that it cost $310 for the amalgam (cheaper silver colored) filling. could have been worse so i'm happy overall.
  • davis was good to visit. i love that place. too hot, but great otherwise. given the population is has a much better ratio of good places to eat to citizens than the bay area. that's coming from a guy who doesn't plan on ever going to chez panisse, though, so take that for what it's worth. i had a slice of pizza at woodstock's and got a milkshake at murder burger afterwards. also went to dimple records which is the record store that replaced tower records. it was a trip to be in that building and see the things that they kept from tower - some of the signage that i helped put together, one of the cd carts, some of the cd shelves, etc. wanted to go in the back room and see how things had changed.
  • plan on getting back into the swing of things house-wise tomorrow. hope to get the deck started and make a big trip to home depot as well as an exploratory trip to a couple nurseries. would like to get a tree as well as a few plant suggestions for some trouble areas.

  • 9-8-09 (21:53)

  • sunday's party was fairly successful. meryl's mom and stepdad came over to help clean up beforehand, which was a big help. place looked almost normal for the first time probably in years. felt like we were done, but really we have a lot of work ahead of us. meryl is taking two weeks off and i'm going to try to take it a little easy.
  • it's football season so taking it easier from now on should be easier to do. biggest usc game of the year on saturday, looking forward to that. went to the cal/maryland game last saturday. cal looked poised to challenge in the pac-10 this year. they have a lot of the right elements to make a good run - good qb, solid defense, great rb and good coaching.
  • last night while watching movies i had some popcorn. about halfway through the bag i felt a jagged edge on one of my teeth. turns out that either the corner of my tooth chipped off or the filling chipped off. some of the filling is intact, but the corner of whatever was once there is no longer there. feels like a massive hole in my tooth, but those things always feel worse in your mouth than they really are. need to go to a dentist in the next week or so. wish i had insurance.
  • feeling unlucky lately.

  • 9-3-09 (21:05)

  • i want to find a t-shirt or bumper sticker that has the obama horizon logo on it and have it say "hype" instead of "hope." this escalating war in afghanistan is pissing me off, especially when pakistan is the more worrisome nation, if you ask me. ted koppel was on npr today and echoed that sentiment. like me, he thinks both countries are troublesome for the region/world, but pakistan has nukes and seems possessed by their hatred of india. personally i don't think we should be over there at all unless we have several other meaningful commitments from other countries with us.
  • pretty much finished the deck today. the handrails and guardrails still need to be ordered and installed and there are two posts at the bottom of the stairs that need to be installed, but that shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. it's fully functional now for the first time in a while. it's nice to have access to the backyard from that side of the house, rather than having to go around and through the art room to get outside.
  • saw a fight in front of home depot last week. by the time i looked up i saw one guy on the ground and the other guy kicking him. the guy on the ground wasn't moving at all so i yelled "hey" and the kicker looked up and then ran away. it took a bit for the guy on the ground to get up and he looked dazed, but he got up eventually. then two guys came rolling up and asked where the other guy ran off to. some old lady pointed him out and they ran after him. all i could think of was "menace II society" which, if there is any moral to the story, it's that retribution comes eventually and it usually comes harder than you think. t.i.o. - this is oakland.
  • our little party is on sunday. we have a lot of cleaning to do at this point. don't think we'll focus too much on getting any more construction done since things are pretty stable at this moment. plenty left to do, but this is as good a point to pause as any. lots of cleaning needs to be done all around and in the house. also need to buy food and drinks. i think luke and meryl's mom/stepdad are going to be the only people i actually know at the party. not sure about my grandma and mom.
  • john hughes marathon is going well. i think we've gone through all of the films of his that we own. next we'll have to rent she's having a baby, great outdoors, curly sue and others.
  • updated picture album should be up shortly.