9/28/10 (17:59)
  • well, i got out of jury duty. the case involved a guy who was accused of two DUIs within two weeks and one involved a hit and run. the defense gave me the boot on his third go round. on the first go round he ousted an fbi agent (presumably because he's law enforcement), then he got rid of a guy who was the victim of some robbery. the prosecutor got rid of two people who point blank said that they wouldn't trust the word of the chp because they've had bad experiences with them in the past. i think i got the boot because i'm a teetotaler and i mentioned that my mom had been hit by a drunk driver. they ask a bunch of questions about your drinking habits and the drinking habits of those around you for dui cases. it was remarkable to see how many people had pretty bad experiences with alcohol in their life. one whose friend was killed by a drunk driver, two people who had family die because of too much drinking, almost everyone knew an alcoholic. it was also interesting that the lawyers and judge were quite direct with their questioning. in order to establish partiality they would just ask people if they could be impartial when hearing testimony from a chp officer. they didn't beat around the bush to try to get to the truth. pretty interesting stuff overall. if i didn't have work to do for meryl's dad/stepmom and a dmv appointment (that i booked 5 weeks ago) tomorrow, then i would have liked to stay on and be a part of it.
  • it's an inefficient system, but at least they were nice. they make you do a lot of waiting and you don't really know what's happening next, but the people were good and thankful for your service so that made the pill easier to swallow. i also found out why i got two jury summons within a month of each other.
  • tomorrow i get to deal with the dmv. i think jury duty and dealing with the dmv may be the two most despised government interactions of the average citizen.
  • good to see singletary act on my advice quickly to get rid of jimmy raye. hopefully the new guy can hit the ground running.
  • updated the pics and movies pages.
  • worked on the bathroom floor today. grouted it and will wash off the haze tomorrow. looks pretty good. walls are next. then sink and toilet installation, fine tune the door, figure out the shower enclosure situation and install some various hardware (in shower, tp holder, towel holder). can smell the end.

  • 9/26/10 (20:50)

  • bill burr is a funny guy.
  • got a 2 tb drive the other day and am hopefully going to start a backup regime. any suggestions on what software to use?
  • been very busy lately. did some work for meryl's dad/stepmom the other day - little stuff like installing a couple shutters and a wine cooler as well as some drywall repair and getting their stove and sink ready for granite installation. then yesterday meryl and i went to her mom/stepdad's to install a couple pull-up bars and a shear wall in the basement. shear wall went pretty quick and as planned. the pull-up bars took some work to make the holes deep enough (30" each, three posts). next time we're there we're going to work on some paint issues and probably get started on new roofing for their garage. pretty sure we're doing a tear off and reroof so that'll take a good two days. thankfully it's a simple roof with not much pitch.
  • i got two jury summons in the last 6 weeks or so. one is for tomorrow and the other is for october. this is the kind of shit that drives me crazy. called up per the instructions and they said they didn't need me tomorrow, but i should call again. same shit as the last two times i've had a summons. the last one, by the way, was about 51 weeks ago so even though they say you're clear for a year, they jumped the gun a bit. but when i got this one i figured it's not worth fighting. then i get the second one and realized they were just incompetent. so tomorrow i'll call again and see if they need me. hopefully they don't, but if they do i guess it'll be a good experience.
  • worked on the bathroom a bit today. it's ready for grout now. we had a couple of the little squares pop out - one broke in the middle and one didn't have a great bond with the thinset. so we'll wait for that to cure and then grout the floor. we also laid out the plan for the walls and i put down some silicone at the wood floor/tile floor transition as well as at the tub/tile transition.
  • it's going to take like 12 hours to format this 2tb drive. that's crazy.
  • niners looked like crap today. actually i didn't see it, but i listened on the radio so that's probably good enough. they're not making the playoffs. had high hopes for them this year. the talk radio guys were blaming alex smith, jimmy raye, and mike singletary. i'm still a believer in singletary and alex smith is fine enough. never liked jimmy raye. i thought we had a proven guy in mike martz and we should have kept him. that was singletary's fault, but other than that i still like singletary. smith isn't losing games for us right now, but he's also not winning them for us. we have the offensive tools to be a playoff team, but the play-calling isn't there. coaching is the issue right now and that falls on the O.C. singletary needs to realize his weakness and hire a guy who can take over the coaching and play-calling from that end to shore things up. right now it's a joke. it would also be nice if our offensive line could protect better and more consistently. not looking good right now.
  • i'm looking forward to the new fincher film. written by aaron sorkin, directed by fincher and about facebook. i like the first two a lot and couldn't care less about the last one. facebook is overrated. yeah, it's more popular than google, supposedly. yeah, everyone seems to use it and it connects a lot of people, but it's not nearly as important as people seem to think. google is many times more important in my opinion. facebook could disappear tomorrow and people would just move to the next social networking device or go back to email or classmates.com or whatever. in my opinion facebook doesn't actually add any value to the consumer on any major level. it just makes keeping 500 friends easier than before and that is its only major accomplishment from the user's point of view. from an advertising point of view, though, one must admit that it is an extremely important player on the level of google and probably no one else.
  • i'd like to point out that i still use netscape composer to write this page and it's so old that its spell check doesn't recognize "facebook," though it does recognize other technology terms like microsoft or gigabyte.
  • some guy should get a tattoo of his receeding hairline like the growth marks kids put on the wall. so the first line would say 1990, then the next one back would say 1993, then 1996, then in 2000 he'd have the horseshoe outline tattooed on there. that would be funny. or, instead of dates, he could put landmarks like: got married, first kid, second kid, third kid, fired from work, divorced, etc. classic.

  • 9/20/10 (22:14)

  • i've said before that i like ron jaworski as a color analyst for the nfl and he went up another notch in my book today. no one breaks down the game like he does which is why he's my favorite x's and o's guy, but tonight they were talking about the bush heisman issue and he's the only person i've heard so far who has said that bush giving back the heisman was a bad move. he earned the trophy with his play on the field and no perks that he may have gotten should have affected that. this whole issue is ridiculously overblown and the ncaa will probably never redeem itself in my book because of the way they treat the student athletes relative to the way they look out for themselves, big programs, espn and their sponsors. greedy assholes who use this kids like sharecroppers. it's an outrage.

  • 9/18/10 (16:59)

  • finished tiling the floor today. glad we finished in a day, wasn't sure we would. will grout it next and then onto the walls.
  • i'm constantly battling the meter maids in berkeley. thankfully they haven't evolved past the mark-the-tire-with-chalk technique. there are plenty of other ways they could catch people like me if they were serious about it. probably the best method (because it's cheap and easy to implement) i've thought of involves using a special chalk that doesn't show up unless you're wearing special glasses, or perhaps shining a black light on the mark. highlighter would work or they could develop a special chalk and then either wear glasses or build the special glass into the small window on their little vehicles. people like me would go by their car, look for chalk, not see any and then not move their car. the meter maid would come by later and then give us a ticket. i've heard some places have special cameras and software that can log where cars are and that's even better, but it requires more money up front.
  • i thought separate, but equal was inherently unequal, yet we still allow native americans to have reservations. i think the only way they will crawl out of poverty is to welcome them into the fold and eliminate the reservation system. they can own all the land that they currently have, but i don't think they should be under the jurisdiction of the dept. of interior's bureau of indian affairs. it's not working and it's inherently unequal. somehow our treatment of native americans always falls way behind that of women and blacks, but we continue to forget about them. everyone knows when blacks and women were able to vote, but few know when native americans were able to vote. brown vs. board of education is a landmark decision and changed life for blacks, but somehow it has done nothing for native americans.
  • on a related note, the exiles will be on tcm again this month. 9/20 6am est, check it out if you haven't already. i didn't love it, but it's worth watching as an historical document. cassavetes-esque.
  • if anyone has some simple data on religiosity by race that would be nice. found one for first year college students that confirmed my guess (blacks and latinos are more religious than whites and asians), but i want one for the entire country.

  • 9/16/10 (22:17)

  • not sure if i've written about it before, but i've thought about it many a time. i'll call it temporal centrism - the idea that we're living in some amazingly unique time in the history of time. it's perhaps most hilariously exhibited by religious zealots who are certain that the world is going to end while they're alive. yeah, god is choosing the time you're on earth to have the rapture. keep thinking that. and while we're on the topic - i'll bet you your house that the rapture isn't coming any time soon. you KNOW it's happening, so take the bet; you've got nothing to lose. god told you it's happening; it's a sure thing. but this temporal centrism isn't the sole purvey of religious idiots. the reasonable person will point out unique things about our world right now - the internet and international flight has changed the speed with with people and information gets around the world. it's changed the availability of information, etc. however, none of this changes the basic ebb and flow of history. it doesn't change the power dynamic between the haves and have nots. it doesn't mean that our science is suddenly 100% unlike those idiots hundreds of years ago who thought the sun revolved around the earth or that the earth is flat or that the speed of light is constant or that power flows from the positive to the negative or whatever else. you can only be so certain about these things if you think we're somehow living in the enlightened age, free of mistakes. but as i get older i find that we're making just as many mistakes in science and politics as we've made in the past. every couple months i'll read a story about a new discovery that finds that the triceratops never existed or drinking a lot of alcohol actually makes you live longer or red wine is good for your heart, but bad for breast cancer or the universe is expanding, not contracting like we thought before. a lot of people have this view that because blacks and women can vote we live in an equal society or something. meanwhile gays are second class citizens and immigrants are scapegoats. those are the popular ones, let's not even talk about the native americans; we'd rather just sweep that one under the rug so we can feel enlightened and evolved.
  • increasingly looking around and seeing the country is continuing to fall apart and i don't have much evidence that makes me think things are going to get any better any time soon. we need entirely new leadership and the ones who are coming into the fold are wack job tea party people. the hope and change thing lasted like two months and hasn't yielded much. we need gabriel over the white house and mr. smith in washington.

  • 9/13/10 (21:46)

  • just got back from maui. long journey back because of a three hour layover and losing the time going east. oh well. trip was quite good though. had never been to maui (went to oahu in 1993) so that was nice. of course the purpose of the trip was the hana relay, but we did a few other things while we were there. mama's fish house was a highlight. haleakala was another. went pretty much around the entire island (missed a few miles of the southeast portion) so i think we got to know the place pretty well. it's definitely different than oahu which is a lot busier and more touristy. maui is more chill.
  • the relay itself is broken down into 18 legs for a total of 52 miles. i did about 9 miles (probably a little more, but it's tough to tell because the measurements of each leg weren't incredibly accurate). meryl did about 10 miles. meryl's mom did about 9, her stepbrother about 8.5 and her stepdad about 13.5. we finished in 7 hours, 19 minutes and 20 seconds which is pretty good all things considered. you're allowed 6 runners and some teams seemed to use even more than that. we only used 5 and finished right in the middle. considering the average age and the fact that we were a coed group i think we did quite well. our original goal was to average a 9 minute mile (a bit over 7 hours 45 minutes) and everyone except for meryl's stepbrother did better than that. i don't think his training regime was very good (in part because he didn't have anyone to train with) and he also hurt himself on the last leg so that added to his time. truthfully, though, 8+ miles per person, even when broken up over the course of seven hours is a nice accomplishment. the first couple legs and the last few legs were flat, but the rest were rolling hills. most of the road is two lanes, but occasionally it's only one. there are a bunch of bridges and it goes in and out of rainforest and open landscape. we had a little bit of rain on the day of the race, as well as temps in the 80s and some high winds on some of the legs. when i ran my practice leg a few days before the race i got rained on most of the run and it was nice because it cooled me off, but it also made my shirt heavy so that was annoying. long story short, there are a lot of things to contend with for the race. thankfully on race day we didn't have to worry too much about the traffic because there are so many race vehicles that traffic is pretty slow. when we did our practice run, though, we had to watch out for cars and that got a little bit hairy. overall, a fun experience and we did well all things considered.
  • i plan on keeping up the running for a while longer to see what kind of times i can get in a 5k. it would be great to get back into really good shape, but i don't see myself running an 18 minute 5k anytime soon. 22 minutes seems like a good goal.
  • we stayed at a really nice place that was built almost entirely out of koa. it had a nice view of a little valley as well as the sunset. it was a bit remote which was both good and bad. i think when you're on maui, though, being remote fits more into the theme of the island so i liked it.
  • it was really nice of meryl's family to have me along and i'll never forget running along that road for such a long time. good experience.
  • back to work tomorrow. hope to get the floor tiled this week, not sure what work we'll be doing for other people in the coming weeks.

  • 9/6/10 (20:47)

  • had a good workout yesterday. repeats of a run that was probably a little less than 2 miles. did it three times with about 20 minutes in between. that was supposed to mimic the conditions of the relay where we'll have enough time cool down between legs. looks like i'll be running about 9 miles over three legs. more concerned about the heat than anything else. hopefully with some good rest my foot will be in good shape.
  • got a few jobs lined up to do for meryl's mom and stepdad, nice to have smaller jobs that can be finished in less than 4 months.

  • tiled some of the bathroom floor today. probably another day or two before the floor is done. after that we'll move onto the walls and bathtub area. still haven't settled on a tub enclosure. still haven't gotten our sink in either.