12-26-09 (22:22)
  • worked at alumni house today then left for the emerald bowl. didn't stop at the house on my way to sf so was woefully unprepared for the rain that came. brought garbage bag from work and thankfully luke had a poncho so i ended up not soaked. cal/usc 2007 was worse as it was raining literally the entire game. we were basically watching that game in a swimming pool with our clothes on.
  • usc didn't play a great game and neither did bc, but usc came out on top. barkley continues to confound me with some of the decisions he makes, but then he'll have a great pass that will give you some hope. they really need to learn to manage him. get him rolling out more and doing more play action. the run to pass ratio should also be more tilted toward the run. usc was without their #2 receiver and #1 running back which certainly didn't help their offense, but i still didn't think they executed that well. maybe they'll get back on track next year. losing key players as usual (mays, williams, mccoy, griffen, thomas, johnson (wonder if he'll play football again), havili, and i think gable and some others), but not as many as last year which was really a mass exodus that mostly explains this year's results. next year will be interesting. mcknight will have to have a big year because the wr and te positions will be thin.
  • working again tomorrow. first year that i've ever had paid days off for the winter break and i haven't really gotten to enjoy it because of this stupid tiling project. when i worked at tower i had paid vacation, but we couldn't take time off during the xmas shopping season.
  • didn't do much for xmas. we cooked breakfast and stayed home and watched movies. meryl watched 4 and i watched 6. ordered chinese food and had it delivered. first time that i've been healthy and haven't done any work on the house or for someone else in over a year. nice to have a relaxing day once in a while.

  • 12-23-09 (19:16)

  • updated the pics page. there's a move on there that's actually from a while back. there are a lot of comments of the pictures now to provide context and tell you what you're looking at. we've inserted comments back as far as a few months ago and will work on adding more to the older ones in the coming weeks.

  • 12-22-09 (20:40)

  • it's too bad that that "the great compromiser" is already taken by henry clay because obama is certainly living up to the moniker. the health care reform bill is as good as sign of that as anything. there's part of me that says any step is a good step, but a bigger part of me wonders why so much compromise and time went into a bill that doesn't do a whole heck of a lot. here's a list of the things that i think it does (though it's difficult to tell since there have been so many permutations and there are likely to be more in the reconciliation phase): if you're uninsured you have to buy insurance or you'll get a $750 fee, in exchange for 30 million more customers the insurance companies can't pull their lifetime ban or pre-existing condition b.s. anymore, they also have to set lifetime limits on the amount a person can pay out of pocket and they have to let people stay on their parents' plan until age 26. it also takes 4 years to take effect.
  • it's not a very impressive bill from what i can tell and it's absurdly long and filled with the usual pork barrel politics. it shows why congress is so hated and why the dems are a pathetic party. as far as i can tell the bill is a pile of insurance company stimulus b.s. with a few obvious concessions for the rest of us. if we were run by moral people who didn't have their own selfish agendas all the good stuff that this bill has (pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits being the only two of real consequence in my opinion) would have taken a week or two to be made into a simple and quick-acting law. instead we get what we got which for people like me circa two months ago is just another fee and headache that will do more to pad the pockets of aetna than keep me healthy.
  • what would i like to see? single payer. what would i reasonably like to see? end the preexisting condition b.s., lifetime cap on payments, public option, set up an incentive structure that stresses prevention as well as cost awareness. 95% of fully insured people have no idea what it costs to get an allergy test or an xray or name brand meds over generics. this raises the costs.
  • one of the biggest things i have against it is the principle that just for existing you have to pay insurance to a corporation or $750 to uncle sam. at least with the car insurance mandate you can opt to not drive. it just doesn't seem ethical to require people to do that. now there is likely to be some sort of subsidy and the red tape that goes with it if you don't have enough money, but i'm getting to the point where the more i deal with large companies or government institutions, the less i want to do it. it's not something that is specific to government as the right wingers would have you believe (they think corporations are so much more efficient when that isn't necessarily true). i'm just tired of paperwork and having to talk to 12 different people to get a straight answer about things.
  • the whole system is a goddamn mess i'd like to see it all blown up if you want my honest opinion. the changes we need to enact to get things to truly make sense and work for the people are impossible so i guess that given this reality this fucked up bill makes perfect sense. if i were in congress, though, i can't say that i'd vote for it. perhaps my biggest motivation to vote for it would be to stick it to the republicans who, if the bill fails, will be in power another 8-12 years. that's not exactly a good motive though. it's kinda like voting for kerry even though you know he's not who you'd like to see as president.
  • roof is coming along. they have plenty of stucco patches to do so hopefully they get those done tomorrow. they'll need to use rapid set if they plan on getting it done right. hopefully they don't  do just a single coat. i think they got most of the turret done today so that's good.
  • bought a paint sprayer off luke a couple weeks ago and had planned on using it this weekend for painting the AH bathrooms, but it's not working. sounds like the motor is fried, but can't be sure since the motor is enclosed. opened up the pump part and everything seems to work fine. took the main crank off and tried the motor under no load and it still didn't budge so it's almost definitely the motor at this point. wish i knew more about motors. i know it's a dc motor. i know the fuse is intact. i know roughly how a motor works, but that's about it. can't access the brushes and don't have replacement parts even if i could. nearest service center is in utah which seems absurd. might call around tomorrow to see what my options are.

  • 12-21-09 (18:18)

  • working on the newest upload of pics. trying to add comments to pictures, but that's time consuming.

  • 12-20-09 (17:39)

  • went to a co-worker's house today to install a garbage disposal. with travel and trips to home depot it took 6 hours. total waste of my time, i don't want to do anymore handyman shit for people after today.
  • got a little painting done in the art room, still need to paint the windows, then it'll be done.
  • luke came by yesterday and helped meryl and me build the fence. with his help we were able to get the majority of it done. we still need to attach the lattice on the top, but we can do that from our side so we don't need to bother her anymore. plus, the dog can't get through so it does the trick.
  • rained a bit today and may rain tomorrow as well. roof is mostly done, though the turret and ridge vents haven't been installed. also need to finish the downspouts and patch the stucco. another two days and they should be done. they have plastic up in the areas that aren't done so i'm not worried about leaks.
  • thanks to the garbage disposal b.s. i wasn't around to help meryl clean the house. would have been nice to get more of that done.
  • had looked forward to time off during the xmas break, but that's not going to be the case because it makes more sense for me to paint the bathrooms at the alumni house before the new tile has been installed than after and have to worry about all the cut-ins around the toilet dividers and everything else. going to have sarah help me and just charge her hours to the alumni house and pay her cash. it should come out even for me after taxes. hopefully we can knock that out in two days; we'll see.
  • brittany murphy died today. that's a huge surprise because i never pegged her as the type to take crack and cocaine and prescription drugs all day long in an apparent attempt to destroy her heart. weird. sometimes you just can't tell. must have been some weird disease because an otherwise healthy looking/acting person wouldn't die at age 32. may her memory live on forever.

  • 12-18-09 (12:09)

  • roofers here again today. it's a crew of about 7 guys and they're real pros. there doesn't need to be much communication amongst each guy, they all know their tasks and do it without direction. most of the communication is guys telling each other where they are or that they need help bringing stuff up the ladder or whatnot. the desk jockey came by today to talk about the dry rot costing more and our choice of roofing and gutters. he also tried to talk me out of putting plywood on the roof because the existing 1x sheathing was strong. i said no way, put the plywood up there as planned. it'll add some structural integrity as well as a nice smooth surface for the felt and shingles. i have a time lapse video going so hopefully that turns out well. we'll see.
  • i finished trimming the cd case so that it would fit into the empty wall in the laundry room. took a couple hours, but it's trimmed and reassembled and all the cds are in there so everything is fine now.
  • worked on the window trim in the art room. kicked up a shitload of plaster dust which wafted into every room in the house. stupidly i didn't put plastic up in the doorway until i was most of the way through and noticed that i couldn't see more than 8' in front of me because the dust was so thick. no exaggeration. sunday will now be entirely dedicated to cleanup. cleaning the attic of all the roof related debris and cleaning the house of all the plaster dust. lovely.

  • 12-17-09 (17:59)

  • office holiday party today. fake casino setup, got third place mostly from working the blackjack table. thinking i should parlay my luck and try it out at reno. not really.
  • roofers came today and took off all of the old roofing. make a hell of a mess in the attic; more than expected. will be up there most of sunday vacuuming it up. hopefully installing the fence on saturday.
  • will be at alumni house the two days after christmas painting the bathrooms. would be great if i could get it all done in that time, but will probably need a third day.
  • if fence, roof, and gutters are done by end of monday that would be great news. sure i've said it before, but we haven't been able to even touch most of that side of the house yet and we've lived here almost a year. not having to worry about leaks would also be a bonus.
  • pixies are overrated.
  • would like to be done with the art room trim and paint tomorrow.
  • i love days when someone else is working on the house because it feels like i'm getting twice as much done. i'm working on my project and they're doing theirs, it's beautiful making that kind of progress.

  • 12-16-09 (10:48)

  • roofers supposed to start work tomorrow. we'll see. weather forecast has been pathetically inaccurate lately. they're about 90% accurate in the summer when a monkey could point to the sun, but when the weather actually changes they're worthless. and i'm not talking about the 10 day extended forecast. i'm talking next day forecasts being completely wrong. i think the "red sky at night" rhyme is a better indicator than the doppler radar b.s.
  • hope to get the fence in on saturday. luke may come by to help.
  • itunes lost all my ratings info. rate over 1000 songs and that's all gone. what a shitty shitty program. so limited and weak, the opposite of media monkey or winamp in its heyday.

  • 12-14-09 (18:22)

  • today not much has gone right.
  • having trouble getting itunes to load all the old song ratings and shit. what a shitty program. winamp is also officially crap on vista. tried the older version and it sucks, downloaded new one and it's worse. no one makes good programs anymore. winamp was one of the best programs of all-time until aol bought out justin frankel and co. fucked.

  • 12-11-09 (16:54)

  • some heisman stats i compiled:

  • gerhart: 1736 rush yds, 26tds. 149 rec, 0tds
    ingram: 1542 rush yds, 15tds. 322 rec, 3tds

    times held under 100 total yards:
    gerhart - 1, ingram - 4
    times over 200 total yards:
    gerhart - 3, ingram - 1
    0tds in a game:
    gerhart - 1, ingram - 3

    vs. lsu ingram had 144 yds, 0td on 22 carries
    vs. lsu washington's polk had 90 yds, 0td on 21 carries

    vs. tenn ingram had 99 yds, 0td
    vs. tenn ucla's franklin had 80 yds, 0td

  • is ingram better than average? yes. he's about as good as the freshman lamichael james from oregon:

  • games under 100 total yards for james: 3 (4 for ingram)
    games 200+ yds for james: 1 (1 for ingram)
    times with 0 tds for james 4 (3 for ingram), though james wasn't the #1 running back for oregon in the first game of the season
    totals for james: 1476 rush, 14 tds, 6.9 yds/carry (ingram - 1542, 15tds, 6.2 yds/carry)

    pac-10 vs. sec 11-8 since 2000.
    usc/ucla vs. sec 8-0 since 2000.

  • is ingram the best back in the nation? i think not. gerhart has better overall numbers and was less likely to disappear in a game. i don't think much of the sec is better as a conference argument as you well know if you read this page. gerhart is the clear winner if you ask me as the only two areas he's lacking statistically are in the yards per carry and receiving categories. though it should be noted that he had one passing td which i didn't account for above, so he actually had 27 tds instead of 26.
  • going to the emerald bowl this year to see usc/bc. should be fun. hopefully it's not freezing.
  • a while back i noticed that the jack in the box 16oz shake had about 750cal and that the 24oz shake had about 1450 cal. i'm not a math wiz, but this stood out to me as not making sense. the whipped cream serving in each is the same so there was no explanation for the fact that 50% more shake left you with almost 100% more calories. so i called them up the other day and they agreed that there was a mistake. the customer service lady looked at another chart and saw that the numbers should be more like 800 and 1200 and said she'd pass the info onto her supervisor. it'll be interesting to see how long it takes for the change to take place on the website.
  • i don't know that i have any interest in watching the national championship game. best case scenario the earth splits in open and both teams fall into the chasm and burn. other than that i don't foresee it being very entertaining. kidding.

  • 12-09-09 (18:37)

  • work on the house has been slow lately. didn't do anything but clean up today. helped a friend move and did research on how we're going to build the fence also. originally had planned on buying prefab fencing sections that would be easy to install. the bulk of the work would be in digging the post holes and getting them set in concrete nice and plumb and in line with the 2-3 sections that have already been installed. but i went to buy the sections today and economy lumber doesn't carry that same type anymore. they have the same crap that home depot has which is similar to the fence we have now, but a little different. so now it's looking like we have three options: buy the prefab as anticipated, but it won't match at all; tear out the existing section and install a whole new fence of whatever type we like; or, hand build the remaining section to look like the old. that will mean ripping down lattice sheets into 91/4" strips, dadoing 2x4s to accept the 1x8 redwood slats, and assembling all this custom stuff as we go. the only advantage to that is that we could put in the posts and cut the sections to match the gap, rather than having to make sure the posts were perfectly spaced to accept the fencing. i think we're going to make the fence because it'll look the best and we won't have to tear out the perfectly fine sections of existing fence. it'll cost about the same, but take plenty longer. blah.
  • it's currently 45 degrees inside. when we wake up it's usually about 42. one day we'll have heat. last night we used the space heater for the first time and that helped keep the bedroom at a reasonable temperature.
  • roofers had planned on starting monday, but the rain scared them away. turns out that it didn't rain at all for the first three days this week so maybe they should have started after all. rain is forecast for this weekend and next week and the week after that is xmas so i'm thinking we won't get any roofing on until around the new year.

  • 12-8-09 (18:17)

  • cal and usc both lost their last game. pretty pathetic. usc had a really down year and a blame most of it on the coaching changes and exodus of nfl talent. speaking of which, there are three starting rookie linebackers in the nfl and all three were on usc last year. so, that's at least somewhat of a good excuse for this year. however, i blame a lot of it on barkley or the qb position in general. corp lost the washington game for us and barkley didn't do much as the year progressed. he really lacked any kind of progress after the osu game, he was either flat or negative when it came to progress and that's a shame to see. the final play of the regular season is a perfect illustration: it was the final play of the game, time had run out, there weren't any timeouts and usc needed a td from like 70 yards away. he felt pressure and moved a bit, but started to get dragged down. he stayed up and considered throwing the ball only to wait another second. then another defender grabbed him and started bringing him down. instead of throwing the ball away or up in the air for grabs he just went down. there's no excuse to not throw the ball up. the worst case scenario is that it gets intercepted for a td in which case the score is different, but the outcome is the same. honestly, i wonder where these guys learn the game sometimes because these very fundamental things escape them. bibby leaving brent barry open for a three in the corner also comes to mind. mental breakdowns in key situations. anyway, maybe next year we'll make some progress. could probably use a new qb coach.
  • have 32 movies to watch this month to finish the year at 300. meryl made a countdown sheet. she's a (helpful) dork.
  • overall happy with the computer. hardware makers have made great strides since i first got into computers. sata cables, plug and play, usb, no tool cases, etc. however, software developers haven't made as much progress. case in point all the reductions in functionality that vista has when compared to xp. itunes vs. old winamp. excel 2007 and lack of support for html which was present in 2003. in that last case they literally moved backwards. devolution. great job idiots. i don't understand why programmers can't just make minor improvements instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every couple years. fucking microsoft. so if you have excel 2003 lemme have it.

  • 12-7-09 (17:23)

  • a lot of the obama speech to justify the extra 30k troops sounded, frankly, like bush 2.0. it was the same policy as bush (though in a different country), but with the changes that time and criticism provide. that is, he was selling the same bag of goods, he just learned from bush that he needed to sell it differently. so that's the cynical view. another view would be that he really thinks the war should have always been in afghanistan and that fighting an entire nation abroad is going to keep us safer than spending that same money and effort locally. or that getting out of the region entirely wouldn't be a better course. the justification i most would have been most inclined to buy was one he didn't mention: morally we can't just pick up and leave after 8 years of unfocused war and devastation of the area.
  • i think that when you vote for the most important person in the world you should do so with all segments of the country/world in mind. so, how would the world fare if mccain were president, how about ron paul, or ralph nader? how would you fare as a rich man, poor man, person of color, child, illegal immigrant, soldier, etc. under the administrations of the candidates? i also think that you should be willing to go to war for the causes you believe in. that happens to be one reason why i don't believe in war unless it's absolutely necessary. it's hypocritical to vote for obama and then say that you wouldn't want to go to afghanistan to fight the war he wants to escalate. the chicken hawks like cheney were called out on this very point so, too, should the liberals who voted for obama. maybe if this were required we wouldn't be so quick to vote for people who believe in the death penalty or unnecessary war.
  • all that said, there is a place in my mind for incrementalism. the belief that change like the kind i'm talking about can't happen over night. we have to continually choose the lesser of two evils until we finally get our ideal. on the one hand it makes sense, on the other hand i don't believe that history is linear in its progression. we take one step forward and two steps back. two steps forward and one step back. it's not always going to be a half step forward until we have world peace and equality of opportunity.
  • mostly i think the thing that limits us is our ability to see through the bullshit and really believe in change. it's such a cynical thing to convey someone like obama as hope and change when he's just a couple degrees different from 95% of the other "serious" candidates we've had since i've been alive. he's a better talker and he looks different, but he believes the same things as clinton and kerry and many other dems. he basically rules from the center, tries to build coalitions and is willing to compromise. compared to bush, the willingness to compromise is nice, but the two biggest compromises i'm looking at right now are: 30k more troops in the mideast instead of 40k (with no real international coalition in the southern part of afghanistan where the shit is really happening), and the possibility of mandatory expenditures for those without healthcare which will go into effect in 2013, doesn't cover 100% of the country, and may not have a public option.
  • the zen master in me says let's just wait and see.

  • 12-6-09 (18:21)

  • everything is up and running on the new computer except office, which i don't have yet. still looking.
  • went to meryl's family non-xmas celebration. we went to golden gate fields and lost money betting on the horses. actually, her mom made money, but everyone else lost. fun nonetheless.

  • 12-3-09 (20:37)

  • first update on new computer. no time to write. vista is so-so. computer is much faster. yay.

  • 12-1-09 (16:40)

  • obama's speech tonight will be a defining moment. either the surge in afghanistan will go well like it seems to have gone in iraq and he'll be great or it won't and he'll be a hypocritical war-monger. or maybe something in between. we'll see how he justifies it all and how it pans out.