Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Financial Accounting Standards Board releases proposal requiring stock option expensing. Wonder how long it will take Congress to threaten to revoke their authority this time around? My Senators, owned by Silicon Valley, will be leading the charge, no doubt. I wrote a letter to them on this issue a bit back, got some very condescending replies. If control of the Senate wasn't so important this year, I'd really have to consider voting for Bill Simon over Boxer.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Speaking of running trails, I was inspired to check the Mission Trails Regional Park website, and it turns out the remaining closed trails will be reopening next weekend. I'll have to take Tanner to survey the terrain.
A nice collection of maps of running routes in San Diego. I've been running at Lake Murray almost every run since I got back in the habit, mostly because I've been running late afternoons and been fearful of the traffic if I venture too far from home. But I'll be sure to check out this website to find some new ideas.
Sometimes I think Calvin is a young George W. Bush. Then I remember his innocent charm and relative skill with language.
Ashcroft wants "Under God" added to the "On Top of Spaghetti" song.
Last day of spring break today, for me. Didn't really get as much done as I'd hoped, but at least I didn't completely waste the week away. Read about a third of Atonement by Ian McEwan, can't really say I cared for what I've read so far, but I'll reserve my judgement. Started playing Final Fantasy X-2, starting over from the beginning, and am now over half-way through. Become a real pro at Sphere Break. Taking the time the second time through to develop more dressspheres. Ran a fair amount, though I put off my Saturday long run to Monday, because the torta I had for lunch wasn't agreeing with me, and I need to buy books after work today, so don't have time for a run. My first class isn't until 11, so I figure I can sleep in until 8, and still have time to run and shower and have breakfast before school. Never made it to the movies, was going to see Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind on Thursday, but was too tired.

I went to put a few things into storage, and pay the rent. When I got there, my padlock was gone, and the entire deadbolt face-plate of the unit had been replaced. I was concerned, until I realized all the units had the same new locks. I went to the office and got a new key, and paid my rent. Turns out they replaced all the locks, and apparently sent out letters after the fact that this was being done. My lock, still locked, was in my unit. As I don't believe I gave them a key, I figure they most have dismantled the entire faceplate and then removed my lock from it. I don't believe my lease gives them access to my unit, so I am a bit alarmed by this action, but I figure I will wait for the letter to arrive explaining the action before I pitch a fit. Not like it really matters, it just seems like a very odd thing to do. In fairness, I should say the new locks look a lot more secure than the padlock I was using. A locked bolt sits recessed in the lock, so there is nothing to cut to break in.

As if an unfortunate incident in which one of Lemon Grove's finest suspected I was on meth hadn't tarnished my view of this podunk sheriff's department enough, I now have observed Lemon Grove Sheriff's vehicles parked in handicapped spaces twice. Now, obviously, no one is going to tow a cop car away, and I'm not sure if this is illegal or not. The first time, there were two cars, and the officers weren't around, so I figured they might be responding to a call, and if time was of the essence, they could park there. But more recently, I saw the officer at the car, and found out the urgent business at hand was picking up his dry-cleaning. Unbelievable.

Possibly rhymes by ice cube after being knighted by the Queen.
Random phrases culled from novels I edited while working at a vanity press.
Movies directed by Mel Gibson's father.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Richard Simmons cited for assult.
The Coen Brothers directed The Ladykillers?! I just learned this, and must say this is the most shocking news I have gotten in a long time. What the hell? I mean, this movie has been a target for my mockery since it started advertizing. I mean, what the hell is Tom Hanks doing, exactly? Is that supposed to be a Southern version of Alec Guinness' Profesor Marcus? I've cited this film as proof of Hollywood's creative bankruptcy, and now I guess I have to see it, and I guess I'm supposed to be excited about it. I'm trying to see the up side now, that the gospel music will be put to good use, rather than just being background music. I'm just in shock right now. Stunned.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Terror on Little People Main Street available for purchase on eBay.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I should mention this murder-suicide at the Boardwalk in El Cajon. Rather disturbing, though I thought it odd that all the accounts mention what a busy place it is; there's hardly anyone there when I go. Not to be insensitive, but maybe this means they will have a more generous token promotion to win back business.
I intended to write a bit at work today, report on how my sprint break has gone so far (half-over already?), but got busy with other projects, and actually had to do some work, since we were busy and I was alone in the ticket booth most of the day, so that didn't happen. But I'll take a moment now to share my exciting life with you all.

Basically, I've just been taking the time to relax a little bit, read a bit, and do some errands that have needed doing. Watched a bit of daytime T.V. I don't usually see. Caught a very special Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood. The episode ostensibly was about how they make harmonicas, but when Mr. Rodgers put the video in, it was about how they make hoes. Mr. McPheeley came in, all apologetic (and visibly shaken), to exchange the video with the right one. Turns out the people who needed the Hoe tape were not as understanding as Mr. Rodgers, and had been verbally hostile towards our favorite Speedy Deliveryman, and Mr. McPheeley explained how they made him feel very small, and Mr. Rodgers reminded him that maybe they were just having a bad day and venting at his expense. It made me very happy that they were teaching children not to be mean to service workers, lest you make them feel as low as Mr. McPheeley did that day. They reinforced the moral in the Land of Make-Believe, too. And the best part is, I eventually got to see how they make harmonicas, after all (as well as how they make hoes, for what it's worth).

I've gotten in a fair amount of running in the last week and a half or so. Slowly getting back to where I was. My legs still need some time to get their strength back, but my cardiovascular capacity is returning to its peak conditioning rapidly. I figure I'll find a race three or four weeks down the line to keep me motivated, but I think I'm back in the habit. I certainly feel better now that I'm running again, and sleeping better (though it's a double-edged sword, in that I remember my dreams again, and sometimes I wish I didn't). So, hurrah for Mr. Rodgers, hurrah for running.

I'm sure there was something else exciting this week I could share here, but I'm exhausted, I've felt zonked all day, so I think I'll just go lay down now.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

North Park Vaudeville and Candy. I've never heard of this place, but a friend called it to my attention today, and it looks pretty cool. And while I'm at it, I'll link to the Kristy McNichol blog, just because I don't have time to look at it right now, and it seems to be running a little funky in Safari.

Friday, March 19, 2004

School is done. I'll just say I enjoyed school this quarter, but am very glad the quarter is completed. I was feeling rather frazzled by the time of my last final.

Went to Viejas tonight. I lost quite a bit, so did Mom. I just wasn't in the mood to gamble, but Mom wanted to go. When I went to look for Mom to leave, I came across two apparent heart attack victims (I later heard an employee saying there were three medical emergencies). One guy was laying completely still on the ground, half-in the elevator. Not moving, and the medics didn't seem in a big hurry to get him in their gurney. Didn't look good. Given the average age of their clientele, I'm surprised you don't see more of that kind of thing.

Tammy Faye Messner has inoperable lung cancer. I just watched a repeat of Larry King Live, with Tammy discussing her new diagnosis. She can't sing anymore, and has back pain. I got a little teary-eyed when she discussed a recent conversation with Ron Jeremy, when Ron said he didn't know how far his prayers went, but he was praying for her, and she said that meant a lot to her. I thought it was a bit tacky that they allowed several callers to plug the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which turns out to be a sponser. Good luck, Tammy.

I went ahead and scanned a new picture and added it to the gallery from Tammy Faye's book signing last November.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I enjoyed this Sunday's Peanuts cartoon.
It must be a sad reflection on my physical state that I am feeling physical pain after a day of playing shuffleboard. I suppose it's more of a repetitive-movement injury than a sports injury, but still. At least I won three games out of four.

It's been an uneventful week for the most part. I haven't had much motivation to do much of anything. I had hoped to get back to a vigilant running program, but with the unseasonal heat, managed to put that off another week (this weekend, I swear!). But I haven't really done anything this week. I did do a little cleaning yesterday, and went to the grocery store for the first time post-strike. I had a three-dollar-off coupon for a pound of Starbucks coffee, so I bought that and another loss-leader, cheap cheese. I forgot my list, though, so I need to go back today and get the rest of what I needed. For all the talk about the big sales that the grocery stores were going to have, I didn't see all that many great deals in the paper. A few bargains out there, though.

But yeah, hard to get myself motivated to do anything these days. I think it's a vicious circle, if I ran, I'd have more energy, but I don't have enough energy to run. But maybe over spring break, and then with a better school schedule next quarter, I can start getting back into my old routine.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

An Ode to Those Four Letter Words. This was quoted in an article I was assigned for a class, and found it amusing. I also found interesting an illustration of how "fuck" is generally used in a form detatched from its literal meaning, quoting a sailor describing his leave: "I had a fucking great time. First I went to a fucking bar where I had a few fucking drinks, but it was filled with de-fucking-generates. So I went down the fucking street to another fucking bar and there I met this incredibly fucking good-looking broad and after awhile we went to a fucking hotel where we rented a fucking room and had sex."

Friday, March 05, 2004

Just got home from Viejas. Won $32 playing poker. Nice to keep my winning streak going, but the poker room felt pretty dead, despite having every table going. First I played 3-6 Stud, which used to be my favorite game, but the table was flat, tiny pots, no action, not much fun. And I just picked up a bad vibe from the game. I ended up playing 2-4 Omaha, at a table in the corner, where it smelled inexplicably of garbage. That table was better, thanks to a drunk fellow sitting next to me. But still, the table was pretty dead compared to some of the previous games I've played in lately. But I won, that's what's important. And had a nice carrot cake for dessert.

Too bad I didn't win $40, that would have covered my parking ticket. My administrative review came back today, they say I have to pay the fine. Which is fair, I suppose (I forgot to put the permit on the dash...for the second time). I've been parking up the hill and hiking in lately, and it's not that bad. I'll probably buy another occasional use permit, for days when I'm running late, but I'd rather park on La Jolla Scenic Drive and save my money, especially seeing that every dollar I don't spend on a permit is one dollar UCSD parking doesn't get.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

SCO lawsuit document reveals their original target was Bank of America. Apparently Microsoft Office includes "invisible ink" notes of what changes were made to a document, and their lawyers didn't realize this would be visible by the media. Good to know, for future reference.
A study on the link between marijuana use and crime. Apparently, marijuana doesn't make you more likely to commit a crime, just more likely to be caught.
I had been using Providian as my credit card provider of choice, because of their generous rewards program. Basically worked out to getting 2% back in the form of gift certificates, figuring in the double-points promo they offered for the first twelve months. However, after only having the card about six months, they appear to have cancelled their rewards program. They sent me a change of terms a few months back, which after reading once, I thought said they were cancelling the program, but after reading the legal mumbo-jumbo, decided I had mis-read it and they were merely changing how points expire or something like that (I unfortunately can't find the notice). But my latest statement has no mention of my points earned, and all references to the program have disappeared from their web site. Bastards.

Unfortunately, I recently maxed out my other primary credit card, because they offered me 0% APR until November. So how could I turn down free money? So now I have to decide what credit card to use. My Amazon-branded card seems the most obvious choice, except that I only have a $500 limit. When you figure rent on my storage unit, my cell phone bill, and gas commuting to La Jolla on a daily basis, plus meals and other incidentals, it's not that hard to hit the limit in a month. So I'll have to use my REI-branded card as a back-up, but I'm a bit leery of them, as it is now March and I have not received my dividend for purchases made in REI in 2003 (which should be sizable, I bought a new backpack and hiking boots, and a pocket knife and other smaller purchases, plus a $10 bonus for signing up for their credit card). But hopefully I'll get another 0% balance transfer offer in the mail, so I can unload the balance on my Chase card, which pays 1% cash back on all purchases, and 3% on gas purchases (with gas at about $2.20 in San Diego, that could add up).

Of course, if my luck holds, who cares about 1% here and there. Won $100 at Viejas on Wednesday. Insane how some people play Omaha. I probably could have won a lot more if I stayed, but I had played about 5 hours, and felt ready to leave.

Interesting article on the designer of the Southern Cross and why he'd be opposed to efforts to revive the Confederate Flag today.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Other unfortunate uses of Johnny Cash songs.
A New Yorker profile on Lyle Lovett. I liked his comment about not pursuing a career in journalism, because when he was ready to ask a question, it would occur to him, "That's none of my business." A journalism publication also liked Lyle's quotes on journalism.
Down with libraries!
I voted this morning. Ended up voting for John Kerry, because Edwards said a few too many things which irritated me in the last week or two. I voted no on Arnold's two propositions, yes on every other proposition, though I was still a bit on the fence about Prop A, but I figure if the Democratic party, Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation back it, I'll go for it. I also voted to re-elect Judge Enright, mainly because the wacko on El Cajon Blvd. who always has such delightful signs on his truck had a sign reading, "Judge Enright Protects Child Molestors," so I figure if he's for the other guy, I'm for Enright. I think this is the most ambivalent I've been about an election, usually, even if I know my side is going down to crushing defeat, at least I know what side I'm on. Especially the No vote for the bond to get us out of our fiscal mess. I would've voted for it, if not for the stupid "Balanced Budget Amendment" that had to pass with it, that basically says, "we have no choice but to do this, but we will forbid any future governor from doing the same thing."

I saw Broken Lizard's Club Dread this weekend. I sort of enjoyed Super Troopers, so I figured I'd give it a try. It had its moments, but I don't think I'd recommend it. Bill Paxton was funny, though, as the Jimmy Buffett-esque resort owner and author of such hit songs as "Pina Coladaburg," written 8 years before "Margaritaville." But it is hard to forgive the film for only playing the song once (I assumed they would reprise it over the credits). It was nice to see a comedy based on horror film conventions that doesn't take itself too seriously, but as I'm not a big fan of horror films, it wasn't really for me.

I went to Viejas on Saturday and won about $230. Great luck at Omaha, at a really lose table. I flopped aces-full one hand, and still people were betting into me like crazy. I hadn't played Omaha in awhile, except for a brief period earlier last week, and I forgot what a great game it can be. People play really loose, and small errors can cost you a lot, making it a pretty lucrative game. I intend to play it more regularly in the future, see how that goes.

Chairman of the Board of Smith and Wesson resigns due to extensive criminal history of armed robbery. He will remain on the board, however, which is good, you have to know your customers.