2.06.2013

so i have to take mandatory harassment training at work once a year. i thought this particular scene was a bit odd. not to mention the text below; makes it sound like a douchy superhero duo that giggles its way to justice.

lots of work, so back to it.

1.30.2013

a return

it's bizarre, looking back at these posts after five years. i recently heard a news story on npr about how people don't think they are going to change that much, until they are confronted with their former self. was it really me writing those occasionally blustery and overly flowery posts? huh.

it seems as if spring is already attempting to sputter to life here in los angeles, after a few stretches of rain and chilly nights. it's been far too long since my pasty skin has seen the light of day. i may need to take some time off as soon as a decent westerly swell rolls toward our coastline, if only to get out into the water again.

those bastards at blogger changed everything up since last i traversed these pages. gone is my former font color, so you are stuck with this bland shade. ditto for the font size.

10.26.2011

derailed

argh. work issues causing stress, people not cooperating with me or my schedule! add in the fact that i was planning on making this awesomely gruesome halloween costume for a contest at work but had to cancel those plans due to concerns about the longevity of the fake blood slash liquid latex, and i'm not having a great day.

oh well.

10.20.2011

raw food

i was totally unaware that public nudity is legal in san francisco, although it makes perfect sense and didn't come as much of a surprise. i don't think it would bother me much, although i would prefer if the city followed through on plans to codify nudist etiquette, for example, as mentioned in the article, placing something between their nether regions and any public surface upon which said nether regions might rest.

10.19.2011

apologies

excuse this boring apa style rant, but i just have to do this.

a recent post on the apa style blog noted that references should include both the volume and issue number of a journal only if the journal is paginated by issue (that is, it starts each issue with page 1). it suggests various tips for finding out whether a particular journal paginates by issue or by volume. what a crock. why should i waste my time even thinking about this? why not just include both volume and issue numbers? if the true goal is making it easier for a reader to find a particular reference, how is leaving out the issue number helpful? so you can save three characters' worth of space? who is coming up with this crap?

that is all.

10.18.2011

weekend update

had a great weekend up in sb with the mom, bro, sis-in-law, and the girl. mostly just hanging out, although we did head to the ellwood butterfly preserve (only a few monarchs, not quite the season yet). gearing up for the wedding this coming weekend. looks like the weather should be decent for an outdoor wedding in northern california in october.

10.14.2011

shill, baby, shill

the perry plan:

Perry pledged to chase oil reserves wherever he can find them: both off the coast of the Alaska and within the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia, and in the American West.

Reading from a teleprompter, Perry also said he would push to exploit the country’s coal and natural gas resources.

The key, Perry said, is rolling back the federal regulatory net.

...

“When you consider that any carbon reduction will be offset by the increase of carbon emissions by developing nations like China and India, the EPA would tie our economy in knots and advantage our global competitors while realizing no global environmental benefits in the process,” Perry said.

i'll add my own comments here on how doltish this approach is, but i think the obama campaign did a pretty good job:

“Gov. Perry’s energy policy isn’t the way to win the future, it’s straight out of the past – doubling down on finite resources with no plan to promote innovation or to transition the nation to a clean energy economy," said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

that said, what kind of crap argument is that last quote by perry? so because china and india are going to wind up dumping tons of pollution and trash into the environment, that's all the more reason for us to stay at the party and completely destroy the planet? brilliant. could his nose be any deeper in the oil industry's filthy crack?

i'd say go for it, republicans, give this guy your nomination, but i'm afraid people might be dumb enough to vote him into office and i can't handle bush 3.0.

bear hunt

well, it definitely was a win, but i'd venture to say it wasn't exactly pretty. five turnovers by the bears certainly helped out the defense, which still struggled to stop the passing game. the offense had an off night, which i guess happens. but i don't have a whole lot of confidence going in to the next two weeks, with notre dame and stanford looming on the schedule. one more thing: can everyone stop getting hurt? it felt like every play someone was coming up holding their shoulder or limping off the field on a twisted ankle. with 10 fewer scholarships for the next three years, players can't afford to be damaging body parts.

10.13.2011

office space available

read one of the most disturbing political pieces i've seen in a long time in the new yorker. should be available to nonsubscribers here for a while. millionaire art pope, head of a chain of five-and-dime stores, has been funneling cash into local and state elections in an attempt to swing the state of north carolina into red territory. the level of machiavellian manipulation and arrogance is staggering.

fortunately, it seems the article is already leading to a backlash against this power-hungry sociopath.

reminds me a bit of the whole van wolfswinkel episode in santa barbara, when a texas developer poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city council race, an unprecedented amount of money for small-town politics, and somewhat succeeded in shifting the makeup of the council in a decidedly conservative direction (some would argue, probably rightfully so, that the economy also had a big part in the swing, as well as a string of well-intentioned but misguided projects by the liberal council in the years leading up to the election in 2009).

we can thank the supreme court and its citizens united ruling for the grossly inappropriate amount of corporate money that is now swamping elections across the nation. supposedly seeking to protect the first amendment rights of corporations (because they are people, too), the divided court decided that the government can't ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections, opening the floodgates for all types of shenanigans and misdeeds by the wealthiest among us and inspiring new faith among conservatives that they will be able to buy their way into any political office possible.

10.12.2011

flat line

had a great weekend trip up to el cap with the girl and her kin. a much-needed escape from the concrete, metal, exhaust, and noise of this sprawling metropolis. just the first in a month of escapes really, as i'll be heading back north in a few days and again in a few days and a week.

snapped a few photos on our camping trip and really like a few of them. still dreaming of buying a nikon d7000 of my very own, but we'll see how the budget goes. had to buy four new tires for the car after wearing the old set down to the wire and getting a flat en route to el cap. that was fun, especially changing a driver's side tire on the shoulder of the 101. luckily, traffic had slowed to a crawl and i had plenty of space to operate. only took about 15 minutes to swap out the spare, and the chp officer who happened along toward the end of the process seemed fairly impressed. the hardest part was getting the damn jack out of its berth in the trunk. and getting to the sears auto center before the spare started sagging as well. maybe the weight of all the crap we lugged up with us. so much for roughing it, i guess. anyway, that set my savings account back quite a bit. about six months worth of the cash i've been slowly setting aside for emergencies/vacations. sigh.

speaking of vacations, i'm just about up to two weeks of time off and haven't any ideas of how to use it. maybe a trip outside of the state, see a bit of the country. we'll see. it's the money side of things that's making me hesitant. and constantly scanning groupon and travelzoo and other deal brokers.

10.05.2011

lemons

despite the best efforts of our defense and monte's now-infamous cover 2 (aka, cover who?) defense, we pulled another one out of the bag against zona a few days ago. we've got a bye week coming up, so it'll be nice not to have to sweat it out once again on saturday. i'm a bit bored, so i'm thinking i'll come up with a few witticisms to lob at the ncaa to go along with the few i've seen around (e.g., t-shirts emblazoned with "you can't sanction the endzone").

the ncaa tried to crap on our dreams, but we made that crap into compost, grew some barley, and turned it into scotch.

the ncaa tried to throw a wrench in our gears, but we used the wrench to tighten a leaky spigot on our whisky still and now we have even more scotch.

the ncaa tried to rain on our parade, but we made that rain into ice cubes and considered putting them in our scotch, but we are real men and we drink our scotch neat. instead, we used the ice cubes to cool down barkley's cannon of an arm after he shot up the zona defense.

editing 101

time to rip apart a news story at a certain newspaper in santa barbara. here's the basic plot: a nasty crash between two vehicles on highway 101. here's how the crash is described, with my commentary interspersed.

The crash happened on slippery roads still wet from the overnight rain, about 6:40 a.m., near the Southbound La Cumbre Road offramp.

hmm, odd placement of the time element. did it happen on "slippery roads" or a slippery highway? and why exactly is "southbound" capitalized? why not: "The crash occurred at approximately 6:40 a.m. near the southbound La Cumbre Road offramp on a slippery roadway still wet from overnight rainfall."

The CHP said that Worak III was driving in the slow lane on near La Cumbre Road. At the same time, Night was driving a white 2003 Toyota Corolla in the middle lane, slightly to the rear of the Ford.

the chp can't say anything; it's an institution, not a person. let's set aside the "on near" phrase as an unfortunate mistake. we already know the crash happened near La Cumbre Road anyway. of course the two drivers were there "at the same time." here's my version: "CHP officials said Worak was driving in the slow lane with Night, in a white 2003 Toyota Corolla, driving slightly to the rear of the Ford in the middle lane."

Worak, the CHP said, began to change lanes from the slow lane to the middle lane, directly into the path of the Toyota.

again, organizations can't speak. also the whole changing of the lanes phrase is a bit more complicated that need be: "Worak began merging into the middle lane, according to the CHP, traveling directly into the path of the Toyota."

Night swerved into the fast lane to avoid an accident, then back into the middle lane, when it crashed into the Ford. Both vehicles spun out of control onto the right shoulder, where they smacked into the guard rail. The Ford then jumped the Toyota and landed on top, where it came to a rest.

hmm. interesting how "night" becomes an "it" later in the first sentence. is it now an anthromorphic time element that is involved in the crash? the description in the following two sentences is pretty sad. my version: "Night swerved into the fast lane before skidding back into the Ford. Both vehicles spun out of control onto the right shoulder and crashed into the guard rail. Propelled into the air by the force of the impact, the Ford landed on the crumpled Toyota as the two vehicles came to a rest."

Worak’s legs were pinned against the dashboard, authorities said. Fire crews removed both of the truck’s doors to get to the driver. Since the truck landed on top of the car — about eight feet off the ground — firefighters had to stand on ladders and on top of the bottom car to make the rescue.

the first two sentences are relatively painless, but the closer is strange. why not add a bit more color and punch? like this: "As firefighters worked frantically to free the trapped man eight feet from the ground, they were forced to stand on ladders and the damaged Toyota while wielding heavy hydraulic equipment."

10.04.2011

mr. clean

aah, well. here's what's new. the girl started a new job a while back, which she hates with a passion. still plugging away at my gig with almost a year under my belt. breezed through the summer with far too few trips to the beach and missed the few solid south swells that came through. hoping this fall and winter will fare a bit better, but la nina seems to have other plans. this month promises to be a busy one. this coming weekend, we're off to el capitan canyon for a bit of cabin camping (and hopefully some surf). the next weekend, probably heading back up to sb to see the bro, sis-in-law, and the mom, who might be coming down for a visit. then it's off to saratoga for a cousin's wedding the following weekend. and we round out october with the usc v stanford water polo and football games. gonna be damn fun!

what else can i let you in on? looks like summer is official over now; we're getting a few storms rolling through this week. looking forward to having the air scrubbed clean for a day or two, and hopefully we'll get enough rain to rid my car of its pesky dust coat. ah, my car. had to get new brake pads recently, and tires are next on the to-do list. guess i should be counting my blessings. i've had the car about five years and haven't done much other than standard maintenance thus far. it's closing in on 200,000 miles pretty quickly as well.

things have been a bit slow at work lately, so if this trend continues, i might spend a bit more time here, rambling on about random things. or, more likely, i'll forget all about it in a day or two and lose all momentum.

7.22.2011

meep

not much new to report from los angeles. it's been a bit warm lately, which is a shame because there hasn't been much reason to go to the beach. damn la nina. folks will be in town for a petanque tournament this weekend, so that should be fun. other than that, just enjoying the summer and thinking about how to use my vacation time this fall. suggestions are welcome.

7.15.2011

link right

been reading good ol' cyanide and happiness lately. classic. here's a taste.

7.14.2011

debt ceiling

fucking politicians.

7.13.2011

toothsome

got a bit destroyed at the dentist yesterday, but pretty much recovered today. after four-odd years without health insurance, i was expecting the worst when i went in for a cleaning. turns out, i had a bit of plaque but nothing too serious. we'll see once they review the x-rays though.

looks like a slow summer month at work. thinking about where to get away this fall. gotta use up some of this vacation time. any suggestions?

7.07.2011

hang 'em up

score one for the real journalists. murdoch's craptastic news of the world is going down in flames after its scummy reporters allegedly hacked into the voicemail messages of celebrities, relatives of dead soldiers, and a missing 13-year-old girl. naturally, they reportedly deleted some of the messages on the teenager's phone to make room for more scoopable material, giving false hope to the parents and jamming up the police investigation. oh well, at least they got some gory details and sold a few more papers.

in other news, i tracked down a few onion-like briefs i wrote up during my college days for a now-defunct site i created called enough necktie (it's an anagram). might have to revive it someday. here's a favorite:

President George W. Bush issued an embargo on all Swedish-made goods today after a meatball allegedly of Swedish origin became lodged in his throat during a fundraising dinner at the White House last night.
"We cannot continue to allow these acts of terror to take place on American soil," President Bush said. "Every American has a right to swallow their food without fear."
Witnesses of the event said the president seemed to be enjoying his dinner when he suddenly stood up with a panicked look on his face.
"His face turned red and he started waving his arms around wildly," said a White House aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "One of Cheney's paramedics gave him the Heimlich and the meatball came flying out, still in one piece."
Secret Service agents dove on the remaining meatballs still on the president's plate of spaghetti, knocking them to the floor. Three people were injured in the resulting scramble to get out of the room, raising the casualty count to four victims. After a thorough examination, the president's throat was downgraded to Level Yellow, still on alert for any suspicious activity.
Experts say the embargo will have a grave impact on Swedish massage therapy centers, which have seen a 72 percent decrease in clients. In addition, Ingmar Bergman films have been removed from public libraries and the administration has announced the creation of the Freedom Prize as an alternative to the Nobel Prize.
UPDATE: Preliminary research indicates that the meatballs were most likely Italian in nature. President Bush said he stands by his earlier statement that the Swedes were involved in the act of culinary terrorism.

7.06.2011

dawn of the ted

a recent convo with the girl for your amusement:

me: if there's a zombie apocalypse, would you like me to kill you before you are infected?
girl: no way dude
me: no way?
girl: no way.
girl: you want me to kill you?
me: sure
girl: ok. i'll kill you. after I become i zombie :)
me: is that a new app?
girl: ahaha
girl: i, zombie. it's like i, robot.
me: i, see
girl: yep. for the compassionate zombies with existential crises and a desire to simply know our role in the world

independence

spent the long fourth of july weekend (i got friday off too) relaxing and not doing too much of note. spent monday morning at zuma. i left west la at around 9 and thought i'd get there before most of the crowds showed up, but i was lucky to find one of a few remaining free parking spots along pch. despite surf reports that suggested the pacific would live up to its name, there were a few sets rolling in, so i jumped in to bodysurf a bit and discovered the water has warmed up considerably in the past few weeks. without the protection of my wetsuit, however, i got a bit sunblasted. couldn't quite reach that spot in the middle of my back, and did a slapdash job of coating my front, so i ended up a motley mix of red and tan. oh well, it's all faded by now.

looks like there might be a bit of swell in the water this coming weekend, so i'll probably head back up the coast. i doubt it will be as crowded, but you never know. i might have to spend my time dodging screaming kids and flabby ex-jocks as they splash about in the whitewater.