Monday, March 31, 2008

Archaeological dig...four inches down

When I walk to my office from the train, I usually walk through Old Oakland, a historic district that has gone through various renovations over the years. I have been watching the renovations of a particular corner store with considerable interest; when they took the top layer of siding off the wall, they revealed this former facade:

I can only imagine what kinds of headache powders and moustache waxes were for sale here. Pretty cool.

They took the facade off some time ago, and then stopped working. I have a sense there is a discussion going on somewhere about what to do and whether or not to preserve the writing. I hope they try.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

(mostly) Wire Free!

Today, we made a strong leap into the late 90s by setting up a Wi-Fi home network. Like everything else involved with Apple, it was ten times easier than I thought it would be, which means the setup process took me only twice as long as it would have taken a well-trained monkey (I'll give you a minute to do that math). Now, our TiVo can download movies, and we can play Wii Tennis with our friends without actually seeing them or going to that pesky place known as "outside." As soon as my couch can produce and moderately heat various Hot Pockets, I will never have to leave my living room, let alone my home. Thank you, technology!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WISH I was making this up...

Another fun court house hallway exchange:

Guy: Hey!
Me: [ignoring shouting man]
Guy: HEY!
Me: [turning around, against better judgement] Yes?
Guy: Where's my lawyer?
Me: Sir, I don't know who you are, so how would I know who your lawyer is?
Guy: Um, I think his name is Dan.
Me: Dan who?
Guy: Um, Dan...Fielding. Yeah, Dan Fielding.
Me: [poker face] Sir, Dan Fielding was the name of a lawyer on the show Night Court.
Guy: Oh.
Me: You should probably check with the clerk, sir.

I had a pretty bad headache from not laughing...but I'm feeling much better now... :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Et tu, Quentin?

I am not sure if it is fair to blame Tarantino, but I do: I am getting really tired of reading books with six different story lines, jumping back and forth in time, with characters that may all end up in the same room at the end or, more likely, never interact, other than maybe literally brushing elbows on a crowded street in a tired attempt to symbolize loneliness in a crowded world. Blech.

Case in point: Beautiful Children, by Charles Bock. Most of the characters were interesting enough to keep me reading to the end, but there was no plot to speak of other than watching all of these people spiral into their own private Hells. Would have been an interesting or inventive storytelling device ten years ago, but now, it's been done, and done better.

In fairness, any story about abused or neglected kids is probably not going to make my Top Ten list, as abused and neglected kids are how I make a living these days (I call that "Tuesday"). Still, nothing worth making the journey for.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quote of the Week

From Eddie Sutton, interim head coach of the USF men's basketball team:

"This is my 37th year in Division I and this is the least amount of talent I've ever had to work with. I've really had to program myself to be patient. Some of these guys have almost developed a defeatist attitude. ... I'm not downgrading them. They are what they are -- they're good college players. I've been blessed with great players. Look at my record. You don't have that record without great players."

Boy, good thing he wasn't downgrading them. With this kind of positive leadership, I have no idea how any of the players could have developed a defeatist attitude.

What a horrible coda to an already tarnished career. USF should be ashamed for creating this situation, and for wheeling in this shell of a man so that he can slump on the sidelines and "win" his 800th game, pretending to coach without even knowing any of the players' names, while the university grabs some national spotlight time. Sutton should be ashamed for desperately trying to reclaim his former glory and grab one last time for the brass ring that slipped through his alcohol-soaked fingers. Just awful.

You can read the entire article here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Like C. Thomas Howell in Red Dawn

It's official; I am a full member of the club.

My first Wii injury (not counting strained muscles):

A fingernail incident while playing Wii Sports Baseball and swinging the Wiimote, but don't worry...I still got the hit.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Quote of the Week

In the hallway outside the courtroom I am currently assigned to, from a parent of one of my clients; the parent is a fairly notorious local pimp and drug dealer:

"You're really good at this...have you thought about private practice? I would hire you in a minute, man!"


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

(L)Awfully good times...

Sad to see that Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of the original Dungeons & Dragons system, died yesterday.

Some of my best friends and better memories involve D&D in some fashion or another, and if that makes me a geek, so be it. I have a +2 Thick Skin, and I made my saving throw versus Insults and Dragon Breath, so feel free to make fun of me as much as you want.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Good times

Another great trip to Vegas. We stayed a little longer than normal, but it gave the Wife a day off from her conference to play, so it was worth it. We stayed here, saw this, ate here, here, and (a little more cheaply) here, and relaxed here. We played a LOT of poker; the Wife won a tournament here, and I won a tournament here. We were initially a little intimidated to play in a tournament here, but we got over it, and it was hands-down the best poker room we've ever played in.

Coming home from Vegas with more money than you went with = good times.