Stuck in the middle of the week and thinking: you, me, anyone plan on upgrading to Windows Vista soon? Will we be getting any rain for January here in N. California? It's been one heck of a dry (and below average) COLD month. Wednesday is never my favorite day of the week (unless it's the day before Thanksgiving); the name "Wednesday" comes from "...the Middle English 'Wednes dei', which is from Old English Wodnes dæg, meaning the day of the Germanic god Woden, who was a god of the Anglo-Saxons in England until about the 7th century."
At 5:30 a.m. the Oscar nominations were announced. How does this work? A pre-vote and the top five in each category then are nominated?
Of the five best pictures nominated, we saw just two of 'em ("Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Departed"). My only real disappointment is in Leonardo DiCaprio not
getting a nomination for his superb role as the undercover Massachusetts statie Billie Costigan in "The Departed."
Having lunch at the Slanted Door today, it's located in the Ferry Building, saying good-bye to Sarah! :(
SI's Peter King writes it best, this morning's column he wrote,
"...I wanted to see Manning get to the Super Bowl for a very simple reason. It's absurd that he's been labeled as a choker. Patently absurd. He played a couple of poor games in the muck and mire of Foxboro against one of the best teams of all time.
Big deal. Everybody else has lost to the Patriots over the last six years too. On Sunday, he led six second-half drives, five of which went for scores. The drives: 76 yards, 76, 67, 59, and 80.
Against the mighty Patriots. And now he's got a three-game winning streak over them in the last 15 months. Good for him."
And this one from the Indpls Star online - IndyStar.com, "Let this one sink in: The Indianapolis Colts, producers of the greatest comeback ever in a conference championship game, are [finally] going to the Super Bowl."
Sorry for sounding like such a fanboy (and boring if you don't like pro sports), but this is a *significant* win.
Saints - Bears, and Patriots - Colts showdowns are finally here!
First, it's a beautiful day for a ride in the hills!
Hilary Clinton announces on her Web page this morning she's officially throwing her hat into the Demo ring for the '08 battle... no comment.
(I'd advise the Dems to run the likely hard-to-beat ticket of Clinton-Obama... not that *I'd* ever vote for them.) Also, still pretty stoked for the NFL championship round games
tomorrow... With the four teams remaining it couldn't have turned out better.
Our neighborhood is close to three or four perfect staging points for mountain biking. China Camp is an easy destination, just a 1.5 mile ride on the roads and you are already in the hill trails there. Mt. Tam is a little further to get to, about 6 miles on the roads before you hit the trails. I've done that several times and it's a long three hours roundtrip to summit and back. Then we have the Lucas Valley ridgeline which is demanding and very tough -- it rises to 1800 ft. above sea level and will totally take it all out of you.
I've got mountain biking on my mind, a lot. The Marin County Civic Center is in the distance and the background is the Lucas Valley Ridgeline.
Foreground is a steep climb up Chain Breaker Trail in San Rafael Barbier Park in the China Camp hills/San Pedro Mountain Preserve. Stoked!
Today we picked up a set of weights (dumbbells), weights table, and a bench; then we went to Mike's Bikes and I scored a new Specialized mountain bike.
New Specialized Stumpjumper 120 mountain bike.
New dumbbell weights and workout bench. The dumbbells range from 5 lbs to 25 lbs each.
Image 2 of the new system.
[img] Golden Gate from a small plane (Jay was the pilot) in 1996
(From my photo archives).
Yesterday I mentioned the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) -- a tax law passed by Congress around 1969 that has never been adjusted for inflation. It "kills" people living in certain states with lots of deductions. One obvious example is here in California. Property taxes are high because homes cost a lot; the state income tax is high too, reaching nearly 10%! Mortgage interest payments as well add up considerably -- combine those three aspects and you'll be a victim of the unfair, retrograde, and probably illegal AMT. The AMT kicks in at a certain level depending on your income and amount of deductions; at that point you are limited in how much you can deduct (so much for the dream of mortgage interest deductions) and other taxes I mentioned above. You'll pay anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 or more in extra federal income taxes, plus a penalty for not paying the damn thing early. You are pretty much screwed and Congress is petrified to change this thing. This AMT generates about 100 billion dollars per year, so the new Congressional plan of "pay as you go" will have to account for that missing revenue. Spend less anyone? Who wants to give up their favorite entitlement? Don't we now pay farmers to NOT grow crops? Don't we pay farmers extra to produce milk that is not needed? Ridiculous. Small potatoes I know but you have to start somewhere.
This evening Cindy and I are going to Boca Steak in Novato. I think it'll be an improvement over our first visit more than a year ago (average service and all that). In any case it will be fun since it's TGIF and a nice end to the week leading into the huge game Sunday pitting the Patriots at Colts. It splits our household in fact! It's still just a game but GREAT entertainment value. My dream is that the Saints pound the Bears and represent (the NFC) and play the awesome victor of Pats - Colts.
A woman died last week in Sacramento from drinking too much water. She entered a radio station contest and had to drink the most water for the
longest time and holding it, without going to the bathroom. The longest holdout would win a Wii ("we") video game console.
Why would ANYONE EVER enter such a sad contest? Society and the radio station morning DJs that serve them continue to find new lows in entertainment.
Read all about it here.
"...In audio recordings which have been posted on the [Web], the DJs are heard joking about contestants dying of water intoxication, even referencing the death of Matthew Carrington, a student who died after drinking too much water during a fraternity hazing. A caller, who identified herself as Eva, also phoned in to the show to warn that the stunt could kill, but she was dismissed by being told that contestants had 'signed releases, so we're not responsible.'"
On to other stufff...
New Computer - How many of you reading this are not backing up your data on your PC? How are you going to preserve the digital photos you shot into any sort of posterity, near term -- even the next 5 years? Hard drives do crash or wear out (and fill up) so are your most important data files (spreadsheets, Word documents, image files, Turbo Tax files, and other assorted) backed up to some other reliable media (e.g., a removable or separate external hard drive or gold quality disks such as CD-ROMs or DVD data disks)? Take heed and do it now.
New Camera - Canon will be announcing some additions and updates to their DSLR line-up in early March at the PMA. I should have a solid plan then for my new camera body -- something like a 5D upgrade or a new 3D. Then my current camera bodies will be function as secondaries or backup bodies. PMA 2007 link is here.
Hmmm... What do I have to do today? Retrieve and index then safely store away DVDs with thousands of documents scanned on them. Prepare a transition project plan for Court and then photo shoot a retirement party. In between I have a project status meeting with the Cert Scanning vendor and Bar colleagues along with miscellaneous other tasks. The bills do get paid. Therefore (thanks for the re-reminder Conrad Erb!) I'll be getting some new rechargeable NiMH 2700mAh batteries from Thomas Distributing. The batteries' primary reason is to adequately power a Canon 580EX Speedlite for top recycle times (between flash discharge).
Last Saturday I wrote about recent shoulder surgeries on the acromioclavicular (AC) joint (AC Joint repair - Denise (and I might be able to use one), and Rotator Cuff repair - Dad). To sum up, these have gone very well. Offical AAOS.org info here on the shoulder.
I was watching Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958) the other day and voila! there was Fort Point (my Jan. 6 entry; and Ft. Point without the extra safety fences of the modern era) and Jimmy Stewart dives into the water
to rescue the suicide prone gal (Kim Novak). Did "Vertigo" inspire the feds to overly safety protect this location? Just wonderin'.
Here are two photos to compare, one taken in 1958 and the second in 2007:
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