Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm not afraid to say it: Oklahoma State wins!

If Purdue beats OkSt in this bowl game, I may as well stop following college football.  NO WAY.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 31st

For all acquiantance be forgot
For all of all mankind
May all your nations see your spot
For all of auld lang syne.

To this day I *still* don't know the actual words of this song!   My goodness, 2012 is over already?   I'm sad to see it go.   I have much in life ahead of me:

Clear life of debts
Find love and companionship
Eat a porterhouse steak
Beat 38 seconds in a 50 yard swim
Dive off a 10m platform

I think the official New Years Resolution will be to beat the 38 second mark.  Won't be easy! I'm not at all in shape, but I feel like I'm getting faster anyway.   Good times are ahead...

Tonight's manner of celebrating New Years is not how I envisioned it but it's the way I and my family have done it every year.   We came into the world together, so we might as well enter 2013 together too.  Then, back to work and back to Los Angeles.

My hope is for great prosperity for all of you.  I'm grateful to be alive for a new year, and I wish the same for all of us one year from now.  Sending my best...


More adventures in dreams...

I've learned in life that many of my dreams are connected to things I thought of or did earlier that day.

Last night, no exception.   This time no celebrities, but a colleague of mine was involved.   I had been thinking of the 1972 USA Olympic Swim Team and the respective finals, yeah that includes Spitzy, but anyway, I go to bed and suddenly...

...I'm at the site of U.S. Masters Nationals and there's a friend of mine who's about to swim the 100 free.   Now in real life she's very very fast with freestyle and is a lifeguard as well.  So she's there, wearing a USA Flag themed suit and I wished her good luck and said, "Hope you break your personal record!"   Then she starts busting it at the race, and the memory is foggy here but I think she got an all time best swim!

That was such a great dream, so sad I had to wake up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Michael Phelps at the Used Record Store

Continuing where the last post left off, no sooner than I try to comprehend the Michael Jordan dream a second such dream happens.  I think this one was last night.  I go to the used record store and I'm in line to check out.  One of the guys in line says to me "I think that's Michael Phelps at the counter, but he's just helping, DO NOT talk to him."  So I go up, get one of the other guys to check out my purchase and just do a tiny little glance at him at the front.  He wasn't really doing anything, just assembling inventory and that thing, but he was towering over everyone else there.

That was the whole dream.  Very strange.

Dave Meets Michael Jordan in his Sleep

All right, I couldn't resist posting this.

The other night, I was asleep at my parents house in Oxnard where I'm visiting for the week.   As I go to bed, I have a dream about being in a mall.   I get this beat up 1970s Cincinnati Reds cap signed by somebody, don't know who.   I'm walking around, then I'm in a different store.  Some guy in a suit comes up to me and says "Sir, I have a client that might be *really* interested in your cap." 

Right after, that a guy in sweats walks into the room.  It's Michael Freaking Jordan!!!   So he goes up to me and says "So how much do you want for it?"   I'm suddenly shaking and completely awestruck, and I have no idea what to say, then MJ leaves for a while and the agent guy tries to negotiate the price with me.   I think we were up to $4500 as the asking price.  Then I woke up.

I wonder if Jordan bought the cap?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Apology to Amazon...

I'm sorry

You are a fine company.  I blew it.

I had a huge rant against their company for not following through with "Two Day Shipping."  Now in fairness, I went by their "estimated delivery date" but the date would only have been one day after the item shipped.  I just realized the items shipped on *Wednesday* not Tuesday.  Because of this, is still within the 2 day window and there is no reason for me to panic as of yet.  If I don't see a shipment tonight, however, it's a different story.

--for now, though, I'm sorry. 

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 21st

Folks, this is our last blog "thoughts of the day" post of the year.  I hope you all have enjoyed the daily ramblings of mine and I hope to continue more of the same next year.

I'm so thankful to have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a loving supporting family.   My financial situation is not the greatest, but I get to pay my bills and I hope it continues to be so for all time.

To my friends on the internets, you all bring such a smile to my face every day.  I know we're just goofing around, but having you all to converse with has been great and dependable.    There are some days where I'm just not doing that well, but my online friends far and wide have been there.  It means a lot.

It's great that I've met a lot of you in person!   I hope I can do it again soon, time and money permitting.

To the people at UCLA, you are the reason I get to maintain a healthy, comfortable lifestyle.   You saved me when I was in a world of hurt, and to all of my companions, managers, faculty, grad students, and my staff, thank you.  There are just too many names to list, but you all are appreciated.

To my family itself, I wouldn't be where I am if not for your support.  Sometimes I do stupid things!  Nonetheless, it really does a lot for you all to show me the way.

To my "offline" friends, we've shared good times and great memories, and I hope to keep doing so for years to come.   Hope I haven't been too much of an annoyance.

To anyone else who's picked up on this blog, or listened to the DITC podcast, thank you for your patronage.   You can always contact me off air if you'd like via Twitter: @diningwithdave .   It's wonderful to have an audience for those shows.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and fruitful holiday season.  There may be other good things in store as we go along. 

So!  Before I leave some more goofball thoughts from the pen...

I can't eat yet.   I'm due to take a blood test today and until I do I have to fast.  This is painful...

I went to swim this morning and hoped it'd be a slightly easier sprint practice, but no!!!  We do alternating 50m freestyle and butterfly sprints, long course.  Oh man was I worn out!  I didn't even think I'd make it, but I did, and I'm spent, whew.

I don't know when to take the blood test... this is a strange spot.   Most of my units will close early today, but to wait all the way until 2pm to take the blood test is impossible.  BUT, I'm at the main office until 12pm.  BUT the medical center is closed between 12pm-1pm.  Geez... talk about bad planning, I should have handled this yesterday.

That's what I get for not taking the extra week off, but I wanted to see this through.   Interestingly, all of our office parties were scheduled for this week anyway... the calendar compressed Christmas and New Years practically on the same week so it didn't allow for any cushion in between... Otherwise, the Office Parties would have been about a week before Winter Closure at UCLA instead of within the same week.

It hasn't been a period of rest for the 'cow.   Somehow the week at work had been reasonably busy with projects and such, where I thought it'd be completely dead.  Not so!   No matter, though, it's almost done.

You know what irked me as well?   I asked for two day shipping for a package from Amazon and it *didn't* arrive on time!  What the HELL man?   Is it two day shipping or not?!   If it doesn't arrive today I'm going to be very annoyed.

One time, I tried ordering gifts online and I was about a day or two late with the order.  What I did not realize was that even you you get shipping calculations, that's all dependent on the date the order ships.  So surely it says "3-5 business days" but if it takes an extra 2 days for the order to ship out, then you're hosed.  It was very awkward telling people around my family that their present was still in transit that Christmas.

Remember that quest for the Porterhouse Steak?   I had some barbecue yesterday for one office party following an entire lunch from In N Out for our other unit's staff meeting.   Never before has any person eaten a full In N Out meal and Lucille's BBQ at once.  Needless to say, I'm in no rush to eat porterhouse steaks.  Boy were those lunches wonderful though!

NFL Week 17 games... there's a lot of coasting going on that week, but I did enjoy the Giants/Jets game from last year.   Even so, I doubt there will be much excitement at all, even with the impending playoff implications.

I wish some of the bowl games next week would be scheduled for the afternoon.   Waiting the whole day to see it at night is a little tough, but while true, that extra time could be used to watch movies.

Django... looks promising.

Blue Tortilla chips are phenomenal.   Enough said.

Anyone ever see the extra long twizzlers vines?   They were nearly 3 feet long each.  My goodness!

It's very strange to see the Lakers as a clear underdog to the Golden State Warriors.  They used to be the team the Lakers would kick around, but tonight, there is no question the Lakers are on their heels instead.   LA won three in a row, but nobody is convinced of them being a good team yet.  It's going to take some time.

Here's an interesting question, although it's early.  Who will win more postseason games:  The Knicks or Duke and Syracuse combined?  

That's all for this year.  Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!  More to come, we hope, in the coming months and years.   So long for now...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 20th

We are within 5 days of Christmas... and we are within 25 hours of total annihilation.   Yay?

I was, in fact, pretty scared even though people said I shouldn't be, about the 12/21/12 date.   This year, I lived out the "live each day as if it were your last" adage.  I took trips to far away places, I did impromptu visits to certain locales.  I placed bets that I had no right doing.  I saw the sights and did what I did.

With all of that said and done, one thing remains:  Make a dive off a 10m platform.

This one may not happen -- there may not be enough time.  Yet, I've always wanted to make a good olympic dive off the 10m platform.   I gotta tell you, though, every 2-3 months I have a dream that involves me making a dive off the olympic sized platform.

I don't even know how I'd go about getting this chance.   It's not like they have "Masters Diving" programs.   It's an unusual situation.

Let me simmer in that idea while broaching other subjects:

Gingerbread Lattes are amazing.

Microsoft does an awful job designing Operating Systems.  When a good one comes out, it's usually the result of fixing a huge chunk of a previous one that tanked.  Example: Windows 7... think of Windows 7 as like a giant re-do of the POS Windows Vista.  It was great!  Windows 2000, awesome OS... that was damage control for the abysmal Windows ME.

That brings us to Windows 8.    It just feels like all kinds of things could go wrong.  The Start Button reminds me of a smartphone gone wrong.  It's not even a "button" anymore, it takes up the whole screen.   Once you get past that it looks like an updated Win 7 desktop.  Nonetheless, it just looks insane.  How are people who don't know computers going to use something like this?  Have fun with that, Microsoft.

For some bizarre reason I was jonesing for theater style popcorn yesterday.

Maybe the Nets are playing in over their heads after all, but I do think the Knicks are here to stay.

I had *no* idea Duke Basketball was #1.  I expect them to be pretty good but Number One?  I haven't even seen them play a game yet this year.

People laughed at UCLA last month, but in February I still think UCLA B-Ball is going to be legit.  Better than Cal!  Good ole Cal...

Who would see a movie about Seth Rogen as the son of an old Barbara Streisand?   Do people *think* at these Movie Studios?

You ever go to a party where one of the guys starts shouting "OK WE'RE GOING TO DO THE GIFT EXCHANGE NOW GET IN YOUR POSITIONS DO THIS DO THAT.  OK WE'RE GOING TO CUT THE CAKE NOW, TAKE YOUR SEATS.  OK WE'RE GOING TO DO KARAOKE AT EXACTLY 8:07!" like that?   People who are that bossy about a stinkin' party must be a real boar of a person to deal with in regular life too.  

Why would anyone bring generic sodas to a big wig party?   Actually, I think I know why... it's a big "IN YO' FACE" from people who resent the idea of having to *serve* big-wigs in a party that was supposed to be for them instead.  This year, our group was forced to wear name tags.  What does that say?  Wow!

When I get pants as a gift from family the pants are way too tight at the thighs.  Almost always.   Over the years I've begged my family not to purchase clothes for that reason.    They must think I'm one of those scrawny hipsters over at Echo Park or Hancock Park or Highland Park or one of those "Parks."  Fellas with plaid shirts and oversized glasses who go onto twitter and try to get "#ifmovietitleswerehonest" trending (gag).   I know my family means well, but my destiny is not that of a hipster... my thighs are, and always have been, larger than the width of a tetherball pole.   Once you wash those tight jeans they become almost impossible to wear.  I like the loose fitting jeans much more.

I actually want to recommend "loose fitting jeans" to my family but I keep forgetting... aw well, that's on me.

As we approach Christmas Week, I want to announce that I'll also be taking a break from the blog, but I might potentially jump in with a quick line or two during the break.  Regular blogging will resume in January, and with it will come predictions that you know and love.

Hope all is well with you and Season's Greetings!  One last blog post tomorrow and then we vacay.  'til then!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 19th

California is a very difficult place to find grape soda.   Over the years I took it for granted, and lately I went looking for some to drink.  It's impossible.  Sometimes I see it someplace, like a CVS Pharmacy, or a random liquor store and I don't even think twice.  Last night, after six hours of producing podcast clips, I was at the local Ralphs Grocery Store at 1am and no dice.

I'm not sure why it's so hard to find except for one factor: Grape soda has an unusually high number of calories.   Much higher than comparable sodas of other flavors.  So odd.  

WHY does grape soda have such a high number of calories?  Anyone know?  This is going to drive me crazy for the rest of my life.

A mocha or hot chocolate sounds tremendous today, but knowing my family's history with diabetes and my current age, I need to settle down with the sweets.   However, one key difference between me and most of my family members is that I exercise regularly.  Thank goodness.

I know, what was I doing looking for soda last night then?  I have no idea, but I did, and I barely ate anything for dinner.

It is *really* cold today here in LA.  I love it!   A little swirling wind to boot.  

Pau Gasol is just not going to fit long term *with* Dwight Howard on the court.  I'm not sure why but on the Lakers you can only have one 7 foot post up player on the court at a time.  It never seems to work as well when you try two of them at once.   Believe it or not, the same problem occurred when Bynum started to pick it up offensively with the Lakers a year ago.   Gasol's numbers have been going down a lot the last three seasons.   I can only imagine how difficult it is for him to find a rhythm.   Plus, he's soft.

The best D'antoni could do, according to many, was use Pau on the court while Dwight Howard was on the bench.   It's a tough situation to be sure.

Ethier had better not be traded by the Dodgers.  Do the Dodgers even care about baseball?   For many years, including this one, Ethier was easily one of the three most productive hitters on the team.  In what universe does it make sense to trade him?   Even if it was a trade for prospects, Ethier is not so good that he'll get Grade A Choice talent from the minors.  Trading him for Nick Swisher is even worse!  Swisher is a dope!  I really hope the Dodgers start thinking smartly and not thinking with stupid stars in their eyes.

Although, the irony of him getting traded, as a prospect, to LA for Milton Bradley is not lost on me.

I could use a cookie too... boy this is not going to end well for my health, I'm telling you!

There's an office holiday party today then the podcast, but in a twist, the podcast tonight will feature best-of clips that did not make the cut for the official best of podcast tomorrow.   It was a convenient way to use clips that otherwise did not have a home.  Goes to show you how many highlights we had this year.

The office party is a meh to me.   It's really not an office party... or if it is, it's the worst kind of party where you have to pretend to care about managers and uppers you have no connection to.  There's a whole lot of butt kissing going on which I think is the ulterior motive of this "party."  This is not a party!  It's an excuse for the managers to curry favor with other units at UCLA.   A true party would be just our staff and only our staff as is the case for my employed departments (it's a long story but three units manage my services each with their own staff).

In most years we just break off into groups to keep the awkward moments to a minimum.   It's good strategy.  I hear of other people I know having really WILD office parties with babes and lots of drinking and I go "I would love that."  Instead I get this stodgy affair with big wigs who are equally stodgy.  A little too rigid for my taste, imho.

But, with that said, this is definitely the week I look forward to most all year!  The lightest work week of the year and a prelude to Christmas Day.  It doesn't get any better than this!  

I should mention that I've toned down the holiday tunes this year, and honestly, when I do hear the songs it's the same 26 songs I've heard before so I think I have the balance just right.

Celebrate everyone!  See you back here soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 18th

I think I owe money for a bill someplace.  I gotta get on that.

The Jets:  Need I say more?   They talk a big game, and play a very little one.     In all honesty, they just aren't that good and have regressed on a very gross level.  They really need to rebuild from the ground up and get some "non-flashy" players: tackles, O-linemen (which is the same thing as tackles), a better RB, WR talent, and on and on and on.  The Jets need a whole team, and that's on the uppers.

Oh those Jets uppers, going for the attention instead of better football.    Jets fans rightfully have said "enough is enough!"

I'm still thinking about that chicken from Dino's Burgers.  Still cannot believe how good that was.  Now: the quest is to find a similar meal on the Westside, but Dino's is so unique I think that quest will be impossible.

Meanwhile, I had been jonesing for a porterhouse steak all year, and you know what?   Given that I'll be in my hometown of Oxnard all of next week, I may as well just go for it on Saturday night.   Folks, I may be headed to Wolfgang's Steakhouse very soon.  I wish the sides were better but even if I just order the meat and some of the sauce with a coffee I'll be very satisfied.

Pau Gasol:  he's due to return any game now, and many say it's tonight.   Honestly he should take his time and give it another week.   It's not like when you get tendonitis you can walk it off... what's another 3-5 games?  The worst thing would be for him to get back on the court and encumber the same pain all over again.

Oh my goodness... a colleague of mine laid on a MAJOR salvo of a story about Lakers TV Broadcaster and former, and I can't stress this enough, *assistant* head coach.  Long story short, the lady worked at some clinic and the guy lambasted her and, get ready for this, he pulled the "do you know who I am?" card.   Yes, HIM!   A..... former, **assistant** head coach bumming it on Lakers telecasts pulled the do-you-know-who-I-am card!

Now the key is, we only got one side of the story so all opinions are subject to further evaluation.

Hopefully those last two paragraphs don't get me in trouble.  If Deadspin picks up on it, I'm finished.  Oh baby!

Sports Illustrated on the whole has outlived its usefulness.  The contributors to the magazine have as well, and that includes Peter King, Rick Reilly (no longer on SI), and Jon Heyman.  I mean come on...   I think people just subscribe to it now for the fancy pictures.  When I was very young I used to go through my Dad's old Sports Illustrateds and look at the great photos.  They were very great.

Sports Illustrated, at its best, was the ultimate time capsule of sports and life.  Today, it's really very little of that, and it reminds me lately of those fancy Microsoft Publisher generated articles.   Visually stimulating but not nearly as good photography as what we used to have, although it's still fairly good.

The other half of it is that SI used to be so profound, simple, and to the point.  You would get an SI from like 1976 and you get a giant photo, the words "Sports Illustrated" with the smaller font saying "December [xy] 1976" and then ONE headline in block letters.  Thats it!  Now the cover of SI is more complicated than the USA Today's front page.  So many little side stories, mini headlines, other photos, etc.   There was really nothing Sports Illustrated could do to preserve its old style.  Time and its audience passed it by.   I can't even say it was a shame because it was an inevitable evolution.  Nonetheless, something can be said for keeping it simple.

Hard rain this morning in Los Angeles, which presented the ultimate opportunity.  Normally, I take the bus to work and leave my car in the carport, but this morning, I remembered how much bird crap was on the windows so I jumped in and drove it to Peet's Coffee shop.   Surely enough, the drive in the rain erased most of the gunk from the windows.  I was up so early that I drove it back home and still had time to take the bus to work, which is where I am now.  Do the dance!

Do we really have to see Nets/Knicks a third time?   Great matchup but TNT and ESPN are running out of ideas.

That's all from here.  Enjoy your day and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 17th

A few quick thoughts for the day, here we go...

Anyone want to go fly a pig?   Who and I mean WHO would have guessed that the 49ers would go into New England and lock down the Patriots for 3 quarters and even despite 28 unanswered points afterward, still beat the Pats at Gillette?  *Who???*   What a huge win for the 49ers.  I was amazed, shocked, perplexed, impressed, you name it.

I saw a sign on the way back from swim today:  "R.I.P. Mr. Butter."   It was paying tribute to a dog, I think, that died from cancer.   So sad, no?   In tribute, I posted the same line on facebook and twitter.

Boy did the Bears fall apart.  What a joke.    You know?  It'd be nice if *one* of the teams I put confidence in starts to deliver when I expect them to.   I was so big on the Bears about five weeks ago, and I even said as much on the podcast.  Then THIS happens.    Chicago really showed their true colors this month.  Yeah, that's right THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!!!!

Lovie Smith is done... if he doesn't go at season's end, the Bears will become the football version of the Cubs.

Speaking of falling apart, the same thing happened to the Ravens... oooohhhh ho ho, did they get exposed!    Injuries, sure.  Coaching, sure.   On the other hand, I don't think the Ravens are very good.  

The worst part of that is you now have to put an asterisk (and you know how much I love those "*'s") on the Steelers win at Baltimore a week ago.  Unbelievable.   Then the Steelers go out and lose at Dallas although I think they played very well.

What killed PIT was the mental mistakes.  I'm starting to wonder if Mike Tomlin is that good a coach.  The same stupid mistakes keep happening, over and over.  Tomlin might be overrated, and it's really difficult for me to say that because I think coaching stability is key.

Folks, if you like chicken, and you like freshly cut fries, you will LOVE Dino's Burgers.  I re-acquainted myself with Dino's on Saturday after about 12 years without eating it.   Dino's chicken plate with the fries and the tortillas and coleslaw is truly an LA classic.   The best part is it's only 6 bucks!  Yet, it's so much food, half a chicken, that I was stuffed for a good 14 hours.

Then, it got better, after a trip to a new record store (an ironic term seeing that they sell only used records), I went to Porto's Bakery and picked up many goodies:  an oatmeal raisin cookie, coffee, some cheese rolls, a red velvet cupcake, and the tour de force: two Cuban Style potato balls.   A potato ball is basically a breaded ball of potato with some meat stuffed in the middle.  You haven't lived until you've had potato balls.  Could not even *believe* how good they were.  I shall return again, my friends.

To think: I had a day like this for eating and I had the audacity to wonder why I felt a little heavy this morning, but let's hear it for swimming, in that respect.

The best memes in life are ones that take a life of their own.  In fact, you could say the best memes or trends happen by accident.   I live for those moments.

Farewell for now, have a good one everyone.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 14th

Hard to really get up to talk about foods and dopey basketball games when a classroom full of innocent little kids gets shot down in Connecticut. 

Farewell for now.  Back on Monday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 13th

12-12-12: the Concert was a very enjoyable experience.   There were definitely some high profile musical acts all night long, and LONG it was.   The concert started at 7:30 East and finished at nearly 1:30 AM East.

I thought the event was very well produced.   Nobody tried to do too much.  There were some hits and some misses (for instance, Billy Joel's set... no Piano Man?), but all went well in my opinion.  Hopefully the concert raised tons of dollars for Sandy Relief efforts via the Robin Hood fund.

So!  Now we return to the topics at hand.  Sadly, the Lakers are among them.  The Knicks are playing great basketball, they have good defense, and a decently working group.   That's just a good basketball team and they get to entertain the giant flaming trainwreck that is the Lakers.  Fantastic.  I expect literally nothing from this game.  In fact, it might be for the best if the Knicks put this one away early, like, by 20 points.

It probably won't happen because even though the Knicks are a pretty active team, they aren't very young in the backcourt.  The team is being led by Jason Kidd as Point Guard.   I'm trying to remember if there were any other slashers and three point guys aside from Shumpert and J.R. Smith.  Even at that, Shumpert is a defensive specialist and Smith is more of a spot-up guy, but a pretty good spot up guy.

The backcourt matchup actually works for the Lakers.   Now to see if LA's guys can shoot, which hasn't come consistently.  I won't get my hopes up.

Every day in life is full of surprises and even now I can be blown away by facts I could not conceive.  Last night, my friend Kevin on the Cape told the story of his first rock concert: a Billy Joel concert at the old Brendan Byrne Arena.  I never would have guessed Billy Joel as his first concert, not ever, but his Dad took him there years ago when he was 11.   It's a tremendous story.

Why can't UCLA have better coffee?  This is my fault for not re-upping on K-Pod cups for my Keurig machine, but when I'm in a pinch it would be nice if UCLA were to strike a deal with Starbucks or Coffee Bean to let the experts do the coffee.  Instead, they insist on going it alone, and it's not that great.  It wasn't that great at UCSB either.  The whole UC System is beholden to low grade, cheap, lame coffee.

There is ONE other brand of coffee, and it's even cheaper than that, over at the small restaurant counter.  It's called "Douwe Egberts" coffee.  You'll find it at Wendy's, Gas Stations, and many other low priced outlets around the country.  It is TERRIBLE.   If coffee could be neutered, it would be Douwe Egberts.  What kind of name is "Douwe Egberts" anyway?  For two whole years I mispronounced the name as "DOUBLE Eggberts".  Oi.

I've eaten Papa John's pizza every meal since Tuesday night.   It's really starting to wear on me, but I try to limit myself to about 2 slices each meal, maybe just one in some cases.   But eating the same THING over and over takes its toll, but this is the price I pay for trying to save money...  It's working!  I only paid 15 bucks and I took care of 1 meal on Tuesday, 3 meals on Wednesday, and 2 more today, plus another two on Friday.  15 bucks over 8 meals equals roughly $1.75 a meal.  

Happy Thursday to ya.  Back tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 11th

Time flies does it not?  We're almost half way through December now!

I can't believe how little the Texans brought to the table last night.  That game against the Patriots was embarrassing.   The Texans should be appalled at how weak they looked out there last night.  It seems to be like the bigger the spotlight, the worse they play.   I thought this time it would be different.  NO!!  Same old Texans.

People have a great time trying to figure out what song lyrics mean.  Some of them are so opaque they're impossible to figure out.  My favorite one was Nik Kerhsaw's "The Riddle."   The best part was that Kershaw *intentionally* wrote random lyrics that made no sense.  Rather than attempt to tweak them into a coherent narrative, he left it alone and went with it.  People all over the globe were busting their brains trying to solve "the meaning" of the song.  The truth was, there was no meaning whatsoever.  That was a hoot!

In fact, I believe the ending theme to "WKRP in Cincinnati" was precisely the same design:  gibberish used to get a feel for the song that became the actual words to the song itself.   Enjoy:

I had a riddle of my own and I botched it:  This morning for breakfast I tried to choose between coffee and orange juice.  My heart wanted the OJ and my brain wanted the coffee because it was cold today.   I got the coffee... it was ok, but I'm now yearning for orange juice again.

I ask you, friends: Souplantation's Cream of Turkey soup with the stuffing -- does it get any better?

I wonder what that "ask for an outrageous request and get turned down on video" guy is up to today?

Haha, I like it!

I have a hard drive at work that has been scanning sectors for 15 days.  FIFTEEN DAYS.  It did not take this long to render individual frames for CGI for the Jurrassic Park movie in 1993.  Goodness gracious.

Anyone remember working with computer rending in the 90's?   Back in high school, with meager Pentium PCs (if that), we did a science presentation and my group and I, who were friends, generated this glossy 3D text opening.  But on a PI or PII, this thing took literally days to render into a video file.  It would formulate the text, the lighting, and position one frame at a time but the graphics in play back then were complicated enough to make the computer work overtime to get it right.   I think it was something like 2-4 hours to render a single frame at high quality.   "High Quality" of course was like, 320x240!  Oh man... how did Lucasfilm do it?

Welp, I think that's all today.  It's a chill day, hopefully a chill swim as well.  Still sore from the move... a swim should loosen the joints.  Catch you all tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 10th

Season's Greetings from Dave in the City!

Oh it's getting exciting now!  We're about two weeks away from Christmas Eve.  Christmas shopping is a little behind but we made some good progress this weekend.

You'd be surprised how many useful ideas they have at Target.   Without even thinking about it, I found some great coffee cups, travel mugs, kitchen utilities, and much more all within the same general section.   I found an Avengers travel mug and a Star Wars coffee set.   Then there were the Marvel pint glasses and some shot glasses, although I didn't buy those.  All of this plus the popcorn at the front of the store makes Target a great store.

I missed almost the entire NFL schedule this week due to my help moving my sister into her new apartment.  It was a good good day, albeit tiring.  Her apartment is in my home town of Oxnard, an hour away from where I live.  I didn't get home until 9:45 last night.

Still shocked at how that Pacquiao fight ended.   We had the fight on in my Dad's house during his birthday party and a bunch of his friends came over to celebrate, then watch the fight.  Honestly, I was getting so tired of Pacquiao fights.   Pacquiao goes after one tomato can, then another tomato can and rips the guy to shreds.  Furthermore, I felt like he was a bit of a bully fighter.  He had a lot of tremendous qualities, including his general humility out of the ring, but I never felt like he got tested much.   Marquez was one of his best opponents, but I really thought Marquez would have nothing left for Fight #4.

First of all, who does a FOURTH of anything in boxing???   Is Boxing really out of ideas?  Has the talent pool gotten so bad we're now turning to third sequels.  Unreal.  Anyway, I said, Marquez and Pac Man are going to get into this long drawn out dull boxing match for 12 rounds.  What can you expect from two guys who were past their prime and looking their age?

Instead we got the best boxing match of the last three rounds and a fury that I was not prepared for.  Both guys were just wailing at each other, multiple knockdowns and then Marquez got bloodied to a pulp by Round 6.  Round starts... and Pac Man is just touching up his face left and right.  I went "The Ref has gotta stop this fight!  Marquez is done!!!"  I thought Marquez was going to get his whole face ripped off.  If you saw the fight you'd see what I mean... I don't even know how he stayed on his feet.  THEN, out of nowhere, he launches this hook and he put in like 39 years worth of strength into this thing and the dude smacked Pacquiao squarely in the face.   Pac Man plopped straight down onto the canvas, cold.   I was shocked!  Pac Man didn't move for five minutes, I thought he was dead!

Thus ended one of the greatest fights in modern boxing history.  I don't know what Pacquiao has left.. probably nothing.  As for Juan Manuel Marquez, he proved his point.  He has had the better of Pacquiao in these bouts, end of story.

That was the extent of my sports watching this weekend.  I not only missed the entire NFL schedule (aside from a few plays here and there), but I missed the Lakers game Sunday evening.

People are ripping the Lakers again.  Honestly, unless there's some major format change for the NBA playoffs where only the top four teams in each conference make the playoffs, LA has nothing to worry about.  In fact, I've been seeing better bench play lately.  Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks have played some pretty good ball.   Not even a guy like me could curse the Lakers out of the playoffs.  In the West, a .500 team still makes the playoffs and if the Lakers finish with that record, that's pretty much all you need.

I also see a ten game winning streak in this team.   The schedule has been very top heavy: imagine that the Lakers just played the Nets, Spurs, Thunder, Pacers, Jazz, Grizzlies, and Clippers.  All of these teams are solid playoff teams and all of those games were played in the span of a month.  That can only mean that easier opponents are on the way.  Those easier opponents will offer more time for the Lakers to sort out their defensive communication and pick and rolls on offense.  People are begging for me to do a big rant on the Lakers, and I can't within my conscience yell about this.  I just don't think they're that bad a team.   I don't want to be dishonest with myself and start ripping Laker players left and right.

Congratulations to Johnny Manziel for winning the Heisman Trophy!  I'm pumped up.  That's all from here.  Catch you all soon.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Apology to 1980.

In the last five minutes, I have been (rightly) hammered about my comment about 1980 being a bad year.

1980 featured...

  • The Miracle on Ice
  • Magic Johnson's legendary Game 6 when he played center in place of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • My sister and one of my best friend's births
  • The Islanders' first championship
Good Lord, what fool am I?  I'm sorry, everyone.

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 7th

Hello all...

I don't want to do anything today.  Typical Friday mentality.

A friend of mine, Andy in Seattle, recommended the Christmas Blend to me and other friends.   I too am a big fan of Starbucks' Christmas Blend.  It's so bountiful and robust.  I don't even know what they put in it, but it's amazing.

I'm glad to be done with LOCKS of the Week this year.  I really thought I had a good year, then I *had* to go and bet money on four games which matched my LOCKS of the Week.   From that week up to now, LOCKS went 2-10.  What a disastah!!!!!

I still have yet to get my Christmas tree, but I have a conundrum.  I could either a) go get the Christmas tree or b) watch Lakers/Thunder.   And stupid ESPN, they put the game on at 6:30 when normally they'd play at 5pm or 5:30 Pacific Time for a game at OKC.   Oi.  The Christmas Tree shop at Home Depot closes at 10pm.  If I were to commit to the Lakers game, it would end at 9pm on the dot, and I'd get about a 20-30 min window to buy trees (factoring the 20 min it takes to get to the nearby Home Depot).

It's not that big a deal, but the real problem is that I should have gotten the tree a few days ago.   My bad.

BY THE WAY, this was my first 3-swim week in nearly a month.  I felt really good out there although last night's rare Thursday swim was pretty grueling.  All in all, I feel more fit now, and I need it because I picked up a little baggage between Thanksgiving and this week.

In keeping with ideas and plans, I was wondering whether to get Souplantation tonight.  In December they roll out the Cream of Turkey soup and let me tell you, it is delicious.  They package some turkey stuffing to go with it.  OH!  Tremendous.

I'm way behind in Christmas shopping, but to be fair, my shopping list is larger than others.  As part of a large family it's a bigger list so I've been trying to space it out but other plans postpone the shopping trips.   In due time I will have everything ready.

Here's how much of a clown I am... I got a Black Friday special at that I may not be able to use.   When I was at my Parents' on Thanksgiving Weekend, I had a tough time getting on the internet.  I panicked, and bought a new wirless router for them as an Anniversary Present.   Then, as I realized how long it would take to ship, I decided to go in another direction.  As that happened, the internet started working fine and I realized the router made no sense.  Now I have a new WiFi router at my apartment with no apparent person to give it to.  Most people I know already have a WiFi router and few of them are tech savvy enough to appreciate a new one.  It's very weird.  I have no idea what to do with it.  I may just return it instead.

I'm calling it right here:  The Lakers are beating Oklahoma City tonight.  You can bet that nobody in the media will give the Lakers a chance, and you know what?   L.A. is going to use their length to shut down Durant and Ibaka and Sepholosha.   Jodie Meeks might show reasonable resistance to the Thunder's talented backcourt, even Russell Westbrook and his improved jump shot.  Why NOT the Lakers?   All I am saying... is give Peace (and Kobe and Howard) a chance.

R.I.P.  John Lennon.  Even though I never saw him in concert while he was living, I appreciate all he has done for our planet.  1980 was a terrible year, with exceptions.

That's all for now, have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 6th

Hope everyone's doing well for a Thursday.

I'll tell ya, this week has gone very quickly.   I'm mentally prepping myself for a small move for my sister's new apartment.   My sister got a new apartment in our home town of Oxnard, CA.  The rest of the family, some friends of theirs, and I will be moving things into the apartment.   She won't have a ton of new furniture, but she did have a couple of dressers in effect.  Oh those pesky dressers!

Did you all know I don't have a dresser in my apartment?  I have a good amount of closet space so I just use that instead, plus there are some shelves within some of the closets.   It's an unusual thing because almost everyone has dressers but I've long tried to avoid them.  Moving a dresser is a pain in the rear, so I like that there's one less thing to worry about whenever I move.

Once I get a house, I'll have no choice but to get a dresser, but for now, do the dance!

Congratulations to Kobe for getting 30,000 points.   Not surprisingly, ESPN ran with this and did the "5 greatest players" schtick.  I will say this: as Lakers go, I still have to put Magic Johnson as the greatest Laker of all time.   Kobe has had a great career, but Magic Johnson literally revived the NBA along with Larry Bird.  Magic also electrified crowds night after night, and he made his team mates better.  The NBA itself was tougher and deeper in the 80's, I think, and to go out to the old Boston Garden and take down the Celtics in the Finals is one of the all time great feats.   Kobe *never* had any atmosphere that matched the old Boston Garden in the 1980's.  Maybe Madison Square Garden.   By the time he came into the league the Bulls moved from Chicago Stadium to the anti-septic United Center.  The best I could come up with was when the Lakers, WITH Shaq by the way, used to get tossed around at the Delta Center against the Utah Jazz.  Now that was a tough place, hell, IS a tough place to play!   Yet, it's still not Old Boston Garden.

You wouldn't think that a Chorizo and Cheese Burrito and a hot chocolate would have anything in common, but last night before the podcast those things went together so well.  One of the best combos I've had in a long time!

Heisman Watch:  I *want* Johnny Manziel to win.   I *think* Manti T'eo is the odds on favorite to win.  I *suspect* Colin Klein will win the award for real.   The voters would never let a freshman win the Heisman (dumb, but true, I know).   T'eo has the name brand value but he plays defense.  Thus, Klein will win by default.  Heck even T'eo would be winning by default since the field wasn't that great this year.

Imagine if the Chargers beat the Steelers this weekend?  Wouldn't surprise me.

Pretty soon it will be my Dad's birthday.  I'm so proud of him, and what he's done.  He's a great father to me, and a funny guy.  I dare you to talk to him for a while and not laugh once.  He's a character!

One thing I wanted to do, over my lifetime, was go to Disneyland on my own and explore for myself.   It's the most random thing ever.   Today, I don't think it's possible.   Primarily, I can't do it because Disneyland tickets are so damn expensive!   I think the discounted price is about 75 bones.  That's way too much to pay to see a few Mickey Mouses and this land and that land.

There are many more great attractions you can see for less than 75 bucks.   Take the Warner Brothers V.I.P. Studio Tour for 50 bucks.  It's entirely worth it, and a unique experience.  You really get into the teeth of the studio, into the back lot, you get to go inside one of the sound stages, and check out some awesome props.  

Universal Studios is about 60 bucks or so.  Vastly enjoyable.    Good rides, less crowds, the famous Universal Tram Tour with all its little familiar quirks (the fake Jaws, King Kong, the courthouse from Back to the Future), plus some new twists.    The food at Universal is remarkably good, you wouldn't believe it.  I also enjoy the stage shows... the people on these stage shows are pros, as they should be at a movie studio.

Even a Lakers game costs less than 75 bucks.  If you hold out for a mid-week game, or look for a lesser opponent you can get an upper deck seat for much less than 75.   It's way up there in altitude, but the Laker experience is not one to forget.

Even the Dodger Stadium Tour is worth a good 50 bucks, but they only charge FIFTEEN for a guided tour.  Any tourist would find this tour with their while if there was time for it.  I believe the tour runs about an hour.

That's all for now.  We'll do it again tomorrow!  --'til then..

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 5th

Hidee ho...

The Lakers really made me upset last night.   This team is so disorganized and pretty worthless with closing out games.  You know what though?  There's a good reason for that, and it's very sneaky.   It's also a point that EVERY single person on ESPN/NBATV/TNT has missed so far.  Wait until you hear what it is... It will be on our podcast tonight:

The more I think about this theory the more I'm buying into it.  I CANNOT wait to go public with this. To be honest, some of my theory has already been posted on Twitter but I'll flesh out the deets.

Last night included a trip to the Cheesecake Factory.   After a brutal loss like what the Lakers did last night, sometimes what you need is Cheesecake.  I went with a friend of mine and we talked all sorts of fun things.

The friend was amazed at my recall with popular music.   A song would come onto the sound system at Cheesecake Factory, and I'd identify the artist, song title, and in some cases even the year.  This was the impetus for my skill at SongPop.   Years and years of listening to "American Top 40" in reruns coupled with my religious tuning into 80's night on the local radio station helped me get very good at identifying songs and artists.   The 70's were filled in with the help of XM Radio plus AT40 reruns on XM Radio.

The 60's were a little tougher, but fortunately I used my memories of listening to the old KRTH 101 when it was a 50's and 60's station.  The 90's occurred through osmosis and research.

It occurred to me why I was in such a funk over the last two days on the blog.  I didn't get out much those days.   It's a cautionary tale of what happens if you become a homebody:  without going out there are no stories to tell no memories to share with other people.   That's no way to live.  Watching things on TV are insufficient to me.   TV is not real life and real life is not TV.

Speaking of "things that are not like other things," have you seen the concept of the "Dine-In" theater?   Movie theater companies take old, rundown theaters and refurbrish them for the purpose of installing easy chairs with mini tables in each auditorium.  So, it's a regular theater (not even with stadium seating) with these easy chairs and buttons and tiny tables, akin to a first class flight.  Push the button and you can order a full 3-4 course meal.

All right, so that sounds good on paper, but let me be honest here:  I don't go to the movie theater to eat dinner, and I don't go to a restaurant to watch a movie.   Trying to combine "Dinner and a Movie" into one amalgamated sequence doesn't do it for me.  Think about this for a second...   You're watching whatever new movie is out, say "Skyfall," and it gets exciting... Bond's hanging off the edge of some building... now do you want a waiter to ask you for dessert WHILE THE SCENE IS HAPPENING?  Haha!  Now that would be nuts!

How could you even see with the darkened theater?   Trying to slice a prime rib as the previews start.  It just sounds like a mess.   Or, consider this:  imagine you're in a decent 3-4 star restaurant.  You sit down, and you get a nice view of the Marina, but THEN the windows fog up and become a giant movie screen.  Instead you're seeing campy quick hits for Adam Sandler's latest release, some other "the world is going to die unless our hero does something" action thriller, and a dopey romantic comedy.  What a distraction!  When you go out to eat, don't you just want to eat and talk?

That, in a paragraph, is why I feel like the Dine-In Theater doesn't make sense.  With that said, I send my best to all the movie theater companies who are trying to give their old screens one last hurrah.   Best of luck.

and with that I am out.  Have a good one everyone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 4th

Jersey Mike's is a great sandwich shop!  Who else makes such a great roast beef hoagie or hero from coast to coast?   Delicious.  On Mondays they have a $1 off regular subs and $2 off large subs.   Big fan.

Well... the rain in Los Angeles is now over.  Glad to see sunlight again.  Glad to not have to lug an umbrella.   It's nice out, actually.

Last night I saw a video on how to make a Fritos Chili Pie.  That thing looked so unhealthy... not a single ingredient in there is relieved of saturated fat.  Damn does it look good, though!

Great win for the Redskins!  Washington now has a shot at the playoffs...  maybe they can get a fifth or sixth seed.   The franchise is making a move, fellas..

MLB offseason means: more chances for the Dodgers to overpay for someone.  I love it.

I still don't have my Christmas Tree yet!   Is it too late?  I don't think so.  This week will be the week.   I'm looking forward to getting it, at last.  Bear in mind, I live in a 1 bd apartment, so it won't be a very large tree.  Instead, I get a baby tree and put it onto a stand.   Even a baby tree is big on water.   I fill up the tray with about a gallon of water and it's usually half empty within a week.  Little things like that remind me that even trees are living organisms.  Mad respect.

I thought it was going to settle down here at work, but it seems be getting worse.  Completely did not expect it!  However, in about a week, all of this hubub will be gone.   That will be a great day!  

I haven't had much to think about most of this week.  Most of my research has been about the Beatles.  For example, today I learned Ringo Starr is a vegetarian, but for medical reasons.   Never knew that!

Restraint is the toughest thing.   What you need to do when saving money is to refuse frivolent purchases.   Buy that expensive 10 album box set?   No need!  You can listen to the same albums for free on Spotify.*

*certainly, the Spotify stream won't have the same sound quality as the carefully manufactured CD's or pure analog LP's but you also get 80% of the sound quality for not even 1 percent of the price.  

Any ideas for holiday movies this year?  I've *seen* all the classic ones, and all the new age ones.  The only ones I missed, in my recollection, are Miracle on 34th Street, a Christmas Story, and believe it or not, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

It'd be pretty neat if one of the theaters nearby was running Holiday Films.   I bet the Aero is on the scent!

For the Christmas break, I may consider spending the whole week with family.   I may need a break from THIS place.  It's either that or a Vegas getaway.  It'd cost about the same in my humble view.  Maybe I should go for it!   I'd love to try my hand at more blackjack.  

That's all for the moment; short entry today.  Have a good one!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: December 3rd

Greetings fellas!  I downloaded the Blogger app and am now writing from my phone.  Do the dance!

Could not believe it's raining this morning!   I thought we were done on Sunday but here we are.

Congratulations to Alabama for winning the SEC.  The SEC Championship was a great game!   Georgia brought the goods, but Bama won out in the end.

And so... the BCS Title game will have Notre Dame and Alabama.   I think it will be a close one.   Two good defenses against each other. 

What a huge win for the Steelers yesterday at Baltimore.  I was pumped up!

Last month I came up with the idea of trading Pau Gasol.  Now everyone in the NBA has the same idea!   In fact it seems inevitable that he gets traded by February.  The only problem is, if Dwight Howard walks in the offseason, L.A. is screwed!


Here's part two of the two part blog post.  I'm writing the second half of it here on the computer.   Writing on a phone is markedly slower because I want to make sure I don't make any typographical errors.   I can already tell that the lines were shorter because I was writing conservatively not wanting to make a mistake. know where I'm going with this?  YESTERDAY'S 49ers GAME!   In what universe does it make sense to specifically play for a 53 yard field goal in overtime?   What kind of a scared boneheaded coach do you have to be?  And that's what the now overrated Jim Harbaugh did on Sunday in overtime.   Who does this?!   You can't expect David Akers to kick a 50+ yard field goal after what he's been through this year.  You can't!   You definitely can't on the road!!   Conservative coaching rarely wins and in St. Louis yesterday, it failed miserably.  You would think rah rah Harbaugh would learn, but I would bet you 100 donuts he won't.

Speaking of, well, sweet things, I have a little story to tell you guys from Souplantation.  I think it was Thursday night and my buddy and I were chowing down on some soup and salad.  Then we switched to the desserts and here's the thing:  Souplantation is getting really stingy with the cookies.  You used to see the guy with the cookies come up to you maybe 2 or even 3 times during the evening.   You never missed him.  Lately, the cookies guy was coming to you way less.   In addition you could always go to the soup counter and ask the guys in the kitchen for cookies.

So I used to go up and ask "got any cookies?"  Then I got a plate of cookies.  It was great!  Lately, I'd go up, ask "Got any cookies?" and I'd get the runaround.  "Oh go check with the waiter guy."  "We don't have the cookies but they'll offer some to you."   By Thursday I didn't bother going up to the counter.   Later, I picked up some soft serve and molten chocolate cake and I go over to my buddy at the table.   He asks "you going to ask for cookies?" and then I went into this long rant about how Souplantation was getting stingy with the cookies.   Then, as I ate into the ice cream and cake I said "You know what?!  I don't even need cookies!  This cake and ice cream is good enough right here."

--As soon as I said that, a guy with an enormous pile of cookies comes up and asks if I want cookies.   ...I accepted.  

I believe that is all for now.  Have a good day everyone!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Greatest Record I've Purchased Yet... without Thinking About It.

This image is of the first pressing edition of "American Beauty".  This is someone else's copy but the version I have is just like it.

Sometimes, when browsing the used record bins at the local shop, you put a lot of effort into finding a specific title by a specific artist.   On Friday night, I just winged it and saw a Grateful Dead album titled "American Beauty" in the middle of the pile, not drawing attention to itself.  I inspected the vinyl itself and it looked really clean for its age.   Remarkably, the disc was pretty thin, yet, it had the Olive Green, solid Warner Brothers label, which indicates it was not a reissue.  Warner Brothers would always use the label of then-current vintage on album reissues.  Example:  ZZ Top's "Tres Hombres" album.   The original album pressing in 1973 used the "Burbank, Home of Warner Bros. Records" label with the palm trees in the background.   A reissue of same from the 80's used the plain white label with the 3D "WB" logo.

Warner Bros. Records produced from the Late 60's through 1972 usually used the olive green solid label, which is represented here.  So, for the purchase price of roughly six dollars I took it home along with Rush's "Permanent Waves."   Tonight I gave it a listen and I was blown away.  BLOWN AWAY.

Not only was the music enjoyable, involving, and overall tremendous, but the sonic quality of the vinyl was out of this world.   How on earth was that disc not scratched up and gunked out between bong hits and long cross-country VW bus rides?  I listened and heard nary a click or pop.   In addition, the mix was consistent with most Warners records of the time... warm, neutral, and very lively, if not perhaps a little low in volume, so you gotta turn it up a tad.  I was listening at low volume anyway so as not to wake up neighbors (bear in mind the time that I am writing this post).

Even so, the sonic output of this tremendous "American Beauty" album, original issue, clean, and gorgeous, was off the charts.  Boy I wished I could just turn this baby up, but even as it was, the instruments and voices just popped out of the speakers and suddenly showed up in my bedroom.  I had no idea the Grateful Dead recorded music this well.  I was, and still am mesmerized.  Now I see what Bill Walton was so excited about.   Yep, I'm about four decades late to the party but Dead-heads, I'm happy to report that this was a great initiation.

Long ago, I had a first pressing copy of Led Zeppelin's II album.  I knew it was a first pressing due to several factors, including the mere fact that the Atlantic Records label bore the following address: "1841 Broadway Ave, NY., N.Y."  In the dead wax near the center, the etching "Pecko Duck" appeared, which indicates it was mastered by George Peckham.  Peckham's masters on Vinyl are simply the best, and I knew that subsequent issues of Led Zeppelin on Vinyl did not use his masters.  Anyway, long story short, it was among my very first record purchases, on Ebay, long long ago for a few bucks and the sound quality was wonderful, although with more surface noise than the Grateful Dead album.   Stupidly, I was low on cash in college and sold Zeppelin II back to a used record store for peanuts.   That same issue would go for 20 bucks or more today, easily.   Not to mention, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND, anywhere!  Especially in that great of condition.  To this day I kick myself for letting it go.  You can NEVER let such a good sounding, quality, original issue album go without a fight.

So... I have landed a golden, cornerstone album in pristine condition.  This time I'll be more careful.  What a lonnnnnnng strange trip it's been...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 30th

Why is it that when Sarah McLachlan sings, she sounds like she's gasping for air?   Writhing in pain.  I can see that Taylor Swift adopts this technique.  Every line Taylor Swift sings quits as the end.  "Oh I had a lovely tiiiiiiiimmmmeeee ahhhh"

OH BABY WOOOEE!   SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME this Saturday, meaning tomorrow.  I had the privilege of going to a game with Alabama in it.  Some friends of mine and I went many years ago to see them at the Rose Bowl vs UCLA in the home opener when 'Bama was the Preseason #1.   Naturally there were some Bama fans in the crowd and we kibitzed with them all afternoon.  They're very good natured folk, Bama fans.   Pretty cool dudes, and yes, they're VERY fired up about their Crimson Tide.  UCLA won the game 35-24.

I claimed I would stop making NFL picks, but I was interested to see what would happen with all the Home Underdogs this weekend.  There are a bunch of them: Rams +7 (vs SF), Chiefs +3 (vs Carolina), Dolphins +7 (vs NE), Titans +6 (vs HOU), Chargers +1.5 (vs CIN), and Redskins +2.5 (vs NYG).  Six home dogs this week!  That seems like a lot.  Will most of them cover?

I gotta hurry up and finish writing this so that everyone gets a chance to read it before 1pm East... big things happen at 1pm East.  Especially in New York, if you know what I mean.

Rain all day, in Los Angeles.   It has rained since Wednesday night.  I haven't seen this much consistent rain all year, but in all honesty I like it a lot.  It makes things tougher to do... swimming (outside), driving, walking, shopping for presents, unless you have a garage at home.   Nonetheless, I'm glad to have the rain.

I also got a free Papa John's pizza. I had no idea something so silly as Papa John's could be so polarizing among my friends.  You have a group of friends who think the pizza is awful.  I'm not going to go on here and say its fantastic, but it's certainly not the nadir of cooked pizza.   Then there's the group of friends who find Papa John (the owner) a reprehensible scumbag.   To be fair, these friends are probably right, but in all honesty, many CEO's and owners are scumbags at their core.  It's a tough spot.

I think one day I'm going to not bother answering work emails and see if I get away with it.   Fingers crossed!

So glad this weekend is here.  I'm going to try a Persian Cuisine place called Javan's just down the street from my apartment.  They do a terrific job with Kebab's they say.  Seeing that it would normally be Kings hockey season, I'll be thinking of that great playoff run they had when I eat.  I ate Kebabs before every Kings playoff game this year, it felt like.

On the subject of the Kings.  Rest In Peace, David Courtney.  P.A. Announcer for the Kings, Angels, and Clippers.  An unforgettable voice and a gentleman to all.   My condolences to the Courtney Family and the Kings.

That's all for now.  Catch you all next week.

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: NCAA Week 14

Here it is, my friends, the final

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (gobble)
of the Week (splash)

of the year.

It's been a good run, and right up until the last two weeks (0-8!  oi) we had a pretty good season.   To close us out, we'll go into conference championship weekend.  I'll denote that I will potentially do NFL Playoff Picks in January, plus bowl game selections as we come up on them.  As for our regular feature, this is farewell, so BANG, let's go:

We start in Palo Alto, CA for the Pac 12 Championship Game.   What the hell?  I like Stanford -8.5.  You know what?   UCLA had its chances but I think they're finally going to get served.   They probably gave up last week's game thinking they'd benefit by getting "the easier matchup," but be careful what you wish for, Bruins.   Stanford will continue its physical attach and manhandle Huntley, Franklin and company.  Cardinal to win BIG... Stanford -8.5.

Next we go to the big one, the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, GA.   I'll take the Georgia Bulldogs but still expect Bama to win.  This will be a close one throughout.   Yet, the coaching mismatch is enormous and when it comes to close games, I like Alabama's chances.  Georgia +7.

Next we check out Middle Tennessee State at Arkansas State.   For no reason whatsoever, other than my general trust in Middle Tennessee St. all season, I want to go Middle Tennessee St. +10.  Book it.

Lastly we travel to the Big Ten Championship game where Nebraska faces Wisconsin.  Nebraska hasn't won many big matchups all year why would they change now?   With Wisconsin GETTING 3 points, the Badgers are an easy play.  Wisconsin +3.

That does it for the season!  It's been fun, but trying at times, but overall rewarding.  Enjoy Conference Championship weekend! 

Recap: Stanford -8.5, Georgia +7, Middle Tennessee St. +10, Wisconsin +3

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dave's 2012 NFL Playoff Predictions (sorta)

By goofing around with ESPN's wonderful "2012 NFL Playoff Machine" I made predictions for every single game in every single week starting now and going through Week 17.  Here are the playoff brackets!

[Click on the image above to view the brackets in larger size.]


1. Houston (15-1)
2. Baltimore (13-3)

6. Indianapolis (10-6) vs. 3. Denver (12-4)
5. Pittsburgh (11-5) vs. 4. New England (11-5)


1. San Francisco (13-2-1)
2. Chicago (13-3)

6. New Orleans (10-6) vs. 3. Atlanta (12-4)
5. Green Bay (11-5) vs. 4. New York Giants (10-6)

This won't be even close to what happens, but it'll be fun to follow.  I got a little biased picking the Saints and Colts to win virtually every game.   This playoff bracket will be interesting once we see the actual results.  Enjoy.

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 29th

Over the years, I've come to find December my best month.  I think it's because almost everything winds down by then.  Once we hit the Holiday Season, it's as if the whole world takes a break, at least here at UCLA.  I love it!

The "break" really is a big boost and I cherish it every year.  I also love when I get to spend extended time with my wonderful family... my parents and sisters, and then my aunts and uncles.  Yes, I'm spending time with them all year but at Christmas-time we're all in the same place at once.  Good times.

The National Media has put such a big beating on the Lakers this week.  It's humorous.  I mean it is SO early and the Lakers aren't even at full strength... no question, this team has a lot of holes, but it is not *as* bad as the "experts" make it out to be.  In fact, I'm gonna call it right here: the Lakers are beating Denver on Friday.   That's right, they're going to win, and they're going to win by at least ten points.

Christmas shopping, oh baby I am way behind.   I have about 3 weeks to go and  roughly 15 presents to shop for.  It won't be easy, my friends.

That reminds me: I got my Dad a DVD set on three occasions and all three of them are still sitting in his house in shrinkwrap.  I mean are you serious?  Haha, my goodness I should consider getting him something he'll use, like a gift card.   That's what I intend to do.

In the history of time, the only DVD I ever got my Dad that he used was the film "My Cousin Vinny." That's easily his favorite comedy film.   I've never seen him laugh so hard at anything!

I was reading up on music and I read that the Beatles recorded their entire first album "Please Please Me" in one shot.   It was as if they were doing a live set and they recorded ten songs in one day over nine hours.  Four other songs were on two singles that were already released.  Can you even imagine that?   The Beatles of 1968 would never have stood for that either.

49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh chose Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith for this week's game and most likely for the forseeable future.   I can't say enough about how great a choice this is.  So many coaches would be too scared for their job security and for Smith's feelings to make this choice.   You know that Wade Philips would have bumbled this decision and I would even say many other coaches would have made the safe choice and picked Alex Smith.    Harbaugh, on the other hand, doesn't play to convention or politics.  He plays to WIN.   My hope is that the Niners are richly rewarded for this heady decision.  To me, it makes sense!

I've been watching Kapernick even going back to the Jets game where he had one or two snaps.  This kid has a great arm, AND he can work well outside the pocket.  Kaep has tremendous upside.  I wish him well.

I *love* that there's a Billy Joel category on SongPop.   Every single song in the category is a Billy Joel song!   Having listened to, and owning, all of his studio albums but one (The Bridge), once I get an idea which passages are used, I feel really confident about beating everyone when I play the Billy Joel Songpop playlist.

Billy Joel is probably the only artist where I have almost every studio album he ever did, most of them on Vinyl, even Cold Spring Harbor (original issue), although I have that just as a novelty... it's not terribly listenable sound quality.

Souplantation tonight... which means two trips to souplantation in a week.  Very rare, my friends.

Cannot wait for the SEC Championship game.  I'll talk about it more tomorrow but the more I think about it, the more I see Georgia with a shot to win.    Aaron Murray is a fool but if he somehow keeps his head on straight, he's got a great arm and could give 'Bama some real problems.   I think it will at least be a close game.  

The most surprising part of all is that the SEC Title game doesn't start at 8pm Eastern.  I'd have thought that the SEC and/or CBS would have lobbied for that privilege by now but apparently not.

In any case, it's going to be sweet!   That's all for now.  Catch you on the flip side.  Season's Greetings!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 28th

Day four of the flu... I'm sensing some signs of a relapse, but it's still very mild.  I feel very bloated.  It is high time I swam again... and I'm at that convergence point on the line graph between "resting to beat the flu" and "exercising to stay in shape."

It's really weird... I was already on a 1.5 week break from swimming as it was... I'm not very happy about this.   Between my general laziness and illness I have been keeping myself from swimming for a while now.   I have to pick this up, my friends.

People who swim for the Olympics, they swim no matter how sick they are.  I would love to have that work ethic.  Onward.

Anyone realize it's November?   "Oh the Knicks are great!  Oh now they're not great!  The Lakers are going down in flames!  They can't even beat Indiana at home!!?  Oh the Clippers are way better than the Lakers!  Oh... they just lost four in a row including one to the Hornets."  It's.... NOVEMBER!!

I know I've had my own share of jumping the gun but even I can't get this riled up over a single month of NBA Basketball.

Remember when Auburn won the National Championship?  Feels like decades ago now.

Nate Robinson can't dunk over a chair on YouTube.

A reliever singlehandedly takes your team right out of a playoff series in October, so what do you do?  Sign him to a 3 year extension!   Good one, Cincinnati.  (link: )

I started up with peanut butter sandwiches again.  Ah, I have forgotten the gooey goodness.   Good times on two slices of bread.

Anyone hear the one about the kid from "Two and a Half Men" denouncing his own show as "filth?"  I could have told you that!!  I could have told you the show was garbage years ago!  Perhaps, though, I'd tell you this for different reasons than the kid did.   I just don't think the show is that funny.  Iono.

Indiana is still #1 in College Basketball.   I should mention, however, it's still NOVEMBER!!

That's all for the moment.  It won't be November for much longer.  Take care for now.

Addendum:  You know what?   Maybe Nate could dunk over a chair...  just barely.  Dave OUT!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 27th

Hello friends...

My swimming has taken a dive lately, no pun intended.    First it was the short week, and now it's my flu.  It's a lesser flu but I can sense that I'll get wiped out if I attempt any strenuous activity.  Going up the stairs this morning, I could feel some of that fever working its way back but then once I slow down I'm fine.

I'd like to get back to it though... I know I'll gain many pounds if I stop.   Sad situation really.

Think about this though... what would I have to eat in order to maintain my current body mass without exercise?   It'd have to be maybe 3/4 or 2/3 as much as I have now.   Very lame.

All right, so there's this goofball out there who's trying to imitate me without even knowing it, and he has his own blog, and youtubes no less!  The man lives in Austin, TX, and I gotta tell you, his blog is a hoot!

Check it out!   His ideas are brilliant... try to go to various places and make an outrageous request and expect a rejection.  Sometimes they hook him up.  It's a great read, and I highly recommend it.   I want to thank my buddy "Ottis" for recommending it as well.

I'm just going to go out there and say it right now:  Colin Kaepernick is the next 49ers Quarterback.   They *might* go with Alex Smith this week but he's going to get burned sooner or later.  All Kaepernick does is keep his team in the game and make good plays here and there.  He's not great... he's not Aaron Rodgers, but he's a terrific fit and he has a better arm too.  Now I tried to give him a few more games, but he's just been too good.  I'll give him one more and if he does well I think it's official.

Why is it that the best albums have 92 different versions of it on CD or LP?   Anyone ever see the number of different releases and remasters for "Pet Sounds" from the Beach Boys.  I counted about a dozen, or roughly the same number of tracks that were on the original record.  They even had a version of it that was an add on to another LP the Beach Boys released in the seventies.  Yet, I'm told that's the best sounding copy.   It's so weird.

I've had a HUGE hankering for a porterhouse steak, in the style of the old Peter Luger's steakhouse in Brooklyn.  Funny thing?  I currently have a wad of cash that could buy one at Peter Lugers.   Instead, however, I'll not attempt a flight to Brooklyn and just go after a local steakhouse that serves steak LIKE Peter Luger's.  In fact there's a Wolfgang's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills.  Now would I attempt to eat a "Steak for 2" by myself?  Stranger things have happened, my friends!

That's all for the moment.  I still need to get that little christmas tree for the apartment.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 26th

Good to be back... welcome back to our blog experience.

Thanksgiving was tremendous this year.  In fact, it was the best Thanksgiving I can remember for a long while.   We had a great turkey in the family this year.  I'm telling you, this was the best Thanksgiving Turkey I ever ate.   The skin was so crispy, the meat was tender and flavorful, maybe a little too salty, but no matter.  Everything WORKED.  The stuffing, which might have been stove top, was tremendous.  The cranberries in sauce, which my mom provided, were phenomenal.  The mashed potatoes, exemplary.  The gravy, complimentary.  The rest of the weekend was eventful as well.  Some shopping was involved, and a little Monopoly as well.

I made a huge comeback in the game of Monopoly on my sister.  I was down to just a couple hundred dollars with all of my properties mortgaged, including all three of the orange ones that I owned.   I thought it was over: my sister had hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.  One more trip to either place and the game was over.   Instead, I not only survived that trip but then landed on Free Parking (we put our fine and tax money into Free Parking).   THEN I took the Free Parking money and unmortgaged  all the orange spaces and built up all the houses/hotels I could.   I needed a ton of money for that but I went ALL IN... it's like going all in in Poker.   I knew that I was going to lose anyway if I landed on Boardwalk.  Then, miracle of miracles, I not only avoided "Luxury Row" again, but my sis hit one of the orange properties.  Suddenly, I had a lot of real cash!   I finished up building the hotels on all remaining orange properties.  A few trips around the board later, and she had to mortgage everything.   Even the hotels, even Boardwalk itself.   Somewhere in between I negotiated a trade to give her something like Illinois Avenue for Marvin Gardens so that I could build up the yellow ones as well.   Then it was on... a few rounds later, I won the game.  COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.

So Notre Dame is undefeated.   I have nothing further to add to this.   They did everything they could possibly be asked to do.  They didn't lose a game, they beat all the teams they needed to, and they played a tough schedule.  There really is nothing else for them to prove.    I wish them luck on the way to the National Championship Game.  Maybe they could beat Alabama.  I certainly don't think so, but perhaps Notre Dame struck at just the right time.  Defense, to me, is always the difference between BCS winning teams and the field.  If it wasn't, wouldn't Oregon have a few National Championships by now?

I'm a little under the weather, but it's not nearly that serious this time out.  Ibuprofen is simply the greatest.

I'm getting tired of people who expect to perform miracles on data.  If you busted up your external hard drive, it's gone.  FINITO.  End of story.  Fortunately I made it pretty clear that I cannot claim any responsibility on damaged or lost data.    Those disclaimers are important because you can't levy any weight of expectation onto an impossible situation.  

Portable/External data sources wind up being far less reliable than anything installed inside a desktop.  I think a good reason for that is the simple size of the disks involved.  A 2.5 inch hard disk is just asking to fail with the unbelievable amount of density between data bytes.  AND it moves.   A full 3.5" hard disk installed within a well ventilated PC could last for years, even decades.  

That's all for now... not much time for more, but I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Back tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 21st

Where does all the time go?

It seemed like it was just a few weeks ago we ushered in 2012.  Now we're about to usher it out.

The last two months of the year are my favorite time of the year.  I'm honestly very worried that we may not see 2013.   Some Mayan Prophecy... Yes, I'm a moron who believes it.  

I heard the news about the Gaza Strip in Israel and started to really worry.   I can only imagine what people felt like in the 80's with constant threats of Nuclear War.   These recent developments seem to suggest a similar outcome if it goes awry.  

I started spending much more than usual this year in anticipation of a possible end of world scenario.  I didn't want to leave it to chance... I did more than I usually did.  I traveled to NYC, Vegas, and SF without really worrying about the financial implications.   The prospect of Armageddon made me really think about not putting things off: so I didn't.  As they say, you only live once.

Ever hear the adage that the scent of something sticks with your memory more than anything else?   You ever come into contact with a girl?  Like, a really pretty girl.   It's hard to not mistake her wonderful smell.   I live for these moments.

I know, I'm supposed to write about Pilgrims and ships and giant horns made of twigs and things, but it's not for me.  I've done it in other years, but this year, I'm just ready to eat.  Turkey time, and all the fixings.

I considered a different strategy this year as opposed to past years:  Instead of eating the dozen other entrees my Mom and Grandma make, I'd like to focus strictly on the basics.  I would go Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and salad.   No other items... no crab, or jambalaya, or chicken thighs, or chili.  Just turkey and sides.   Makes me wonder how much of the turkey I could actually eat! I look forward to it.

By the way, I've always been intrigued at restaurants that serve turkey dinners.  Would they do a better job with the turkey than my Grandparents do?  Usually it's my Grandparents who cook the turkey, and they do a tremendous job of it too.   It does seem like some restaurants do the Turkey dinner but they are very expensive.  With all of the side dishes involved, I can understand that.   I'm eager to see if any of my friends have tried it.

One other thing I want to do lately is go to a food shelter and feed the homeless around this time of year.  My Dad does this almost every week and I'm so proud of him.   On the flip side, it makes me feel like a douche for carousing with football games and vegas trips while he gets other friends and family together to help his community.  

Here's something extremely difficult: Anniversary presents.   My parents have their wedding anniversary coming up, and I believe it's on Friday during the Thanksgiving Weekend.  Anyway, how do you get a present for two people who don't like the same things?   You have to get one present that your Mom and your Dad will like equally.  Now that's hard.

Turkey Football tomorrow... I gotta tell ya, I'm not into it!  The Redskins/Cowboys games are so overrated.  I know, all of them are close, but they're usually not well played games.  Turnovers abound, lousy work in the Red Zone, it's not good football.   I'm not prepared to see the Cowboys play a good complete game at home.  They haven't done this in the entire four seasons they've been at Cowboy Stadium.  The Cowboys have been AWFUL in their new stadium.   Pats/Jets should be interesting though.

That's all I have for now.  Gobble countdown is down to ONE DAY.  I'm excited everyone.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: NCAA Week 13

I will never live down the 0-4 week last week, and I'm a beaten man.  Yet, I'm here to round out the season on...

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (booooom)
of the Week (banng!)

Four games: all in College Football.

You'd think I'd learn but NO!  After spending most of the year picking against USC against the spread I'm going to the well *again*, knowing that I got burned badly by that sleaze Lane Kiffin and his idiot players.   Nevertheless, we'll take SC with backup QB Max Wittek to cover +7 against Notre Dame.  I don't think they'll win, but it will be much closer than people expect.  USC +7

Next, to the Rose Bowl where I like the Bruins to finish off the regular season with a bang.  Stanford will be badly worn out from that big win at Oregon.  It takes a LOT to beat the #1 team in the nation on their home field and I would not be surprised if this is a Bruin blowout.   Some might say: Congratulations, UCLA, you got VIDMUSHED!   I'm not so sure.   UCLA -1.5

Even though Oregon will want to fire back with a vengeance, they're at Corvallis, OR for the annual Civil War Game against Oregon State.  Let me tell you, way back in September I was ready to take the Beavers with the points.  I was THAT sure of a good game from Oregon State.  Thankfully, Oregon State is getting 9.5 points at home!  I wish that would go up, but for now, I think it's a comfortably point spread.   The Beavers will make it very interesting against the former No. 1 Oregon Ducks.   Oregon State +9.5

Lastly, I like Louisville to put away UConn.  Louisville -12

To Recap: USC +7, UCLA -1.5, Oregon State +9.5, Louisville -12.  Gobble up!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 20th

Gobble countdown is down to TWO days.  Two days, everyone 'til Thanksgiving.    Who cannot wait for the big meals in store?  I look forward to it.

Colin Kapernick did a remarkable job last night for the 49ers.   I think I want to give him one more start before I decide whether he's a long term solution.  It's too bad his next start would be against the Saints on the road.  That's almost an impossible place to win.   If Alex Smith is deemed healthy I would guess he gets the start anyway.

I got my first look at TWC Sportsnet last night.  This is terrific!   I have always wondered what a channel entirely devoted to the Lakers would be like.  No Angels games to get in the way.  No rushed postgame shows from a makeshift desk next to the Jerry West statue at Staples Center.  No more of that useless Norm Nixon failing to analyze plays.  The only issue at the moment is that the programming is pretty repetitive.   Lakers Access, Classic Lakers, Lakers Replay, Lakers Access again...  

I don't worry so much about that: every program takes a while to build an archive of material in the very beginning.  The first years of NFL Network featured a lot of old NFL Films highlight shows, and by old I mean VERY old, like from the mid-to-late 60's.  I rather enjoyed it, but it was just filler for a very new channel.  The first years of most HD channels had programming on about a 3 hour block, which just repeated or alternated with one other 3 hour block ad nauseum.  Over time, TWC Sportsnet will have more comprehensive programming.  I love the dedication to Lakers coverage, and even better, I get to see my boy Coach Dave Miller at the studio desk again!

Who is Dave Miller?  He used to coach the Hornets in some capacity.  Then, years later, he came over to Los Angeles to do postgame and pregame shows for the Lakers on radio.  Now he's on TV.  He's had a good post-coaching career and he seems to bleed Lakers, even though I don't remember him having any connections to the team in the past.

Then you look over at Fox Sports Net and Prime Ticket.    You can bet the Clippers, Kings, and Dodgers are *begging* to go to their own channels.  Kings would be pretty good to be a complimentary team to the Lakers on TWC Sportsnet, and I bet that's where they will go when their contract with FSN expires.   The Kings can take their time: the more time this channel spends on the Lakers, the better it will be.   If all goes well I'll be watching TWC Sportsnet every night.

I do miss hockey.   The last time the NHL had a lockout, and teams came back it was never the same.   You'd see all the same players and all the same teams but it just felt different.   I'm afraid the same thing happens this year.   Hockey is never going to learn... they were picking up momentum with its fans, and slowly building popularity again.  Now, it's as good as badminton in terms of popularity.    Way to go, Bettman.  Way to go, NHLPA.

I just find it amusing that Donald Fehr has a hand in the NHLPA during this lockout.  He's the man responsible for the bloated salaries in MLB today.   Now he's in the NHL trying to milk all the money he can for the players.   One problem, Donald:  WHERE IS THIS MONEY COMING FROM?   You can't milk money from a league that doesn't have that much money to begin with.   NHL Revenues from 2011 were 3.3 billion dollars.  That's a full 1 billion less than the NBA's 4.3 billion, and less than 50% of MLB's 7 billion.  The NHL gets easily the worst TV ratings of any professional sport.  They have ratings bad enough to be comparable to MLS Soccer.  It's a joke.   Yet, the NHL thinks they can operate like the NFL and hope all its fans start pouring back.

Some of them will, but many of them will take longer to return to following the sport.  NHL Strikes out again.

A Kings fan, like myself, could be furious about this lockout.   To waste not only a whole year of all the players' lives and kill any momentum for a title repeat, THEN take away the fans' chance to see the Kings put up their championship banner is a very bitter pill to swallow.   It would be impossible for any team to repeat after a full calendar year in between seasons.  It's just awful.

How long does pasta keep?   I've had a batch of pasta that I cooked on Thursday, I believe, and it's in the fridge now.   Think it's all right to eat?  I think we're going to find out tonight!

We do have one more Dave in the City Podcast tonight at 10 East, 7 Pacific.  Mike in North NJ joins us to break down the upcoming Notre Dame/USC game.  Should be a good time.  In hour 2, Kevin on the Cape helps us usher in Thanksgiving.

I've got to get an anniversary present for my parents.  Their anniversary is on Thanksgiving Weekend.  Odd isn't it?  I don't know how they arrived at that date but it makes a busy weekend even busier for them.  It should be great though!

Is Turkey an overrated meat?   It's easy to turn that thing dry in cooking.   It takes forever to cook.   The end result can be hit or miss.   I do like it though, so I can't decide.

Imagine this!   A turkey rotisserie restaurant in the style of California Chicken Cafe or any other rotisserie chicken place.   It'd cost way more but I'm intrigued.   Or, if not that, how about a Fried Turkey restaurant?  You *can* fry them.   There are these huge peanut oil turkey fryer pots they sell.  Put in the Turkey, let it sit for a few minutes and bazinga, perfectly cooked turkey with a delicious crust.

There's a Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas.   If there's a Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas, why in the world is there no Dunkin Donuts in California?  Vegas is practically next to California!  This is outrageous, my friends.  Just outrageous.

That's all for the moment:  You know, I'm so thankful to have the freedom and the means to write this blog.   I'm thankful to have the people and good friends to support it.  I'm happy to have a great family to help me be the man I am today.   Thanks to you all.   Back tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 19th

I'm out of it today.  Not feeling 100%, but I think I'll manage for the morning/afternoon.

Notre Dame is #1.  I would be lying if I said I was happy about it.   All they had to do was win their legit-tough schedule and THEN hope for all the other teams around them to give up a game.   It's like the guy who gets a lot of money via inheritance.   Now the guy himself did a great job staying alive and being a good enough guy to earn that award in the will, but it was basically an award anyway.

Now that the Irish are No. 1 and that the Trojans are a complete embarrassment to the Pac 12, all eyes look to the Coliseum.   I'll save the prediction for tonight's Dave podcast (11:30 ET on, but here's a few related things I think will happen:

  • Seems to me like SC and its fans don't have much left.   You can bet the stadium will be almost all Notre Dame... think of it like "South Bend West."
  • I don't think Barkley is going to play.  He looked finished with the concussion on Saturday
  • The Irish fanbase will double this weekend if the Irish win.   
  • If USC wins, I predict we will get not just one but TWO SEC teams in the National Championship game.  We were already on pace to have zero SEC teams in the game and then Saturday happened.  Oh da pain.
I had the weirdest dream of the year last night.   I was at a very fancy casino, a place like Wynn or something, and found a McDonalds inside the casino.  Then I went to McDonalds and ordered a McDouble, A McChicken Sandwich and fries, and the people taking orders were wearing tuxes and had fancy stuff on.  The dude who took the order looked like a butler.  He could not figure out how to set up that order at all... he was so confused.  Then there was this pitch to make the McChicken Sandwich a combo and eventually I gave in and did it but then he had no idea what to do about the drink.  It was a mess.   If that was reality, I would have probably gone on the Dave Blog and moaned about it, then adding "This is why fancy people don't work at McDonalds.  Leave the McDonalds orders to the regulars."

Nothing says "things to be thankful for" like a guy who drops a huge computer migration request on you during a short week up against the Thanksgiving holiday.   To be honest, I should have just postponed the entire operation for next week, so that's on me.

How are the Cowboys in playoff contention?   Oh goody, we get to see the Cowboys go to the playoffs and NOT WIN a game!   

Last night showed how important Ben Roethlisberger was to the Steelers.   However, with that said, it shows that the organization is getting *really* lazy with their roster moves.   Subtracting your starting quarterback is the easiest indication of how well an organization drafts or makes roster moves.   In the NFL, if you have a solid team, you manage to hold water with all the leftover guys if you lose your starting QB.  The Patriots in 2008 are a good example.  However, you also get situations like this one with the Steelers.  Without Big Ben, any other QB is toast because the team didn't spend time working on improving its o-line (it's gotten better but we're speaking about Ben's entire career), or getting good running backs.  It's not easy to do because Pit can't get upper level draft picks with their relative success, but sometimes there are diamonds in the rough.  Such are the Steelers this year.   I don't know when Big Ben returns but until then it will be a mighty struggle.  I'm actually pretty happy the Steelers kept it close against Baltimore.

Taxi Cabs are a huge sham.   I refuse to use them whenever possible.   Who else would charge 10 dollars to travel a mile?   What a joke.

Alabama is back in the BCS Championship game... hooray?

That's all for now.  Happy Monday everyone.  ...see what I did there?