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Blog Archive: October 2004
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October 27, 2004 - how to "weird out" a Californian; congrats Boston, more NE glory, began shopping
-10:30 pm: litter the front lawn with small bits of ice (aka hail). A chaotic day of weather deserves a chaotic blog entry....
hail... wow
-sure it could pass for fertilizer... but it's actual hail! in socal!
-yes it freaking hailed today, just as i complained about the weather yesterday. Little did i know that the most severe (and thus most interesting) weather was still on it's merry way. Today there was a period of about 30 minutes of pretty intense, small pearl-sized hail surrounded by rather heavy rain, lightning and thunder. accompany that with reports of water spouts off of Malibu and feets of snow at local resorts makes for one crazy day, at least weatherwise.
-ok i admit i'm just a silly Californian amazed by something not normal. I do know that hail is very common in other parts of the country, but trust me it is RARE here. According to my dad, it's only happened twice in my lifetime, the last time being 1984 (apparently that time left a 2 inch thick layer of ice though).
-plant cycles do indeed appear to be fucked up. I see lots of little plants sprouting and the rosebushes appear to be budding as well (although they normally do go through a fall growth phase).
-congrats to the Boston Red Sox, who completed their improbable post season with a World Series sweep over the apparently over-matched St. Louis Cardinals. The so-called Curse of the Bambino is over and Boston can party like it's 1918! I'm simply amazed by how they were able to follow up a series in which they were nearly swept with a sweep of their own. That run of 8 consecutive wins is surely the mother of all baseball streaks...
-speaking of New England streaks... when will the Patriots' streak end (stands at 21...)? Dare they challenge the 1972 33 game Laker streak that is the longest in professional sports? if they do, if would be a far more impressive accomplishment having done so in professional football.
-began holiday shopping today by ordering two beanie bears for sister online. $5 each.... must figure out gifts for others.

October 26, 2004 - ok rain go away now, $ spent, bball depression
-11:57 pm: weather-wise, this October is not the type of October i remember from high school days. I remember those good old october days highs in the high 80s with strong dry winds and the accompanying conflagarations. Instead, we get what Seattle gets... freaking rain... and apparently a record amount of it. Since it's not normal, i don't like it. Perhaps last week's storm was a nice deviation for some weather excitement when Southern California would otherwise be burning, but mother nature's now just rubbing it in.... one random thought i have is that with all this water in the ground, are all the plants' cycles going to be f***ed now?
-despite not having job, i spent $174 on videogames yesterday. i decided that i'd be ok if i had a minimum amount in the bank account (several thousand) and left the rest (~$700) to blow on random crap. so i am/did. lucky siblings shall get nicer than normal gifts for Xmas.
-NBA season will start soon and that means 82 painful Laker games to follow. The team has no resemblance to last season's team (which i am happy about), and most assuredly the games will be vastly different. Gone is that wretched triangle offense and its primary vertex (Shaq) and instead there is some chaotic offense with no name that simply purports to provide Kobe with as many shots as he likes. opposition teams now only have to focus on stopping Kobe and no longer have to worry about having layups blocked. as shocking as it may sound, the Lakers still have talent enough to at least challenge for the Pacific Division title. that may sound impressive until you learn that the division has both NBA doormats (Golden State and the other LA team), a Sacramento team with issues of its own (a not-as-good-as-he-used-to-be Webber and unhappy Stojakovic) and Phoenix. what happened to the Blazers and Sonics? With the addition of the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA now has 30 teams which have been split into 6 divisions of 5 teams each. Portland and Seattle were purged from the Pacific Division (which could have been called California + Phoenix division) into the Northwest division (which while appropriately named for Seattle and Portland, not appropriate for Utah, Denver and Minnesota). The Texas teams + Memphis and New Orleans form the oddly named Southwest Division. There's your new NBA Western Conference. I am unfamiliar with how the (L)Eastern conference is composed (actually it may not be so inferior anymore...). Season begins next week!

October 23, 2004 - too much college football, !?!?
-11:50 pm: yeah way too much today. watched various games pretty much straight from 12 pm until just now with small breaks to cook, eat and do laundry. It's kinda pathetic, and the Cal game wasn't even on. None of the games were particularly interesting, except for maybe the MSU upset of Florida. Games that were supposed to be exciting weren't... Texas killed Texas Tech and likewise the Miami did in NC State. in an uterly unrelated note, Boston won game 1of the World Series 11-9.
-i haven't done anything remotely productive for a VERY long time, not since late August. weee... a combination of being unemployed and general laziness (the two of which i think help feed each other...).

October 22, 2004 - CA electoral ignorance (a bit of ranting...), site updates
-3:44 pm: the closer we get to election day, the more upset i find myself over just how little attention the people of California are getting from the Presidential candidates. It just seems wrong that the candidates are making no more than short token appearances in state of 33 million people. At the same time, they spend a lot of time and money on states with much smaller populations, just because the polls show they're close enough to be winnable. What's further upsetting is that most of the candidates' money reserves are coming from donors in California. Why such ignorance (and it's important to point out that New York and Texas are also being ignored)? the state's too solidly democratic and will vote for Kerry. Both sides are so sure of it, they feel there is no need to campaign here. But it comes with consequence. Rest assured people, as we are being ignored now, so shall we be ignored by whoever's elected President. There's no reason for either candidate to pander to people in this state now, thus no reason to reward us for faithfully voting. can it be solved?
-one LA Times reporter suggests we try the Nebraska/Maine system in which all but two of the electoral votes are given based on who wins particular Congressional Districts, with the remaining two votes given to the overall state winner. Under this system, parts of the state might come into play, but others would remain pretty predictable (like the liberal Bay Area and certain parts of LA metro). the effect would be quite staggering though. Assuming that the districts vote the same party as their House rep, Kerry would get 35 votes and Bush would get 20. those 20 are 7 short of being a "Florida," and would be a nice gain for Bush and pretty bad loss for Kerry. That being said, i think the candidates would be more inclined to at least spend more time than they have here if that system were in place. But what are the chances of this system being put in place? not likely. Given what effect it would have, Democrats would hate it. And since they (mostly) control the state government, they'll never pass such a reform. One possibility would be to make it an initiative constitutional amendment (aka proposition) that we Californians seem so in love with. With enough money to advertise, you could probably convince people here to stop being so ignored.
-another possibility is of course to do away with the whole Electoral College and simply have the President elected by direct democracy. That brings up the question as to why we even have it in the first place. well it was meant as one of those "checks and balances" you learn about in high school government. Supposedly this system prevents someone who might be highly popular in particular regions from winning because those regions have more people. Like our bicameral legislature, the EC exists to make sure that all states can have some say. it prevents the big bad states from bullying up on the shitty little states. Unfortunately it's produced a system which the big bad states are actually ignored. California, New York and Texas are being ignored in this election while states like Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico get all the attention. blah. all this being said, Fellow Californians, go out and make your irrelevant votes!
-site updates: just minor updates to the side section. entries for 10/22, 10/21, 10/14 and 10/7 uploaded on 10/22

October 21, 2004 - haha Yankees, stormy, election update
-12:36 am: i'm not really much of a baseball fan, but i'm always up to jeering the Yankees along with the rest of America outside of New York. the Yankees, of course, piss off the country with their "buy everyone mentality"; them and their insane $180 million pay roll. so come World Series time, i'm usually just cheering against them since LA teams normally don't make the playoffs (except for this year). Boston eliminated NY in the ALCS today after trailing the series 3-0 to become only the third team in the entire history of American professional sports to win a seven game series after losing the first three games. Notably, they are the first to do so in major league baseball; the other comebacks were in hockey. What makes the victory all the more sweeter is that Boston and NY are extreme rivals and that the Red Sox accomplished the feat in New York. What better way to shame your rivals than to bestow upon them the embarrassment of being the first MLB team ever to lose a 3-0 advantage. But of course, the meaning will be greatly diminished if they're unable to win the whole enchilada. After 80+ years without a championship title, Bostonians aren't interested in a mere pennant.
-since saturday night, the state of California has been hit by a series of winter-like storms which dumped record rainfall in NorCal and snow in the Sierras and gave SoCal a rare dose of october rain. good effects from the storm are that the fire danger that is normal around this time of year has been essentially wiped out and that snowsporting season can start up much earlier. In fact, Mammoth Mountain is opening today after it got some 4 feet of snow! the picture below is of the mountain only a week and a half ago.
-bad stuff from the storm though: lots of flooding and mudslides especially in the burns areas from last July and October of last year. at least we probably won't see any major fires breaking out this year; the rain even helped to put out a few fires that were burning. couple areas of orange county also experienced flooding.
-less than two weeks to go before election day. i'm somewhat worried about a terrorist attack, given what happened to Spain in March. But to worry too much is to give victory to the terrorists... anyway, after the debates in which Bush managed not to look too idiotic, Kerry picked up a a bit of steam and made the polls closer. The national poll about who's winning doesn't matter too much, since the two area really competing over states. Bush appears to be holding a slight electoral college advantage, but some of the states are really too close to predict. i still don't care for either candidate and turned in my absentee ballot without a vote for President. i'm kinda concerned about whether Kerry would be able to national security, but at the same not really too thrilled about the direction we're headed under Bush. oh well enough about presidential stuff.
-Senator Boxer will be reelected; she holds a 2:1 vote margin over Bill Jones. what is more interesting is senate races in other states. Minority leader Daschle is facing major opposition in South Dakota and the democratic party might be dealt an embarrassing defeat. the senate's power balance is quite delicate so this election could see the senate could swing back into control of the democrats. also possible is a stronger Republican control of the senate.
-ballot propositions are interesting. of the controversial ones, 66 appears headed for approval while 71 and 72 are handing by threads. 68 and 70 both appear doomed.

October 14, 2004 - Mammoth trip, an honorable mention, more random
-11:42 pm: the trip ended on sunday, but i didn't bother to write about it due to laziness. overall, i'd say the trip was nostalgic in the sense that it reminded me of earlier Mammoth trips in happier times. we drove up on friday, right after Matthew got out of school. made it in pretty good time at 8:30 pm. -fishing-wise trip was ok, with sunday's good balancing with saturday's horrible. i did manage to catch my first fish in a very very long time (well over two years) on sunday on good old Convict Lake. We pulled in a total of 6 fish on sunday all on nightcrawlers, and it could've been 9 if not for 3 breakoffs. i must say that Convict Lake is my favorite trout fishing lake... we've never left it empty-handed. It also helps that is the prettiest lake i've ever seen: set in a deep bowl with extremely clear water surrounded by high granite peaks. Even when the fishing's slow, i'm always satisfied just by being able to see the lake and its surroundings.
-saturday we fished Lake Mary, the largest of the Mammoth Lakes, in windy conditions. Since trout naturally feed on flies and bugs that land on the surface of the lake, they weren't interested in coming up that day. 5.5 hrs pointlessly on a small rental aluminum boat, mostly complaining about how floaters were drifting away. there were times that the wind was calm, but apparently the trout were still not interested.
-after we gave up, we returned to the motel room and couldn't resist turning on the tv to watch the ongoing USC-Cal game. Cal unfortunately didn't win as it had way too many turnovers and special teams miscues. the 23-17 score was a much lower score than i was expecting. Even though Cal lost, seems like more national respect was picked up. Apparently Cal was the better team in all aspects of the game (except for the special teams). USC on the other hand got more doubt as the team lost first place votes in the polls. Watch out for ASU on saturday.
-with USC's victory, SoCal completed that triple disappointment for the Bay Area... but at the same time, both SoCal baseball teams made rather pathetic exits from the playoffs. the Lakers played their first exhibition game on tuesday, and looked horrible doing it. So for now the entire region (except of course UCLA fans) puts it sports hopes behind USC.
-i found out today via the TBP website that CA A chapter got honorable mention for best chapter for last academic year at this year's TBP convention. i can now say that at least something came out of my time at Cal. i of course do not take sole credit, but its rewarding to know i contributed something somewhat meaningful during my time there. Otherwise i can think of nothing notable.
-and now for some picture fillers....
Mammoth Mountain
-Mammoth Mountain as viewed from Lake Mary. a 50,000 year old mountain created by volcanic eruptions, is famous for its long skiing season (november - june), good snow, and potential for a great volcanic explosion
Convict Lake
-Picture of Convict Lake from the south shore. A rather small 164 acre lake residing in a tarn (rock bowl carved by a glacier). So named for the band of convicts that escaped from a Nevada prison that used the lake as a hideout for 3 days in the 19th century.
6 trout
-a six pack of (dying) rainbow trout on the stringer. caught on nightcrawlers.
Owens Valley
-a view of the Owens Valley from highway 395, just north of Bishop. The valley could have been a productive agricultural area, but the city of Los Angeles stole the water away. The valley has instead become reliant on limited ranching and tourism. one can't help but wonder what it could have been had LA not illegally stolen the water (the city used deceptive and illegal tactics to seize water rights). Residents are virtually powerless to do anything... what can a valley of 19,000 people do against a city of nearly 3 million?

October 7, 2004 - an update on that sports euphoria, random thoughts
-12:13 am: that SoCal sports euphoria i previously wrote about was quite short lived. People here were dreaming just on monday that there would be a "Freeway" World Series between the Dodgers and Angels.  Well that's looking quite quite unlikely now, as the Dodgers lost their opening game on tuesday and the Angels are already in a 0-2 hole. both teams may be eliminated by the weekend. And since the Lakers are dismantled, the Clippers are the Clippers, the Kings locked out, the only thing socal has now is USC football...
-so the inquiry that Amgen made turned out to be a false hope. i'm really not sure why they made the inquiry when my resume indicated i was way underqualified. they wanted someone who was ASCP certified... and it's not a good sign if you need to look something like that up (ASCP - American Society of Clinical Pathologists). after that disappointment, i started thinking again. what do i have to do to get a damn job? then i thought, would i even be happy working in that position knowing what i could've done right outside of graduating?
-various people (family, friends, major advisors) suggested my grades would have been good enough to go medical school or graduate school. that may be so, but just because they are doesn't mean i should. It has been clear to me that the fact i'm not in school right now has been disappointing everyone (well except for the major advisors who really weren't interested and really didn't seem to care). Am i myself disappointed? i don't know. Part of me says yes, you wasted your undergraduate years. what the hell were the grades for? another part thinks those are perhaps lofty goals that were imposed by other people. i wonder that if i were in school, would i be there because I want to be there, or there just to please everyone else?
-there is no doubt that i'm distressed that what everything i did in college has not translated into an easier job search process. i fully realize i have no one to blame for all of this but myself. i lack the "go-get-em" attitude, the competitiveness or persistence that people who are successful have. people may not believe, but i've always been a pessimist and some who gives up easily. when faced with probable defeat, i always give up, thinking that there's no point in further effort and that by giving up i somehow lessen the victory for the other side. some may ask then how did i end up with 15 A+ and a 3.96 avg? well i never viewed tests as probable defeat and, not to sound cocky or anything, i am good at problem solving and dumping the retarded and useless shit i've memorized onto paper. for me, doing well in classes is just natural. i just wish i could translate that to where it really matters, life. I should perhaps start by stopping this stupid complaining and bitching... it's certainly not going to do anything.
-on to much lighter things. well i get to miss the #7 Cal at #1 USC football game because i'll be trout fishing somewhere in the vicinity of Mammoth Lakes.  i also unfortunately get to miss the Star Trek: Enterpise season opener on friday.... because we probably won't reach Mammoth Lakes until 9 or 10pm (shows on at 8).

October 2, 2004 - SoCal sports euphoria
-11:36 pm: there is little doubt that there is rivalry between the sports teams of northern California and the teams of southern California which is fueled by a mutual hatred between the populations of the LA area and Bay Area. Northerners despise southern California for stealing water, while southern California hates the north for stealing money away. so the games with the most fervor, are those when someone from the other region is playing.... Beat LA is such a common cheer heard when the Lakers are playing in Sacramento or Oakland, when the LA Kings are playing the Sharks or when the Dodgers are visiting SBC park in San Francisco. Today, SoCal bested NorCal twice, when the Dodgers clinched the National League West title over the Giants in grand-slam fashion, while the Angels stunned the A's in Oakland to win the American League West title. Both LA area teams, which have never made the playoffs together, triumphed over Bay Area counterparts. And while i really do not like baseball, any win over NorCal is a good one. congrats to both the Dodgers and Angels....
-the LA area has the opportunity to inflict a third disappointment on the Bay Area when the top-rated USC Trojans host the #10 Cal Golden Bears next week. Cal is the only team from the Bay Area i'll cheer for, after all i went to the school. the stakes are extremely high in the game. It is probably THE biggest game of the year for both teams, as the winner may very well be playing the rest of the season for a berth in the National Championship Orange Bowl. both teams come in undefeated.... realistically, USC will probably win, given the home-field advantage and the all important revenge factor. USC's only loss last year, a triple overtime thriller in Berkeley, preventing the Trojans from winning the National title outright and put a blemish on an otherwise stellar season. USC will definitely come out for blood, but Cal has shown thus far this season that it will at least be able to hang with USC....
-so will SoCal go 3 for 3? we'll see. well i won't, at least not live.... i'll be trout fishing in the Eastern Sierra while the games on next weekend.

October 1, 2004 - a response, randomness
-10:30 pm: all these job inquiries have finally produce a response from an ideal company in Amgen. However the position is in Seattle, and i'm a "bit" (read: way) underqualified. But the fact that they've even responded to me is encouraging... well see if they offer an interview or not.
-i got my official plastic-coated CA DMV-issued driver license in the mail today. taking a look at the picture they took in january, and comparing to other people's licenses, DMV cameras make everyone look really dark. i look like hella Filipino in the pic, maybe twice as dark as that pic to the left. yeah true PINOY. Well, speaking of Filipinos, the whole family less Paul is going out with my mom's side of the family for my grandfather's bday tomorrow at the Claim Jumper in Monrovia. Family gatherings on my mom's side are usually met with great trepidation by my dad, me and my brothers. Such gatherings with amicable intentions are full of frustration, irritation, impatience, TARDINESS, stress and anger. And it seems sad that after each gathering, my mom is more stressed than before the thing. i think family gatherings should have the opposite effect, but at least on my mom's side they certainly don't.
-ironically, i feel closer to my mom's side than to my dad's side. my dad's side is significantly larger, so perhaps as a result of it being larger, interactions with family members there are far less personal. the kind of conversations i have with cousins on my dad's side are of the awkward type where you're just searching for random stuff to say. LOOOOOOONG pauses. add in my shy nature and you have an excellent recipe for boring, irrelevant conversation. oh well... families aren't perfect and (following comment is not meant to insult family members who may be reading, so if you fall into that category... GOMEN...) unlike our friends, we can't choose our family. this is not to imply that my friends are perfect (in fact, they are far from such an unattainable goal :p). And speaking of those friends, i haven't heard from any of you in a while, so uh yeah feel free to drop me an email/call/letter or something.

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