Friday, January 21, 2005

Well it's about fucking time someone listened to me. Maybe the Pack will do better next year with a new secondary coach. Maybe it's a bit premature to fire Slowik, too. Give him a year, then we'll see. The article has a point there.

Trade show duty is booty. That's all I have to say. Changing ownership at a company that only has eight employees shouldn't be as messy as this one is. Sorry for being cryptic, but I don't wanna be in the papers or on "fucked company."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Playoffs?! PLAYoffs?! I'm just trying to win a game. Oh, if Jim Mora (Sr.!) was the Packers' coach during last week's debacle. I can only wonder what the tirade would have been. I'd been an advocate of Mike Sherman's before, touting his ability to be able to handle the dual role of Head Coach and General Manager better than Holmgren did in Seattle. This year I, as many other Packer fans, began to have second thoughts. I'm thinking the death of Mark Hatley last summer may have had a factor. Hatley probably handled many of the duties that a GM would normally handle, giving Sherman the final say. But he died right before the preseason started so it would have been foolish to find a replacement mid season.

In a twist of irony, at least considering my post about Sherman v. Holmgren, Bob Harlan has brought in Ted Thompson, Holmgren's "Hatley" since '99. Thompson comes highly regarded from Ron Wolf, so we'll see. My good friend Jason's dad was privy to a rumor about the defensive shakeup this past year, stemming from the 4th and 26 debacle at the Philly game last year:

Donatell actually strongly objected to the call that was made on that play, but Sherman overruled him and then fired him for insubordination. This pissed off McKenzie, who felt Donatell was taking the fall for Sherman's error. I don't know about all of that, situations of the kind are rarely as airtight as this rumor would suggest, so I'm not buying it. However, losing McKenzie did to our defense on a smaller scale what Ricky Williams' abrupt departure did to the Dolphins' offense.

Everybody wants their new defensive coach to say things like "we're going to be aggressive," but you don't want to tip the pitch. Slowik's scheme shot it's wad in the Carolina game, and then it took five games for our team to recover, and at that point we were running more of a base defense, with Al Harris playing man to man against the #1 receiver for the rest of the season. We had three rookies rotating in and out, and I think either Darren Sharper's been playing hurt or is past his prime. Losing Grady Jackson during those five games after Carolina, and the back up nose tackle, didn't help matters, but KGB's not effective at anything except the occasional pass rush. God I miss Reggie White! Oh, and Santana Dotson, an unsung hero on the front four.

Where am I going with this? Well, for starters, I hope Thompson doesn't waste too much energy in trying to find an eventual replacement for Favre. Brett had a shitty game last week, but he's allowed one of those on occasion. I think Craig Nall is a sleeper, like Billy Volek (who looks good but doesn't always win games), and would do fine if Favre went down or retired. Certainly better than Tim Couch! Point is, we need to bring in maybe one Vet who can lead the team on D, and rethink the defensive strategy, probably starting with canning Slowik and Kurt Schottenheimer.

As for the rest of the playoffs, I'm gonna call it Indy v. Philly with Indy taking it. Pittsburgh looks tough, New England looks a little gimpy. The AFC championship game is where it's at this year. As for the NFC, I'm going with Philly as the safe choice (wouldn't it be ironic with T.O. out), but I'm very tentative in that choice. This has all the makings of an 80's superbowl, where the 49ers or one of the other dominant NFC teams would end up facing a Cinderella story in the AFC. Watch out for the Rams. Forget about the Vikes. Philly's gonna tear up that secondary and porous run defense. I predict Philly will beat them as badly as they did to the Pack a few weeks back. I'm thinking Atlanta can be contained by checking the receivers and putting pressure on Vick.

By the way, the mooning thing is much ado about nothing. The Vikings just existing is more offensive than anything Randy Moss could pull.

That's all!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

First was the code, next I've been taking stock of what I've been putting in. Lots of repetitive stuff. I've talked about the book, about the company situation, about the limbo in the housing department, about feeling disengaged from politics and dejected since the election, about too much beer, inactivity, sulking, quasi-depression...numerous times, seemingly in a row. Why am I logging on and doing this, exactly? Right, exorcism. Writing is exorcism. Say it fifteen times...

One thing I haven't talked about is the ringtone of a quote by Dick Cheney I've downloaded to my Kyocera KX2 phone, which is triggered whenever I get a call from someone who's not in my phonebook (customers, in other words):

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. And he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."

Today, the reports, slyly tucked deep under the headlines, is that it's official: There are no weapons of mass destruction. I looked here, here and here. Nothing. But I heard it here and even here! What up? And what was that about feeling disengaged again? Fuck it, I'm back...thanks to the kind folks at Modtones.
There. Now that I've edited my site code, maybe I should pick up the trumpet once in a while. My wife, Netflix and some IPA or another have been my focus since my band's last gig at the beginning of August last year. Since the election I've just felt a little depressed. Seems the things inside and outside of my life are lacking a little direction. K & I had a plan, thanks to her mom's help, that materialized in July, but the actual beginning keeps getting pushed back. So there is this limbo situation at our Oakland apartment, where we're forced (after numerous hearings) to pay more than we can afford, but it hasn't made sense for us to move knowing we'll be moving to a permanent, and essentially rent free place. Had we known they would still not have ground broken on the place at this late a date, we would have moved to temporary housing at the end of September.

This is so boring, isn't it? I'm saving the fun and wit for the book I've been perfecting.
Come to think of it....the choice of new templates is much better these days than when I looked the last time. Rather than try and customize it, fuck it. Here's the new template. I'm bored at the moment, what can I say?
Bored with the layout of my site, I decided to change a few of the colors, but it's still a little blah. One of these days I'll get better at the aesthetics of design. In the mean time, it is what it is.

I imagine I'll be learning a thing or two about networks and servers in the coming months, as well as accounting. Well, hopefully the latter part won't be one of my main duties, as I could do without it. But think of all the things I'll be able to put on my resume.

K & I have not quite entered into our resolution phase yet with respect to curbing heavy foods, inactivity, excessive drinking and the like, but the plan's in place. The move to Santa Clara has been in perpetual limbo due to issues with permits, blueprints and god knows what else. So the two of us continue to maintain our present course, adrift. There do not seem to be any rocky shores in the vicinity, so we're lucky there.

I have an abundance of books to read, piled up as gifts from the holidays. The first was Brett Favre in his own words, an easy read that I finished on Christmas day. I have a book that surveys ancient Greek and Roman Historians, a book on string theory called The Elegant Universe, one called Doubt, which seems to be a humorous take on how human history was shaped by doubters like Aristotle, Jefferson, Emily Dickinson, etc. That's for starters.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Odd times. I've survived yet another round of cost cutting and layoffs, and will be doled out some extra responsibilities, among them being responsible for the accounting of the company, paying bills, etc., answering the general phone line (did that for a month beating back solicitors when we were in the process of moving offices and I worked from home), then also doing network maintenance. I'm supposed to learn that from our IT guru before he leaves. How in the hell am I going to do all that? As best I can, I guess, until someone beats me out the door and tells me I'm not doing a good job. When I started, there were 17 people at my company, already the smallest I'd worked for. Then it went to 10, then 8, and now, apparently, 5. Well, besides the 25 engineers the new owner has supposedly hired over in India. They're keeping me because I don't get paid all that much and have apparently demonstrated that I can learn anything that's thrown at me. We shall see. In any case, from my perspective, I'm just trying to maintain a good salary until the debts are paid off in two years. The money I make now is more than I've ever made, and I have more freedom in my role. Still, it's......weird.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

More talk. I've spent the past two months hard at work on my book. It's about my life in rock bands, from age 17 until age 34. It begins with a passage I'm writing from a gray cubicle at work, then dives right into the comic subplots that were my early attempts at putting a band together. I suppose it's an autobiography, but mostly it's geared toward fans of my last band, giving an insider's look at the process of making our records, some of the dumb tour stories and the like without getting too personal about the other members, but personal enough to describe the evolution of the interpersonal relationships. Getting along and finding one's place is half the battle in a band, and I suppose it's a bit of a primer for those who would want to try it for themselves. In that way it's also about the struggle to continue on once you've reached a level of "potential" success, opening for bigger bands, yet still having to navigate through being hired for, and then quitting, day jobs to make ends meet in an area as expensive as the Bay Area. I waver back and forth whether or not it's too self aggrandizing, but I've sent it out to some people I trust to proofread it. As I gather that feedback, I'll have a clearer idea about how close to done I feel I am, and then submit it for publication. It will probably be a year or so yet before any of this sees the light of day. But just finishing the draft is a big enough accomplishment.
There are times when words are not necessary. I haven't written in here for a while because the Tsunami defies anything that any written language can do justice with. The pictures and descriptions of events say it all. This is not a time for punditry, for politics. My wife and I plan on sending money after the 15th (when we have some).

An old bandmate of mine happened to be over in Thailand when it all happened, and I emailed in a panic, knowing he had been in Phuket the last I'd heard from him. Luckily, he responded that evening saying he was okay, up in the mountains to the north in Chaing Mai/Pai. Another friend had called me the next day in a similar panic, saying he had a dream about our mutual friend, and I told him he had already emailed back confirming that he felt the tremor, but had no idea what was happening along the coasts. He didn't find out until watching CNN.