Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Malibu Dreams

A few weeks ago my roommate Dan brought home a real estate magazine full of multi-million dollar homes and pieces of land that were currently for sale in the Malibu area. While paging through the magazine we stumbled upon a little gem in the Rambla Pacifico neighborhood with 180 degree ocean views. My first instinct was that this little plot of land would be well over half a million dollars. But I have a news flash for you Walter Cronkite. It wasn't. This little beauty was priced at a cool $185,000. Think about that for a minute. Ocean view property in beautiful Malibu for only $185,000. There must be a catch right? Well, after doing some research on the interwob, the only "catches" I could come up with were that the building permit had expired - a new permit would cost roughly $15,000 - and the lot is really small. Really small in the sense that it is big enough for a 2000 square foot house and that is all. When I say that is all, I really mean that is all. There will be no yard and the parking space for you car will need to be integrated into the construction of the house - i.e. the house will be built on top of the garage. But lets be honest, I don't want to mow the lawn. I don't need a yard. Especially when the ocean is right there.

So this weekend I took a drive up to Rambla Pacifico to see if the property was really all that and a bag of chips. Ummm, it was. The property was towards the top of the mountain with a sweeping view out through the valley down to Surfrider Beach. The air had the distinct sage smell of Malibu that I love so much. It was super quiet and peaceful. I was in heaven. Literally in heaven. Also, the site was perfect for a pre-fab modern house of the style made famous by Dwell Magazine. Pre-fab houses can be built anywhere from $100 - $250 per square foot depending on the amenities. Think about that for a minute. I could conceivably build my dream house on my dream property for roughly $500,000. In Malibu. With sweeping ocean vistas. Within a reasonable commute to work. I am still in shock from the sudden realization that I could conceivably own my own house in Southern California and be able to afford it. Literally within the next five years I could realistically build my dream house in California. That just blew my mind. Again.

Here are a few pictures I took from the Rambla Pacifico neighborhood. My Lamejack doesn't do the location justice though. Especially because it doesn't capture the wonderful smell of the air.

PS I am in love with the FlatPak housing system. I can probably save a little money by going with another builder but that doesn't change the fact that I love the FlatPak.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ryan Kessman - Future Star?

I recently received a request to post more sports related content. With fall practice kicking off shortly for the BYU Cougar football team, I thought that I would post the recruiting video for one of the incoming freshmen that I hope will make an immediate impact - Ryan Kessman.

I tried to embed the Google video but I couldn't get it to work for some reason and don't have the time to figure it out right now. So you will just have to click here for the link. My apologies.

After watching the video, my impression is that Kessman is super athletic and has the ability to make similar contributions to those of McKay Jacobsen last year. I loved Kessman's breakaway speed, especially on slants and punt returns, and his ability to change direction and make people miss. He made a few of the defenders looks as foolish as I did back in the good old days on The Helaman Fields. I believe this is commonly referred to as "good hip swivel." Which I don't have.

However, Kessman runs some of the sloppiest routes I have seen in a long time. My button hooks and out routes from my flag football warm-up and practice days at the BY were better then his lazy routes. This is probably a bi-product of being so much faster and more athletic then everybody else on the field. However, it is something that needs to be fixed and shouldn't be that hard to fix as long as he can focus and isn't dumber than a bag of hammers. If I can run crisp routes, even though I am slower than Saturday evening traffic on the PCH, then Kessman can surely do the same.

With that being said, I am pretty excited for the Ryan Kessman era. If his contribution level matches that of Jacobsen's last year, I will be very satisfied.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lindsay Lohan Update

This story just gets crazier and crazier as more information becomes available. I still can't believe that it all went down just around the corner from my apartment and I missed stumbling upon the scene on my way home from work by like a half hour. If I just would have left a half hour earlier, I could have scooped TMZ.com.

Also, if I've said it once, I've said it a million times. The FIRST thing I will do when I am filthy rich is to find my own personal Turtle. So many of these celebrity problems could be avoided if they just had a driver who was also a friend that could act as the voice of reason.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Prison Thriller

Prison inmates. The Philippines. Michael Jackson. Recipe for disaster? I think not. Recipe for awesomeness? Most definitely. Maybe they can get Lindsay Lohan to replace the transvestite for the next rendition.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Supa Lowery Bros.

A couple of days ago I posted about my least favorite street performer. Today I would like to post about my favorite street performers - The Supa Lowery Bros. They are a Jazz Hip-Hop group that sounds great live. A few months ago I purchased their CD which is solid but I prefer them live where they freestyle a little more. This last Saturday they happened to be playing on the Promenade when I was purchasing my copy of Harry Potter. Naturally I stopped and enjoyed a few songs before heading home. I also took a few video clips on my Lamejack. I am guessing the sound quality isn't that hot but hopefully you can get a feel for their style from the lo-fi video.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Not My Secret

More Gems from the Blagoverse

In light of my recent infatuation with the iPhone as evidence by the multiple posts on my blag, I found the following line from the blog Slick Shoes to be quite funny:

"Yeah, my relationship with the this girl is still new and exciting, kind of like my iPhone. People say, 'oh wow, you have an iPhone. Can I see it?"

The Boy Who Lived - Spoiler Free

In case you were stranded on a deserted island for the last month and didn't know, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was released this weekend. Records were broken (5000 copies per minute in the US). Fights broke out. Police may or may not have arrested people for spoiling the ending at Harvard Square. Pretty much par for the course. As a side note, it is interesting to me how lining up to be the first to purchase or see something is becoming more and more "cool." Recently people have lined up for Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, iPhone, Harry Potter, and every weekend it seems like people are lining up to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster at a midnight showing. I find this to be an interesting trend in pop culture. I wonder when it will flip and no longer be "the cool thing to do?"

But back to the Potter. I really enjoyed The Deathly Hallows. It wasn't my favorite of the series but I did find it quite satisfying. I loved how Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have all grown and developed over the course of the series. Harry has really grown into his hero roll. I did find the climax to be slightly annoying but in retrospect I am OK with it. I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone so I will leave it at that.

My favorite part of the book was the epilogue. Once again, I don't want to ruin it for everybody so I won't say too much more. I actually want to say a little more about this part. I have written three or four sentences and erased them all because I felt like I was giving too much away. So I will just say that I really enjoyed the book and thought that it was a solid end to a fantastic series. I am content. I am interested to hear what other people think now that the series has been completed. Are you happy? Disappointed? One request, please leave the comments spoiler free. I don't want to ruin the ending for anybody.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Post College LDS Single Life

Over the past year or so I have become quite addicted to the blagoverse. I love clicking links from one blog to the next. Every once in a while I will stumble upon a fantastic blog or an interesting post.

This morning I read a very good post at To Lesser Human Beings that succinctly summarizes my views on post college LDS single life. I do not want to turn this into a rant and am not trying to stir up any drama. I simply enjoyed reading this post and agreed with the premise. Take the time to read through it. It is worthwhile.

New York, New York, It's a Hell of a Town

Thursday, July 19, 2007

59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Finally. The nominations for this year's Emmys were announced today. It is like having a 5000 pound weight lifted off my shoulders. I no longer have to carry the secret with me. Usually I am really good at keeping secrets. They don't call me "The Vault" for nothing. But I struggle when somebody asks me a direct question regarding something I know. It was hard for me feign ignorance and try to maintain my poker face when people would ask "Is Friday Night Lights getting a nomination?" or "Will Edie Falco be nominated?" And everybody knows my poker face isn't that good. But all that is behind me now. I can breathe easy again. Until the tabulation for the final results in August/September that is.

If you would like to see a complete listing of the nominations, The Academy of Arts and Television Sciences has their detailed listing here. There were no major surprises for me other than Lost not getting nominated for Best Drama and Boston Legal receiving a nomination. I have only watched one episode of Boston Legal before and that was at the Blue Ribbon Panel screening for this years potential nominees. After watching that episode I vowed to never watch another episode again. The editing and camera movement was horrible. It literally made me motion sick. Plus William Shatner drove me nuts. And the "witty" dialogue? Well, I didn't think it was so witty. Other then that I it was OK I guess.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Once Again

So I went and watched Once again last night. It is still just as good as the first time I watched it. I am still in love with Marketa Irglova. I still love the music. And I still love the ending. But most of all, I love the way this movie makes me feel. Watching it just makes me smile and leaves me with a refreshed view on life. I don't think that last sentence does justice to how much I like this movie.

You, the reader, may be tired of reading about how great this movie is blah blah blah (or Bob Loblaw's Law Blog if you will). Especially if you are a person I have personal contact with because I have probably talked with you about it multiple times. But seriously, if you haven't watched this movie yet you really need to. After watching it, I dare you to not go out and find a copy of the soundtrack. It is that good. Everybody I have turned on to this movie has loved it. And when I say everybody, I mean everybody. I am not one for hyperbole so you can trust me on this one.

PS That last sentence was a joke. I am in fact one for hyperbole. But really, you can trust me on this one. You will love this movie. I promise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My New Whip

After months of thinking about getting a new car, I finally got around to doing it. On Saturday I started to make the rounds to the different dealers in Santa Monica. I ended up finding the exact car I wanted for the price I wanted at the second dealership I visited. They guy was really nice and the car was perfect but I got nervous because I had never spent that much money on anything in my life so I ended up not getting the car on Saturday. I spent all day Sunday thinking about it and finally decided to get the car Monday morning. I called the dealer and told him I would like to come pick the car up during my lunch break. He had the paper work ready for me when I got there and twenty minutes later I was on my way back to work.

If it would have been any more difficult I probably wouldn't have had the energy to actually get a new car even though it really was time. The Saab was good to me but was on its last legs. The A/C was not blowing cold air anymore, there was something wrong with the alignment, and the strange problem from two years ago where my car would mysteriously turn off when it began to idle was back.

So now I am a proud owner of a 2003 Audi A4 Cabriolet and I am quite a fan so far. Yesterday I was still pretty stressed out about spending so much money on something but when I got in my car to drive home from work, dropped the top, and looked at the sweet ass red lights of the display I felt much better. Dan was right, the red lights make the car a hundred times more cool. It is like being a jet pilot. This morning when I got back in my car, dropped the top again, and was engulfed by the sweet melodies of The National I felt even better about my decision.

I live in LA where it is sunny and 75 degrees 9 days out of 10. How can I not drive a convertible? It is fantastic and I now look forward to driving to and from work everyday. I can't wait to go for a nice relaxing cruise up the PCH.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Suge and Paris, Match Made in Heaven?

Rumor has it that Paris Hilton and Suge Knight did the dirty dirty at the Espy's this week. Yes, THAT Suge Knight. I didn't even know he was still alive. I thought for sure he had been the victim of a drive-by of some sort by now or at least locked up for life. Looks like I was wrong. I guess Paris was seen giving Suge a lap dance at the after party. Picture that. Paris and Suge. It just blows my mind. I wonder if she incurred some kind of prison debt that she was trying to work off. How does that combination even happen?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Don't Like Angry Street Performers

Well I still can't get my Lamejack to sync with my computer so I ended up texting the files to my Gmail. How lame is that? I had to text files to myself because I couldn't connect my phone to my own computer. I guess it is cool in the sense that there are so many different ways to share information but it sucks because I had to use the most clumsy option available to make it work. I don't want to become involved in a boring "rant" and turn this blog into the "I Hate.... Blog" so I will just leave it at that and continue forward with the originally scheduled programming.

I was cruising around the 3rd Street Promenade last night after purchasing my ticket to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which was great by the way) because I had about an hour to kill. So I was enjoying the refreshing summer evening, getting my much needed dose of people watching, and enjoying the various street performers when I happened to pass by the one street performer that I truly hate. Oh wait, I just said in the previous paragraph that I don't want this to be the "I Hate...Blog." Screw it. I really don't like this guy and will make an exception to the rule and post my lame little rant about him. If this bores you, feel free to check out some sweet mash ups at The Hood Internet.

For the record, I generally love street performers. They really add to the ambiance of The Promenade and make it a cool, fun place to pass an evening. I love The Supa Lowery Bros., The Psychic Cat, the Asian guy that balances dishware on his head, the break dancers, and I even like the two fat and greasy rockers who are ALWAYS covering American Pie in the style of Don McClean. However, I can't stand this guy:

I can't stand him because he is so angry and abrasive. He revels in making people feel uncomfortable and his modus operandi is to guilt people in to donations. He is not fun to be around and just puts me in a bad mood every time I see him. He totally ruins the sweet Promenade vibe.

This doesn't mean that he is a complete waste. I found out last night that he has been doing this act for 22 years now and just bought a Lincoln Navigator. So he must have some redeeming qualities, right? He is a great dancer. He can be funny sometimes. But this isn't enough to overcome the whole anger issue I have with him. If he wasn't such a jerk I would toss him a few bucks each time I watched him perform. Instead, I usually try to get away from his performance as soon as I see that it is him. The whole I'm gonna fight you sucka if you don't give me money act just drives me crazy. I am getting a little worked up just writing this. I don't want to pass the rest of the day angry so I will just leave it at that. The dude is angry and abrasive and not fun to watch. I wish he would take his act to Hollywood Blvd. exclusively. When I stumbled upon him there, it didn't bother me nearly as much because I was already in Hollywood which has a completely different feel to it.

Anyways, here is a short video clip of him from last night. I realize that this post is promoting a jerk I don't like but hopefully by posting this video to show that he is kind of good at what he does it will help balance out the overall negativity of this post.

Blackjack? More Like Lamejack.

I am so frustrated right now. I have an idea for today's blag post but I am unable to access the video and photos on my Blackjack to make it happen. I have spent the last hour trying to get my Blackjack to sync with my computer via usb or bluetooth and neither works. It is killing me. I don't know what is wrong and my patience is gone. I know I am beating a dead horse at this point, but this is just adds fuel to my iPhone fire. Maybe I would have these same problems with the iPhone though. But if I did have these problems at least I could look a lot cooler while trying to solve them on my sweet iPhone.

So stay tuned for the sweet post to come with video and images once I find the patience to return to the troubleshooting of my Lamejack.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone Gets Smaller????

Rumor has it that Apple is going to release a new iPhone in Q4 of 2007. It will be less expensive and ..... smaller???? What the hell Apple. I don't want a nano phone. This is going in the wrong direction. I want the iPhone with a bigger hard drive, not a smaller hard drive. This totally defeats the purpose for me getting an iPhone. I want an iPhone so I can have my entire music library, multiple movies and TV shows, interweb, and my cell phone all in one easy to carry package that fits into my pocket.

I am not an OG in the hood with gigantic baggy pants with huge pockets. Nor am I Granola Steve who is never seen in "the wild" not wearing cargo pants. I don't carry a purse and I have very limited space in my pockets. Give me what I want Apple. Stop toying with my emotions this way. And while you are at it, integrate my credit cards, drivers license, insurance card, etc. into the iPhone so I no longer need to carry anything but the iPhone in my pocket. I am sure there is some software update they could come out with that would take care of all this for me. Dreaming about living in a world where everything that needs to go in my pockets is consolidated into a single aesthetically pleasing device brings a smile to my face.

While we are on the topic of dreams, here is an excellent little song in the style of Louis Armstrong called "Dream a Little Dream."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Never Thought You'd Habit

I made the mistake of doing some in depth exploration of a friends iPhone last night. All my reasons for waiting for the second generation are quickly fading away. The last reservation I am clinging to is the tiny hard drive. 8 gigs is just way too small for me. However, I must admit that I am really having to fight the little devil on my shoulder telling me that 8 gigs is sufficient.

My cause isn't helped by playing around with the keyboard and being blown away by the quality of the predictive text. The iPhone somehow knows what key you "meant" to hit. I also love the little icons that pop up for each key as you type. I also played around a little more with the photo library feature and became even more hooked. I love being able to zoom in and out by pinching my fingers. Finally, the Google maps feature with live traffic updates was fantastic. I know I have that feature on my Blackjack but it is not one click away like on the iPhone. The interface of the iPhone just sucks me right in. No other smart phone I have used even compares. If you are still anti-iPhone (yes this means you Mike Warner) then you really need to actually touch the iPhone. I guarantee your too cool for school opinion will change.

I know this is my third post about the iPhone but I can't help myself. I am like a heroin addict to his needle. So in honor of my habit, here is an excellent little song by the great Neil Young called "The Needle and the Damage Done."

Friday, July 6, 2007

4th of July

To celebrate Independence Day 2007, a couple of friends and I rented a yacht for the evening and enjoyed the fireworks display from the marina.

Luckily for us we had Captain Andy to pilot the ship and keep us out of trouble.

Even more lucky was the fact that nobody got sick and there were no major accidents. Except for the large man in the slip next to us who took a four foot dive onto his shoulder and almost bounced into the water. I mean he really almost BOUNCED into the water.

Alcohol + Boats + Late at Night = High Comedy.

A few more photos from the evening are available here.


Here is some video of the fireworks. I haven't watched it yet so it may not be that exciting and I may end up taking it down within the next couple of hours.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

My New Phone

After months and months of putting up with my static plagued Razr and the associated complaints from people on the other end of the calls, I finally got around to getting a new phone yesterday. My "excuse" for waiting so long was always "I am waiting for the iPhone. THEN I will get a new phone."

I was in love with the iPhone from the day it was officially announced. However, as the release approached, I convinced myself to wait until at least the second generation came out. I couldn't justify the $600 price tag for an 8 gig version. 8 gigs is just way too small. I was also bothered by the fact that it ran on the edge network as opposed to a 3g network. It felt a little inferior too me, even if 3g networks are not yet available in every city. What it came down to was that I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on something that would more than likely be significantly improved upon within the first 6 months to 1 year.

So prior to arriving at the store yesterday I had made up my mind that I was going to get the Samsung Blackjack to tide me over until the 2nd generation iPhone was released. The Blackjack has a cool commercial, all the features I want, and a wonderful price tag of $75. The iPhone could wait. Even if the scratch resistant screen was everything I had dreamed of and more.

So I walk into the store, circumventing the line of people camped outside waiting for the next shipment of iPhones to come in and go straight to the nearest sales rep, purposefully avoiding the iPhone display. I told him that I wanted the Blackjack and that was that. I could not be distracted. All was going as planned until the rep went into the mysterious back room to transfer the numbers from my crappy old Razr to my hot new Blackjack. Like a heroin addict to his needle, I was drawn to the iPhone display. I couldn't resist. I picked the demo up and was blown away by how slim it was. The aesthetics looked great in photos but in live action it was even better. I felt "cool" just being in its presence. As I played around with the different I was even more amazed. I loved the interface. I loved the touch screen. I loved everything about it. I watched a clip of Lost that was preloaded on the 16:9 display and shocked by how sharp the picture was.

To make a long story short, I had convinced myself to wait for the 2nd generation because of the aforementioned short comings. After touching the iPhone it was all I could do to stop myself from buying one right then and there. Luckily that was not physically possible at the time because the next shipment had not yet arrived. However, I was on the verge of beginning a city wide hunt for one though. The real live iPhone was so hot that the small storage space and slower connectivity didn't seem to matter as much anymore. I WILL have an iPhone. I have survived the initial temptation though and I think I can wait until the 2nd generation comes out. In the meantime my new Blackjack should get the job done.