* I’m going back to the Rose Parade. This makes me so very happy, you have no idea.
* I went to another San Jose Earthquakes game last night, which was plenty of fun. That stadium is the perfect size, brand-new and shiny, with plenty of refreshments and restrooms and not a bad seat in the house, and a pleasant experience watching the team. The only drawback is the transit…it’s inherently intermodal and the various trains are so poorly timed relative to games that I basically can’t get home without someone driving a car some portion of the way. This could be a problem in future.
* Everyone I talk to who’s gone to the Quakes says it’s a superior experience to Levi’s Stadium. I concur, even if the train goes right by Levi’s and obviates the need for a connecting shuttle. MLS has yet to be laden with all the freight and bullshit that goes along with the NFL, and it’s a superior experience in the absence of a hardcore emotional attachment.
* More and more I think I have reached the conclusion that the viable future for me, if I have to change my cellphone circumstances, is just to buy the iPhone 6S outright and unlocked and go with that $30 T-Mobile plan until I need more than 100 minutes. If I go back and look at the average use in 2015 – and even snipping out the two weeks I was in Japan – I still only average about 120 minutes of talk time per month. So unless the overages are ridiculously expensive, that’s the way to go. Next step up is the Cricket $45 plan.
* Much as I love that little Moto X, and it *is* unlocked for travel abroad, the camera just isn’t gonna get the job done. And going abroad with just the Moto X means no Apple Watch. If the time comes to change my cellular circumstances, I’m going to have to splash out for an unlocked 6S – like computers, it’s slowly turning into “buy the best thing you can” especially if you’re going to be relying on it for more than two years. Taking over the wife’s 5S would be a viable alternative if necessary, and might buy another year’s worth of waiting, but by the end of 2016, replacing this phone from work will almost certainly mean buying the latest iPhone unlocked.
* On the night of September 11 or 12 (I forget exactly when), 2001, there was a soccer match in Tehran. Before the game kicked off, the entire stadium observed a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy in America. Somewhere between a third and a half of the population now wasn’t born when the American hostages were released from the former embassy in Tehran in 1981. Iran is implacably opposed to Al-Qaeda and ISIS on religious grounds. And yet, for some reason, any sort of dealings with Iran are beyond the pale for the GOP and we must start bombing as soon as possible. One more reason why nobody with an IQ above room temperature has any business voting for a Republican until they go through party-wide detox.
* Similarly, Jeb Bush is back on the one-note parade saying his dry-drunk borderline-special-needs brother “kept us safe.” As someone who lost two co-workers on the plane that hit the Pentagon, walked past National Guard on the corners on the way to work for weeks, and almost saw my boss evicted because his rent check was trapped in an anthrax-affected post office, let me say two things to Jeb Bush: 1) BULLSHIT. 2) FUCK YOU.
* If Carly Fiorina were 11th in a field of 10 on the Democratic side, and the rules were bent and numbers strained to get her into the top 10 for a debate, the Republicans would be screaming themselves laryngitic about “affirmative action.” As it is, the RNC has apparently chosen her as the anti-Trump: an engaging cipher who can take shots at Hillary that would draw cries of sexism if launched by others, and “CEO” status that overlooks how she managed to shit-wreck the flagship company of Silicon Valley…maybe she has more in common with Trump than we think. But it’s going to take more than two X chromosomes and a willingness to stand in front of a camera and lie through your teeth if she’s serious about being President, and based on the legend of Demon Sheep, it’s hard for me to take her seriously in anything related to politics.
* Speaking of, fuck Draft Kings with a rusty rake. It’s become impossible to avoid their douche-a-riffic advertising in almost any sports-related venue. At games, on television, hell, the podcast of the Sports Junkies is bracketed by Draft Kings ads at the beginning and end of EVERY SEGMENT. That’s 26 Draft Kings ads a day, for a “service” that is basically an attempt to offer sports gambling via loophole. The plan, such as it is, seems to be to make all the money before Congress has a chance to weigh in, which makes it of a piece for the tech economy in 2015. Loophole arbitrage is the only place America innovates.
* The detachment from college football continues apace, with varying degrees of success. The only thing that matters for the rest of the season is Saturday, though, and if Cal doesn’t beat Texas then Sonny Dykes should be left behind in Austin, just as Jeff Tedford should have been dumped in the parking lot of Jack Murphy Stadium without his wallet after the Holiday Bowl fiasco of 2011. It’s a moral imperative. Win or GTFO.
* I wish I knew what my buddy Vince sez these days.