NCAA updates – the SEC is tough

I landed in Louisville and found out that both Kansas and Duke were out of the NCAA tourney. Life is good, real good.

Even better, Duke was dispatched by an SEC team, Tennessee. Kansas was shown the door by an SEC team, Arkansas. The rest of the league is getting a taste of just how fucking tough the SEC is.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Kansas St is no pushover.

Hell freezes over

We found and bought the only vehicle in all of Southern CA that met K’s list of requirements. The only one in an area with 40 million people. A unicorn.

A 16 seed beat a #1 seed in the NCAA tourney’s first round.

And Trump is preparing to be arrested on Tuesday.

And we said it would never happen. On that third thing, he’s also preparing to make himself a martyr and call for protests (Jan 6, anyone?). That will get ugly.

Game day

It’s Game Day! I’m loving the AT&T/Jacob Toppin/UK commercials. I hope he’s getting a shitload of NIL money for those – maybe he’ll stick around another year. He has a good TV presence.


Tough day yesterday. An early workout, then a grueling two hour online meeting where I acted as counselor for a distraught colleague, then a commute into San Diego for a group interview and a board meeting. Didn’t feel like a retired guy’s day. Today, Friday, will be much less stressful.

I picked ten out of sixteen winners in the first day of the NCAA tournament. Not great, probably about average given the two shockers that almost no one picked. Hopefully I can do better today with Kentucky playing.

This quote from A Sea of Blue sums up my thoughts about Kentucky’s chances today:

While Kentucky has shown flashes of real greatness this season, they’ve also had plenty of head-scratching moments that made fans wonder why they ever got their hopes up with this team. The Wildcats have gone from good to troubling to average to worse to great and back to average all in a matter of six months.

It’s been a crazy road with opportunity to always bounce back the next game. But now the entire season is on the line each time Kentucky steps on the court.

I have friends traveling all over the globe today. One to Hawaii, one to Italy, one to Gatlinburg, my daughter to Phoenix to join a group of Swifties, yet another returning here from Europe. The friendly skies, indeed. Bon voyage to all of them. I’m off to Louisville myself tomorrow.

We decided to watch a few of the Best Picture nominees and started with The Banshees of Inersherin. The scenery and cinematography was beautiful, but damn, what a depressing movie. Depressing and unfulfilling, leaving a story with motives unexplained and nothing but sadness at the end. That was two hours of my life I’d like to have back.

OpenAI just released ChatGPT4, and I expect it to disrupt a lot of business processes. it’s about 10x more capable than GPT3, which was pretty impressive on its own. GPT4 can write code, build websites, write documents, find errors in contracts…an amazingly wide set of capabilities. I’ll learn to use it and hopefully find some ways to automate my life with it. AI has gotten very interesting recently.

Crazy world

Woke up today (heh heh, yes, woke) to a crazy world. It has rained 2.5 inches overnight here (and still coming down), catapulting the 2022-2023 Fallbrook rainy season into the top five seasons in the last 25 years.

Then the stock market decided that a couple of banks melting down were worrisome enough to join them in the slide downhill. The Dow dropped 500 points immediately after someone decided that Credit Suisse was (is?) in trouble.

A San Francisco board has again asserted that it thinks $5M per qualifying person in reparations payouts is the right amount. I’m not going down this rabbit hole again except to say I’m against this kind of reparations, and I’m at least thankful that they’ve settled on such an unserious number.

The two leading GOP Presidential candidates, Desantis and Trump, have both decided that the US aiding Ukraine is a bad thing. Let’s just let Russia expand into Europe, no problem. They’re appealing to the hate and xenophobia of the MAGA base, knowing that calling anything a gift or aid to someone who doesn’t look like them riles those knuckleheads up.

Just thinking of Trump and Desantis, let’s go back to the banking thing. There’s a very distinct pattern here:

  • In one of their early actions in 2017, Trump and his cronies removed leadership in the US’s health system (CDC, NIH, USDA) and replaced them with unqualified partisans. The pandemic happened, and people wondered why our response was so lame.
  • In 2018, Trump removed the Obama-era regulations on railroad safety. Palestine Ohio thanks him.
  • Also in 2018, the Trumpsters removed the Obama-era Frank-Dodd Act, banking regulations intended to make sure we never have another bank meltdown like the ones in 2008. Silicon Valley Bank can thank Trump for allowing them to play with fire and burn their house down.

These aren’t opinions, these are facts. Nobody likes to be regulated, but an awful lot of regulations are there to protect US citizens. Trump’s four-year unrelenting war on regulation has had consequences, terrible consequences. These facts alone should be enough for people with any sense to oppose either of these two clowns holding office.

Consider Phlebas

I just saw this. One of my favorite books, from my favorite author (Ian M. Banks), from my favorite collectible press (The Folio Society). Consider Phlebas. Looks like a birthday present.

I sooooo want to live in The Culture. A post-scarcity society spanning thousands of worlds, made possible by godlike starships who watch over things, gently. Pretty much anything and everything is possible. That’s my idea of heaven.

I also saw this on Wikipedia…boo!

Cancelled TV adaptation

Amazon announced in February 2018 that it acquired the global television rights to Consider Phlebas, to be adapted by Dennis Kelly into a television series and produced by Plan B Entertainment.[5] The project was cancelled in August 2020.[6]

I’ve been reading so much lately my eyes are blurred. But I might have to go back and reread Phlebas for the Nth time.

Busy day

It’s Pi Day, a national geek holiday.

It’s also the third day of Daylight Savings Time, a secret plot to add to the nation’s sleeplessness. My internal clock is off worse than usual. I find that I’m less and less tolerant of time shifts – not good for someone who plans to move back and forth frequently across three time zones.

It’s also the start of the NCAA Tourney – the “First Four” play today to decide who enters the round of 64.

It’s also a personal trainer day, so I get to sweat a bit.

It’s also going to be another rainy day in Fallbrook, We’re expected to get 1-2 inches during this storm. That’s nothing compared to the 8-10 inches they’re expecting in the Monterrey area.

And finally it’s also the day a locksmith comes to our house and fixes a myriad of lock/key problems we have. We almost got locked out of the house the other day, so it’s time to update locks and keys.


Today is the day I dig through all the little things I’ve put off doing and get them done. My natural tendency to procrastinate has gotten worse over the last few months, and a couple of emails and phone calls from folks have reminded me to get busy. Already today I’ve closed the loop on 3 things I owed people, so that’s a start.

The tougher items on the list are the things I need to do on our properties. Here in Socal the fix/replace/cleanup list is HUGE. And there’s a smaller list for the Louisville home. I’m not that guy who’s always puttering around fixing things – I just don’t enjoy it. But I need to get busy, as some things here are starting to look a little redneck.


I entered ESPN’s March Madness bracket contest, and for the first time ever I don’t have UK going to the Final Four. It’s my way of managing my own expectations and potential disappointment. But I still feel like I’ve betrayed someone. Hope may spring eternal, but it’s taking a break at the moment.

Sprung forward

We hurtled up and down I-15 yesterday test driving cars for K’s birthday present. It was weirdly exhausting. Sorting through details of the vehicles’ power, feel, color, features. Dealing with traffic. Driving the dealerships’ vehicles verrrry carefully.

Turns out that buying a new car (SUV) is more complicated than buying a house. With a house, it’s 80% location, 20% everything else, because that 20% can almost always be fixed or modified. With a car you’ve got one chance to get everything right. There’s no going back on things like color, engine, and seats – to name just three of about 100 variables.

We didn’t find the Goldilocks vehicle, and fortunately there’s no rush. At yesterday’s rate, we’ll still be looking on her next birthday.


The Oscars are tonight and I haven’t seen any of the nominees for Best Picture. I’m a little out of touch. I’d actually like to see them all, though I still have no idea what Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is even about. Today, another gloomy rainy day in Socal, might be a good time to watch one or two of the nominees. That’s about the extent of my ambition.


Finally, today is the day that it begins to stay weirdly light much later than expected. We have sprung (sprang?) forward. I’m not a fan of the twice annual time shift, and I’m not sure who keeps lobbying for it in Congress, or why. But like good sheep we all go along with it, year after year. Baaaaaaah.

Busy day

A lot happened in 24 hours:

  • UK lost their first and only game in the SEC tournament.
  • It rained another inch+ in Fallbrook.
  • Somehow I left my iPad in my hotel room. It’s now either in the hotel’s Lost and Found or in a housekeeper’s home.
  • Silicon Valley Bank crashed and burned.
  • I read a great book. My run of shitty picks is over.

The UK game was just heartbreaking. Kentucky men’s basketball hasn’t won a post-season game since the spring of 2019, four years ago. Just like Covid broke the world, it seems to have broken UK hoops too. We still have the NCAA tournament to look forward to, but this team is such a heartbreaker that I don’t expect much.

Leaving the iPad was just dumb. I was still sleepy when I packed up and headed downstairs for breakfast and my meetings. I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving the iPad on my bed when I get up, and I did the same in the hotel. I’d like to think that I’ll get it back, but I give it about 50/50. At least I won’t lose any files/data/pictures/etc. They’re all backed up via iCloud.

As demonstrated by my getting to finish Alex North’s amazing book The Whisper Man this morning on my Mac. The Kindle reader doesn’t care what device you use, all the books are in the cloud. The Whisper Man is a crime novel, a love story, a horror story, and 100% great. That dude knows how to conclude a chapter with a shocking sentence that requires you to turn the page, to read more. You don’t get a choice, you have to read more. Highly recommended. I’m sad that I don’t think I’ll ever write anything that good.


Update – I finally reached someone at the hotel, and they say they have my iPad. I’m actually surprised…restores a little faith in the goodness of people. Time for a drive back down there today to retrieve it.

Go Cats!

It’s Friday and the third round of the SEC tournament, the day that UK gets to play. Our opponent is Vandy, and we owe them a punch in the mouth. Or two. Late game, so happy I’m watching from the Pacific time zone. Go Cats!

I’m sort of on travel; spent the night last night at a downtown San Diego hotel. I had a late business dinner on Thursday downtown, and then an 8am board meeting. Just made more sense to spend the night and avoid an hour+ commute each way.

The jobs created report for February just came out, and it was much stronger than anyone expected. Unemployment continues to fall – anyone who wants a job can get one. Naturally (?!), stocks fell on that news.


I find that I’m in a writing drought. Nothing that interesting to say, even as a blog post.

The last three days have been spent celebrating K’s birthday, with a trip to the desert to go four-wheeling in search of desert flowers (pictures later after I download and curate them), some good meals out, a trip to test-drive her birthday present, and some visits with old friends. She’s having a good birthday week.

Otherwise, there’s just not much happening that inspires me to write about it. Politicians still suck, the weather is still weird, and the days continue to blur together. The only really new thing is that I’ve gotten to the point that I now look forward to my twice-weekly sessions with our personal trainer. So much so that I may add a third session per week. I hope to get into a virtuous cycle with exercise – enjoy it more, do it more.

McSweeney’s did manage to capture my feelings about the rewriting of literature and history currently being performed in Florida. I couldn’t have said it any better.