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The semester officially ended last night. Aha. I pulled out a 'B' where I thought a 'C' was a certainty! End result was three 'As' and two 'Bs'.

Friday night was a banner night for my Mavs. Lakers, in Los Angeles. After three quarters, my guys had effectively contained Shaq and Kobe. They were up by 27 points going into the third quarter. They were making it look easy. Lakers looked listless and fans (including a bunch of movie stars) were booing.

Then the unthinkable happened. The Lakers laid the smackdown on the Mavs in the fourth quarter. They outscored the Mavs 44-15 to win by two points. It was the biggest collapse I've ever seen or heard of in any sporting event. It was crushing. You've never seen so many long faces (I was at a sports bar called Nick's). It was only their second loss, but it will hurt their season horribly. They proved they can't win the big game, they have no inside game, they rely on the 'three', they can't make a defensive stop, and they have severe sphincteritis. They choked hardcore against the three-time defending champs, even after beating them senseless for three quarters. I'm so disappointed.

Tonight they play the Spurs. Dirk, Walt, Eddie, and Adrian are all hurt. They basically have eight players tonight, but three of them are Raja, Avery, and the clumsiest man in basketball, Popeye.

My brother recently launched his new clan and its site. See it HERE. It's very rough right now. I'll be helping them smooth everything out soon.

It's amusing to go to Google and read through all the previous searches on each computer here in the lab.

I found out BikerBoyzzz stars Kid Rock! Ugh!

I drove a Toyota ECHO. It didn't do much for me. The interior is quite strange, with the instruments smack in the middle. The ride was floaty and the car feels way too high. The engine was buzzy, not revvy. My brother's Civic is a far, far better machine in every way. Not only that, but I've never seen a pricing concept quite like the one Toyota uses for the ECHO. Yah, it's a $10,000 car, and for that you get no power steering, live axle rear suspension, power nothing, no radio, no AC, and just alot of things as optional that we usually take for granted. And no ECHOs exist that are stripped like that. The ones you can buy are $4000 or more higher because of the basic features they price as options.

On the other hand, Road & Track just tested the Mini Cooper S (supercharged model). They put it against the PT Cruiser Turbo and the New Beetle Turbo S, and said it just blew them both totally off the road as far as fun factor and driving dynamics. That's my new favorite under $20G car.

I found THIS article to be quite a humorous read. There are several just plain WRONG statements contained therein.

Trent Lott needs to go. This idiot makes a blatantly racist statement at a benefit for Strom Thurmond, basically stating that "we" would be better off if Thurmond's dream of continued segragation had come true. What a moronic statement. He at the very least needs to be replaced as Majority Leader. This plays into the old stereotype about Republicans being racists. It rekindles that flame. He said about the dumbest thing he could have said and needs to be shown the door.

Am I against military action in Iraq? Weeks ago, I wasn't. But I think I am now. This isn't mine, but I think it's the truth: "Such a war will increase human suffering, arouse animosity toward our country, increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks, damage the economy and undermine our moral standing in the world. It will make us less, not more, secure."

I've been listening to the Manic Street Preachers' "This is My Truth Tell Me Yours". How is it I have an album in my collection for years, listen to one or two songs and dismiss it as sorta bland, then one day discover how excellent it is? This is a really good listen.

Instead of Rygar, I collaborated with Jeff for my other brother's present. We got Theivous Raccoonus and Devil May Cry (the first one, the sequel won't be out until January) and also Blast Chamber for the original PS (which will play on the PS2).

Al Qaeda says we haven't learned our lesson and many more Americans will have to die until we do. Okay! Also, the hottest holiday toy in Pakistan this year is the Osama bin Laden playset. Their hero.

There's a new diet pill for... six to twelve year olds. Huh?

I learned a hell of a lot about emissions and SUVs, cars, and bikes. It is VASTLY more complicated than I ever thought. There were so many layers of revelations and exceptions. Soon I will try to distill some of that into a couple paragraphs full of important points.

I saw most of "The Practice" last Sunday. There was a case where a girl was driving her mother's car, which had a 'Search This Car' sticker on its bumper. She was stopped and searched by an officer, who found a small quantity of pot. The sticker was part of a community program, and it gave the cops the right to search the vehicle. Apparently, communities all over the country are banding together to give away their rights in this way (because the drug problem is So Bad). To paraphrase one of the lawyers in the show, what's next, 'Search This House' stickers on front doors, maybe a rights-free street or zone, maybe a whole town will put up a sign at their border reading "you waive your Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights when you cross into this town", maybe a whole state will go for it at some point... The Drug War is a war on rights. It doesn't help when people just hand them off.

Alright, I'm actually considering the Aprilia Atlantic 500. My father is looking at it for himself and Carla. So I've been reading up on it. It can top 100 mph, it has a 15" front wheel and radial tires, dual front discs, fuel-injection, a fully-featured dashboard, great wind protection, a relatively short wheelbase, and it's not too bad looking in black or maroon. The only better scooters are the Suzuki 650 and the Honda 600, but they're both nearly $8000. The Atlantic is $5700 and my insurance quote on it is a small fraction of my quote for even a mild sportbike. I dunno, it has some appeal.

Is hopelessness happiness? Do feelings of hope just lead to more disappointment and lack of contentment?