Only three colleges - USC with 10, Virginia Tech with eight and LSU with seven - had more players drafted this year, and all three finished ranked in the top 10.
As prominent as Cal was in the draft, Stanford was a no-show, having no players drafted for only the second time since 1962.
And for the best part:
The first Cal player taken Sunday - and the first since DeSean Jackson was chosen in the second round Saturday - was tight end Craig Stevens. The big numbers posted by Cal wide receivers Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan overshadowed Stevens, who had 17 receptions as a senior. But he was consistent and has no glaring weakness, which, combined with a good showing in the NFL combine, helped him become a third-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
Craig Stevens is from my hometown San Pedro, and I used to play AYSO soccer with his brother Brett. Also, I went to high school in Long Beach (LB Poly) with DeSean and met him for the first time when we had our pictures taken for this article. It’s sweet to see hometown guys do so well.
An article from the SF Chronicle that does a good job of summarizing what is happening with the economy. While it doesn’t go into too much depth, it touches on all the main points. One conclusion I’ve come to is that this recession looks like it will be great for the environment:
Consumer purchases of items other than food and gas have fallen this year, according to the Commerce Department. Sales of a broad range of products - including clothing, home furnishings and motor vehicles - were lower last month than they were in March 2007. The slump extends to services too, such as air travel, restaurants, hotels and casinos.
Consumption by households will grow more slowly than their incomes, which is the exact opposite of the last 25 years when consumption grew faster than incomes.
Berkeley prof Barry Eichengreen (go bears), whose book Globalizing Capital I read last semester, has a few quotes in the article. If you don’t have time to read it, just scroll down to the bottom of the article—there is a table of “ins and outs” that is worthy of brief contemplation.
I’ve gotten bit five times tonight by at least one rogue mosquito—and that is just on my left arm. The past two weeks I have had one mosquito every night bother me during my sleep. He/she waits patiently throughout the entire day, and then the second my head hits the pillow, it comes out with a full assault. Sometimes it will fly into my ear and wake me up, but it always seems to escape just in time before I try to crush it. It is daring too—it will repeatedly divebomb my ear until I just can’t take it and I cover my entire head with my sheets. Mosquitoes must have some sort of infrared vision, or at least heat detection, because it knows exactly where my exposed limbs are. I wish mosquitoes were like bees and died after they stung-that would make life much more bearable. Instead, this blood sucking Culicidae gets to feast repeatedly until its proboscis has extracted enough blood to fill its ever-expanding abdomen.
If things don’t turn around, I might have to buy one of these. Then this will really be study abroad Africa.
The ground level of a building is floor zero. Up the stairs and you are on the first floor. Down the stairs and you are on floor -1. I think this is much more intuitive than in the States, where you enter on the first floor.
Salad always comes sprinkled with salt. It doesn’t matter if it is a side salad, the main course, or garnish, it always comes salted.
Kids drink when they are young—one kid we talked to was 14 and had a fifth of Negrita whiskey at a botellon.
Student-teacher relationships are much closer. I’ve gone out for drinks with my business teacher several times. Our finance teacher offers help leading up to the midterm at Starbucks. Rich went out with his Spanish teacher for drinks a few nights ago. “She is hot,” Rich once said. I don’t disagree.
Speaking of Starbucks, it is very expensive here. The prices are the same as in the States, but instead of dollars you pay in euros. That means everything is 1.60 times the price in the US. So a $3.50 drink is now $5.60.
Random things are cheap, and some are expensive. Cheap: wine, juices, crackers, beer (beer is cheaper than soda-€0.36 versus €0.46 a can). Expensive: sunscreen (some bottles are more than $20), peanut butter, fast food, candy bars, lettuce, tomatoes, fruit, books (Obama’s Audacity of Hope is almost $40).
Having mentioned fast food, I made a resolution to not eat fast food for the remainder of the year. Last meal: April 10, 2008—Burger King—Madrid.
Since I am alone in the residencia this weekend, I figured I would use the freed up bandwidth to upload some photos. I finished three albums tonight, and you can find them in link on the right. The new albums are:
Here’s a TIME article about Carme Chacón, who was appointed Defense Minister by Prime Minister Zapatero, who won reelection last month. The race for PM was very close in Spain—campaign posters/stickers were everywhere, speeches and debates were on TV every night, and they filled the front pages of newspapers for weeks—not unlike elections in the US. Chacón, one of many women in Zapatero’s cabinet, is 7 months pregnant. Here is an excerpt from the article:
But for all the preparation, the sight of Chacón inspecting troops on her first day in office, with her rounded belly covered in a stylish maternity blouse, came as a jolt. After walking firmly past a line of erect soldiers in their dress uniforms, the minister gave a brief, adulatory speech, then led the troops in a rousing cheer of “Viva España!”
An official interviewed for the article said:
"It shows that the army doesn’t just have to fulfill this masculine role of force," she says. "It can be more feminine, more humanitarian."
Eleven of my housemates in our residencia went to Lagos with Discover Sevilla, a company that organizes trips for Americans. I had originally planned on going, but decided to stay in Sevilla instead. This leaves me with myself, my housemate Keith, my host parents, and their two kids. Yesterday I had lunch with just my host mom (I call her Mama Rosa). Usually there are 13 of us at meals, so this was a big change. It was nice to be able to have a one-on-one conversation with her, but it was much more difficult than when everyone is here. There was no one to help me with a verb I forgot, or a noun I couldn’t think of. Instead, for words I didn’t know, I had to use other words to describe it. For verbs, sometimes it ends up being a game of charades to explain to one another what we are trying to say.
Something I noticed during lunch yesterday is that it is really hard to express emotions during conversation. It is easy to talk about what I did, where I went, who I saw, or things I like—those involve simple verbs, a few nouns, and just a few tenses (present, preterite, imperfect, future). But when it comes to more complex descriptions, it is much harder to string together sentences. It is really frustrating because that is what gives a conversation some life—not just saying what I did yesterday, but how it made me feel, what it reminded me of, etc. I’m definitely getting better at this, but I still have a ways to go.
I think being alone with the family this weekend will help speed up my learning.
They should have that. When you are about to buy something online and have to fill out the credit card form, it would be nice to just swipe you card on the side of your laptop/desktop. It sure would save time. Small businesses could run their business with just a laptop.
Here is a good NYT article by Michael Pollan, who wrote Botany of Desire, Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. He is also a professor at Berkeley, and lectured in my PoliSci 179 class last year. Last semester I saw him walking on Sproul and had a chance to say hello. Here is an excerpt from the article, after he poses the question, “Why bother?” about changing your habits to curb climate change:
If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioral change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand. (Just look at the market for hybrid cars.) Consciousness will be raised, perhaps even changed: new moral imperatives and new taboos might take root in the culture. Driving an S.U.V. or eating a 24-ounce steak or illuminating your McMansion like an airport runway at night might come to be regarded as outrages to human conscience. Not having things might become cooler than having them. And those who did change the way they live would acquire the moral standing to demand changes in behavior from others — from other people, other corporations, even other countries.
His most recent book, In Defense of Food, begins with “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” How’s that for concise.
Top 5 Industries That (I Think) Won't Be Around in 10 Years
I’ve been obsessed with lists lately. Here is the list that got me started. I thought about these while I was in finance today learning about futures markets.
The list should probably be called “Products” instead of “Industries” but oh well. Payphones are pretty obvious, although in Europe I have seen a lot of new payphones in cities (Sevilla, Madrid, Amsterdam, Nijmegen). I’m not sure why they are more common here, but my guess is that it is because cell phone plans are more expensive in Europe. I don’t know why we still use fax machines—you can attach a PDF to an email and the recipient can print it. Polaroid just ended production of instant film and Kodak business is shrinking. As for cable boxes, I think TV’s will all be hooked up to the internet and the need for a box on your TV (and perhaps the cable provided itself) will be eliminated. Finally, CD’s will be a thing of the past, just as VHS is now. You can download all software from the internet today, and music can all be downloaded (legally or illegally) as well. And if our TV’s are hooked up to the internet, we can buy/rent movies from online stores like iTunes.
Some other ones I thought of are record labels (as we know them today), animal fur, shark meat, used bookstores, movie rental stores (Blockbuster, Hollywood video), and (hopefully) cigarettes.
Update: I changed the title of this post from 20 years to 10 years. I think I could probably change it to five years and not be far off.
An interesting interview with Warren Buffet in Fortune. Here is an excerpt, when asked about his first job:
Well, I worked for my grandfather, which was really tough, in the [family] grocery store. But if you gave me the choice of being CEO of General Electric or IBM or General Motors, you name it, or delivering papers, I would deliver papers. I would. I enjoyed doing that. I can think about what I want to think. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. It might be wonderful to be head of GE, and Jeff Immelt is a friend of mine. And he’s a great guy. But think of all the things he has to do whether he wants to do them or not.
It’s interesting that a man who has made billions of dollars as an investor would like to deliver papers. That’s Warren Buffet though. Whenever I read an article about him or watch an interview I always come away with new clarity about investing. Here is another good excerpt (I recommend reading the whole thing—its all good), when asked where he gets his ideas:
I just read. I read all day. I mean, we put $500 million in PetroChina. All I did was read the annual report.
We just couldn’t get anything going. It was raining the entire game, and for most of the first half it was a torrential downpour. When we got to our seats we realized that we were in the Almeria section, so we moved to where our beloved Sevilla fans were sitting. I think when you buy tickets at the ticket office they put all the Americans in the visitor’s section. Anyways, we were all cold and wet (although my poncho left me relatively dry) and losing in those conditions makes it feel even more cold and wet. Rich said it reminded him of the Cal vs. USC game last semester (cold, wet, loss).
If there is one consolation it is that our only goal was scored by Kanoute, whose name is on the jerseys Rich and I bought in Morocco.
I am just about to leave for the Sevilla vs. Almeria soccer game right now. It should be a good match—they are both close in the standings, and this is the last home game of the season for Sevilla. I am going to wear the jersey that I bought in Morocco and the poncho that my mom gave me before I left—it is supposed to rain like crazy tonight. Luckily the poncho is clear, so I can show off my Sevilla colors. I am looking forward to this game, my first European soccer game!
It’s raining in Sevilla right now (at 4 in the morning). It was nice earlier in the day, but it started to get windy and it led to this. It isn’t too cold though—it’s pretty refreshing. Even a bad day in Sevilla is nice. Just like southern California.
This is a compelling display of the number of casualties in Iraq (make sure your sound is on). I would be interested to see Afghanistan on the map as well (or Iraqi civilian deaths). It goes from March 20, 2003 until October 5, 2007 when the project was last updated. After a while of watching this I thought, “Okay, this should end soon.” But it kept going. After a while I can’t help but think about how each tic sound is another soldier dead and a sad family. Regardless of your opinion of the war, this is pretty moving. (via kottke)
This year’s Masters has been a good one, but not only because Fred has been providing non-stop coverage. This year’s leaderboard is ripe with relatively unknown players. Trevor Immelman definitely isn’t a household name. Neither is Brandt Snedeker (my buddy Freddy and I call him Burnt Snickers), Robert Karlsson, or the 25-year-old Sean O’Hair. Almost all of the guys can be considered underdogs to the biggers names like Tiger, Mickelson, and Vijay (although I think everyone is an underdog when Tiger is on the leaderboard). What will make today’s final round interesting is to see whether these guys currently at the top (Immelman, Snedeker, Felsch, and Casey) can hold off Tiger if he starts to charge, especially on the back nine where Amen’s corner offers a ton of scoring opportunities.
While Tiger has never won a major while trailing after 54 holes, you can never count him out. These four guys went to sleep last night knowing they have a chance at winning a Major, but with Tiger right on their tail.
My prediction: Immelman looks strong (68, 68, 69). Even if he shoots 72, Tiger must shoot 66 to force a playoff. I’m predicting Immelman wins, but Tiger catches up down the stretch, comes within 1 or 2 stokes, and but finishes second. I am rooting for Casey and Burnt Snickers though. Regardless of who wins, I hope they play great golf and it is really close finish.
Update: Immelman won, but Tiger didn’t exactly catch up down the stretch, although he did close the gap a bit and finish second. I’m bummed Casey and Burnt Snickers didn’t do well Sunday, but we will see them again next year because top 16 and ties get an invitation.
I got my Telebears appointment today, which is scheduled for next Wednesday. Thanks a bunch to Juliana for filling it out and turning it in, and my parents for answering some rediculous questions on the forms (what date did you first register to vote?).
Because Berkeley’s study abroad program (EAP) doesn’t include Sevilla, I had to withdraw from Berkeley and enroll in Universidad de Pablo Olavide. In order to return to Berkeley for next semester, we had to apply for readmission, which thankfully was approved before we are supposed to choose classes.
Barcelona was a great weekend trip, but I think I would still prefer studying in Sevilla. They speak a different language in Barcelona (Catalan) and it is a much bigger city. It doesn’t have the same Spanish vibe that Sevilla has.
Thank you Fred! Fred reminded me tonight that he has Slingbox, which lets you watch or record all TV programs, including the 2008 Masters (yes!). I am going to watch the replay of Friday’s round tonight, and then watch Saturday’s round live. Oh, how I love technology. This is probably the only good thing about Comcast.
Update: Comcast doesn’t make Slingbox—it is its own company. Comcast goes back to not doing anything well…
Rich, Justin and I got back from Holland at 4am this morning after a whirlwind public transportation experience/nightmare. I will explain later. What I really want to express in this post is how lame it is that the top golfers in the world are playing in the Masters and I can’t watch! I haven’t missed the Masters since I first began playing golf when I was 9 years old—my Grandpa would tape Thursday and Friday and then we would watch the tournament on Saturday and Sunday at his place. This year, constantly updating this site will have to suffice.
Also, the weeklong Spanish holiday Feria is this week in Sevilla. It is the most elaborate of the Spanish holidays, and includes ferris wheels, tons of other rides, food stands, and “casetas,” which are rooms set up on the fair grounds by families and companies where people share food, drinks and enjoy flamenco dancing. Casetas are very expensive, and very exclusive. There is one exception—the Spanish communist party has a caseta that is free to enter.
After 14 hours of travel, including a sleepover at Madrid’s airport, we made it to the town of Lent, where we will be staying until Thursday. Case’s apartment is in Lent, which is just over the bridge from the city of Nijmegen. Nijmegen was a post for American soldiers protecting the city’s bridge during WWII. The city is amazing—it is the oldest in the Netherlands and has beautiful, old brick buildings. The countryside is very green this time of year, with most homes keeping horses and sheep in the yards. While the sights are just as I anticipated, one thing I wasn’t expecting was such cold weather, which dipped to 8 degrees Celcius today.
As I said earlier, Case is awesome and is an excellent host. I am sleeping on his couch tonight in the living room of his apartment, which is warm and comfortable. This is actually a former Bosnian refugee camp, complete with a rooster that goes from window to window begging for scraps, which makes out stay here even better.
We leave for Amsterdam on a train tomorrow morning. I am hoping to visit the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house, but we will see how much we can fit in.
AKA Spring Break #2 began today after I finished my quiz on nonverbal communication in international business. Feria is a weeklong celebration in Sevilla, and is only two weeks after Semana Santa, AKA Spring Break #1. To start Feria off with a bang, we are going to the Extremadura region of Spain, which is in the western, landlocked part of the country. There, we will be embarking on a series of hikes and probably some tours of churches and museums. We return on Sunday at 4pm. Then, Rich, Justin and I hop on a bus for Madrid at around 8pm. From there, we fly to Amsterdam to stay with Rich’s friend from high school, Case who is currently studying in a town in southern Holland, called Nijmegen. . Case is a cool guy—he visited Long Beach and San Pedro for the Fourth of July after freshman year. He also goes to college in Arkansas when he isn’t studying abroad in the Netherlands. I’m stoked and am looking forward to getting my hike on in Extremadura.