The Highways and Byways of the Stratosphere

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Bob Scott

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Tuesday, September 30
I didn't eat my lunch on Saturday, so I decided to save it for today. Of course, I forgot to bring it today. I'm pretty dumb, aren't I?

1. I hate having hiccups. Fortunately, they seem to be gone now.
2. Isn't it annoying when people refer to themselves as cute? Shouldn't that be up to other people to decide? I mean, I guess there's nothing wrong with feeling positive about your own appearance, but that strikes me as being rather arrogant.
3. Since no one seems to like the picture of the Sawhorse, I'm going to take it down and just not have a picture until I can come up with a good alternative.

Monday, September 29
My web page now has a guestbook. I'd appreciate it if you would sign it.

Beth and I saw part of You've Got Mail last night, and at one point in the movie, Meg Ryan had a copy of The Scarecrow of Oz lying on her bed. Kind of an odd film in which to promote the Oz books (if that was what they were going for, and didn't just pick some children's book out at random), I would think, although I guess it was kind of appropriate, since her character ran a children's bookstore. I just wish an Oz book had appeared in a movie that was, well, better. I don't believe this appearance got the chick-flick-viewers into Oz any more than Girl, Interrupted did for, um, whoever it was who watched it.

Sunday, September 28
According to Site Meter, three people found my blog through pages that don't even have links to me. I wonder if this is related to the same glitch that apparently affected Beth's blog earlier, as reported in my last post.

Just before I finished work, I tried to look at Beth's blog, and it loaded various pages that weren't Beth's blog, including a picture of a room and another blog called "ALF for President." I remember something similar happening a few years back when I tried to load Mark's blog. I guess it's just an occasional weird error that occasionally happens on Blogspot.

I stumbled across some old mailing list posts where I sound like a bit of a jerk. I hope I'm not like that anymore.

I forgot to mention that this blog is three years old as of last Friday. It's hard to believe I've had it that long.

Today, I went with Beth, Suzanne, and her husband Chuck to Great Adventure. It was fun, as usual. The lines were much shorter than I expected. We actually got to ride Batman and Robin with hardly any waiting, which is very rare, since they can only run one train at a time. On the negative side, there were a lot of annoying little kids there, who were running around, cutting in line, trying to squeeze through closed gates, and screaming along with that god-awful Smash Mouth cover of "I'm A Believer" on the Musik Express. (That cover always makes me think of Pizza Hut, because Beth and I were there one time when some kids kept playing it over and over again on the jukebox. It was irritating, to say the least.) Incidentally, we rode that ride twice, and they played "I'm A Slave 4 U" (or however it is they spell it) the other time. I'd say that's probably Britney Spears's worst song (at least out of the ones I've heard), and that's saying a lot. So it wasn't exactly a day for good music on the Musik Express. Another weird thing that happened was that some woman who was riding near us on the carousel talked on her cell phone the entire ride, alternating between describing what she had done earlier ("I saw the water show. They had sea lions, and they clapped!") and the carousel ride itself ("Now it's going up!"). Those aren't exact quotes, but I think you get the idea. Overall, though, it was a good visit to the park.

Saturday, September 27
Last night, Beth and I went to the Monster-Mania Convention. We didn't see any of the programs or anything (there really weren't very many last night anyway; most of them were scheduled for today, and we had plans for today), but we looked around at the dealers' tables, and Beth bought some stuff. It was pretty crowded, really. I don't know how the nerdy types who go to conventions like that learn about them, nor do I know who is paying for the really expensive stuff that's always for sale. I asked Beth about that, and she said a lot of them were probably computer programmers. Unfortunately, I'm a nerdy guy who can't program (I tried it in college, and I couldn't swing it), so I'm not rich like those people. I also don't really have the desire to collect expensive stuff, though.

Thursday, September 25
I volunteered at WHYY today. I put labels on things, stuffed envelopes, and hand-counted raffle tickets. Not the most intellectual work, certainly, but I didn't mind it. I think I'll do it again if I get the chance.

Huh? Blogger is down? Well, I'll save this for later.

Season = Summer
You're Most Like The Season Summer ...

Whoa.... Passionate eh ?? Typically you're a fiery,
zesty dominant person. As the hottest season,
you certainly ooze Sex appeal. You have
confidence which draws people to you, and you
have the makings of a good leader.
However sometimes your exterior is stronger then
you are and so you scare people off before they
can get close.

Well done... You're the most memorable of seasons

?? Which Season Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

"A fiery, zesty, dominant person"? Yeah, right.

Apparently, the do-not-call list for telemarketers might be overturned by the courts. The FTC doesn't have the power to create such a list, and companies that do telemarketing are complaining that they would lose money. I guess they're following the RIAA's lead in claiming lost profits from people who never would have bought anything anyway.

Wednesday, September 24

?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Gigantic is coming out on DVD on my birthday. I won't ask for it as a present, though, since I don't have a DVD player. Speaking of that film, I read that director A. J. Schnack intended it for people who weren't really hardcore They Might Be Giants fans, which wasn't really the impression I got at all. I sort of thought that only fans would appreciate it. Then again, I really don't know what any non-fans or casual fans who saw it (if any of them even did) might have thought of it. Oh, and the entire "Rabid Child" video won't be on the DVD.

Last night, there was some story on AOL about celebrity obsession. It really does seem like celebrities (especially movie actors) have their own culture. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't seem like a BETTER culture, just a different one. I've never really been much of a celebrity follower or worshipper. There are several celebrities (mostly musicians) that I wouldn't mind meeting, but I get the idea that most of them are essentially ordinary people doing their own thing who happen to be relatively famous, rather than the superhuman figures many celebrities are presented as, or, even worse, products rather than people. I don't know. This whole paragraph came out as a mess. Maybe I should have just stuck to discussing the Gigantic DVD.

Tuesday, September 23
What do you think of the new fall colors? I should probably change the picture as well, or maybe take it out altogether. Any opinions?

Why do so many people who use this library not bother to push in their chairs when they're done with them?

Earlier today, I bought a used copy of the Posies' Amazing Disgrace. The thing with that band is that I downloaded their first album, Failure, from eMusic, and thought it was great. The other Posies albums that I've heard have some pretty good songs, but none of them seem to come anywhere near Failure in terms of quality. They're usually pretty cheap, though, and there's a chance they'll grow on me.

It's a numbered list! Hooray!

1. In Pokémon Yellow, Lieutenant Surge's nickname is "The Lightning American." Isn't Pokémon supposed to take place in another world? How would they know what "American" even means?
2. How the hell does Hilary Duff have a best-selling album?
3. Last night, Beth and I were discussing what a weird idea for a show TaleSpin was. I mean, Baloo flying an airplane? How would anyone ever come up with that? Did Disney combine two show ideas or something? Apparently someone working on the Disney Afternoon liked airplanes, since Launchpad was a regular character on both DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, and the Rescue Rangers had a plane. Baloo seemed to be the most competent pilot, though.

Monday, September 22
I have issues with...
Take Word Association Test

The thing with "chaos" is that, while it's not a good thing, I like the word. It probably has something to do with a combination of Greek mythology and Final Fantasy.

The Big Five Personality Test
Extroverted|||||||||| 32%
Introverted |||||||||||||||| 68%
Friendly |||||||||| 38%
Aggressive |||||||||||||||| 62%
Orderly |||||||||| 38%
Disorderly |||||||||||||||| 62%
Relaxed |||| 16%
Intellectual |||||||||||| 50%
Practical |||||||||||| 50%
Take Free Big 5 Personality Test

ISFP - "Artist". Interested in the fine arts. Expression primarily through action or art form. The senses are keener than in other types. 5% of the total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Test

Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Test

I just had a dream that They Might Be Giants had a new song. In the dream, I knew it well, but now all I remember about it is that the backing vocals for the end of the song were "lost and found sound," which was the title or some interview or radio spot or something that they did, where they talked about their wax cylinder sessions at the Edison Laboratory. In the dream, I was seeing them live, and John Flansburgh started up the song with slightly different lyrics in response to something that I don't remember. I think Flans usually sang the "lost and found sound" part, but John Linnell did this time. Also, the opener was President Bush, and he tried to play "Horseshoes," by Moxy Früvous.

Sunday, September 21
It's annoying that my sister's computer doesn't have a reset button.

I saw a little bit of the Miss America Pageant last night. I've never really been interested in beauty pageants. I remember watching the Miss America one back in 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks. I think that was the first year they had the quiz segment, and I think Miss District of Columbia didn't know where the Washington Monument was, or something like that. This year, I was struck by how many contestants wanted to go into law. Maybe that's typical, though. I know Kimberley Locke wanted to go to law school. Maybe now she'll get a recording contract and the world will be spared from having another lawyer. Anyway, the other thing that struck me about the introduction segment was that the contestants all seemed to look older than they actually were, although maybe that was just the bad TV reception here, or possibly the outfits they were wearing. The participants in the evening gown competition (the only other part I saw) didn't look as old, so I'm guessing it was the clothes.

Today, I went with my mom to the Chester County Restaurant Festival. We used to go pretty much every year when I was a kid. I remember getting an apron from there one year. I hadn't been in some time, though, so it was pretty cool to go there this time. I had a pepperoni and cheese pretzel braid (which was bigger than the pepperoni and cheese pretzels they sell at the Amish market near where Beth lives), two fruit kebabs, strawberry shortcake with a lot of whipped cream, some peach and apricot drink, and a smoothie. I'm not sure why, but I'm not a big fan of smoothies. They're all right, but not as good as I think they should be, since I usually like all of the ingredients. I guess I'd rather just have those ingredients individually.

After the restaurant festival, we went to the Borders in Wilmington. I didn't get anything there, but I did notice a girl buying a Bitch and Animal CD, which Colleen might be glad to know. {g} Also, I listened to part of a Guster album, and, as much as I hate to admit it, they weren't as bad as I thought they might be. That's not to say they were that GOOD either, mind you, but they were listenable, I guess.

I'm still playing Pokémon Yellow. I've made it to Vermillion City and the S. S. Anne.

Saturday, September 20
I got a message saying my Hotmail account was full, but that's only because I got a lot of huge junk e-mails that were probably viruses or something. (I didn't open them, fortunately.)

Friday, September 19
I finally beat Brock, with only two surviving Pokémon. Right now, I'm working on Q&A NJ. I also filled out this survey that I got from sarah's blog. The questions about jewelry and makeup make me think it might have been intended for girls, but so what?

:x: name = Nathan
:x: height = 5'11"
:x: shoe size = 10, I think
:x: hair color = Brown
:x: length = Short, but not incredibly so. I just recently got it cut.
:x: siblings = A younger sister and brother

:x: movie you rented = The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pecker, and Star Trek IV, all at once
:x: movie you bought = The Big Lebowski, for Beth. The last movie I bought for myself was UHF, years ago. I'm not really a movie-buying person.
:x: song you listened to = I think it was "Montebello," by the Sugarplastic
:x: song that was stuck in your head = I can't remember. Probably some Sugarplastic song.
:x: cd you bought = Show Me Your Tears, by Frank Black and the Catholics
:x: cd you listened to = Bang, the Earth Is Round. That's where I heard "Montebello."
:x: person you've called = Beth
:x: tv show you've watched = I can't remember. Something with Beth. She flips around a lot while watching TV, though, so the last show I watched in its entirety might have been Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Tuesday.
:x: person you were thinking of = Beth

:x: you think about suicide = Not seriously
:x: you believe in online dating = I met my girlfriend online, but we didn't really date over the Internet. I'm not opposed to the idea, though.
:x: others find you attractive = I guess some do, but I would imagine that most don't.
:x: you want more piercings = No
:x: you drink = Incredibly rarely. I think I've had maybe three drinks with alcohol in them in my lifetime.
:x: you do drugs = no.
:x: you smoke = no.

:x: long distance relationships = For, although I'd prefer a short-distance one
:x: using someone = Against
:x: killing people = Usually against, but it depends on the circumstances
:x: teenage smoking = Definitely against
:x: premarital sex = As long as it's safe, I can't say I have anything against it.
:x: driving drunk = Absolutely against
:x: gay/lesbian relationships = for

:x: ever cried over a guy/girl = I guess so, but maybe not in the context that the survey means.
:x: ever lied to someone = I'm sure I have, but it's rare.
:x: ever been arrested = No

:x: of times you have been in love? = Just once
:x: of times you have had your heart broken? = None
:x: of hearts you have broken? = Probably none
:x: of drugs taken illegally? = None
:x: of people you would classify as true friends, that you could trust with your life = Very few. Possibly only one.
:x: of people you consider your enemies? = I can't think of any just now.
:x: of things in your past that you regret? = Too many to count

:x: scent = I don't know. I like the smell of sawdust, I guess.
:x: word = I don't know (and that's not my answer, so no wise-asses reply with, "That's three words!", okay?)
:x: eye color = blue
:x: flower = Not sure
:x: piercing = Clitoris! Just kidding. I'd have to go with ears.

:x: pretty = No, but how many guys do? Maybe Damon Albarn...
:x: funny = Yeah, but no one else does.
:x: hot = No way
:x: friendly = I try to be, but I'm probably not.
:x: amusing = Sometimes
:x: loveable = Sometimes, I guess
:x: pessimistic = Yeah
:x: optimistic = Occasionally
:x: caring = I think so, but I'd like to be more so.
:x: sweet = Very rarely
:x: dorky = Definitely

:x: Spell your first name back wards : Nahtan. Not much different, is it?
:x: The story behind your user name: "VoVat" was an inside joke based on a physics equation. "Fablesto" was an inside joke based on a Scrabble game. I doubt anyone else on the inside even remembers them anymore, but I liked the sound of them, so I kept them.
:x: 4 words that describe you = Gee, I don't know. (Hey, that WAS four words! {g})

:x: Wallet = It's black, and has stuff in it.
:x: Hairbrush = I have a red one and a green one.
:x: Toothbrush = I can't remember. I'd know it if I saw it, though. I guess that's fortunate.
:x: Jewelry worn daily = None
:x: Pillow cover = Nothing special. They have floral patterns, I think.
:x: Blanket = I have a green one in the trunk of my car. I usually use comforters instead of blankets.
:x: Coffee cup = I don't drink coffee, but my favorite mug is my "Kabumpo and Friends" one, with a picture drawn by Eric Shanower.
:x: Sunglasses = I don't even know where any of them are anymore.
:x: Shoes = I have black slip-on shoes from Land's End, black Nike sneakers, and green Converse high-tops.
:x: Handbag = None
:x: Favorite shirt = Right now, I'd probably say it's my Super Mario Bros. one.
:x: CD in stereo right now = I don't think there is one, unless I forgot to remove that Sugarplastic CD.
:x: What you are wearing now = My They Might Be Giants Presidents T-shirt and dark brown corduroy pants. Oh, and underwear, of course.
:x: Hair = Didn't I already describe it well enough?
:x: Make up = None

WHO or WHAT (was/is/are) -
:x: In my mouth = Nothing. I think the last thing to be there was some lemonade.
:x: In my head = Somerset County Congressional districts
:x: Wishing = That there'll be something interesting on the Internet
:x: After this = I'll probably spend a little more time on the Internet, and then eat and play more Pokémon Yellow.
:x: Talking to = Nobody right now
:x: Person you wish you were with = Beth
:x: Something you're looking forward to in this up coming month = Halloween
:x: Something that you are deathly afraid of? = I don't know about "deathly," but I'm really afraid of being drafted. I think that can't happen after I turn 26, though, so I only have a few more months to go. Knowing our present government, though, we'll probably have had about four more wars by then.
:x: Do you like the taste of blood = Not particularly
:x: Do you believe in love = Yes
:x: Do you believe in soul mates = I guess so, but I don't think I believe in the soul, so I prefer not to use that term.
:x: Do you believe in love at first sight = Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time. What reason do I have to doubt Ringo's word?
:x: Do you believe in God = I don't think so. I'm an agnostic.
:x: What do you want done with your body when you die = I'd say I want to be cremated, but I honestly don't think I'll care that much.
:x: Who is your worst enemy? = I don't know. They probably haven't revealed themselves yet.
:x: If you could have any animal for a pet = I guess I'd go with the typical dog or cat.
:x: Ever been to Belgium? = No, and I'm not going to make any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy jokes.
:x: What are 5 cities you wouldn't mind relocating to? = I don't know. Any of them that are relatively safe and decent climates.
:x: What's something you wish you could understand better? = Human emotion. That sounds kind of cheesy, doesn't it?
:x: Anyone you miss that you haven't seen in a long time? = Yeah, I suppose so.

There. I wonder if anyone will actually read the whole thing. I guess Beth probably will.

I borrowed Beth's Game Boy and Pokémon Yellow. It's a pretty fun game. So far, I've collected several Pokémon, including a rather useless Metapod who can only defend, not attack. I kind of regret not getting into those games when they were actually popular, because I like RPG types of video games, where you don't need good reaction time or eye-hand coordination, and there's a lot of focus on story and such. I've always liked the Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy series, although I haven't played any of the more recent Final Fantasy games.

Thursday, September 18
On the Frank Black Forum, someone sent a link to some polls at this site. They already have polls to vote for Frank, the Pixies, Tori Amos, Moxy Früvous, and Sloan, among others, and I just created one for They Might Be Giants. It doesn't seem to be listing on the main page (yet?), but you can go there by following this link.


Which Family Guy Character are you? Take the Quiz!

Last night, Beth and I watched Flowers in the Attic. Personally, I thought it was a little psychologically incredible. Beth suggested that maybe a certain character's motivations were better explained in the book.

Monday, September 15
I've been pretty bored as of late. What is there that's interesting to do? (Right, like anyone is actually going to reply.)

They apparently found that CD I mentioned in the last entry, so that's good. I'm going to pick it up after I'm done here at the library.

Sunday, September 14
So it's hot again now? I thought the weather was cooling off. Oh, well. I'm not going to complain.

About a week ago, I went to a used CD store and found an EP that Beth wanted. I tried to buy it, but this was a place where the CD's weren't kept with their cases, and the case apparently wasn't properly marked, so they couldn't find the actual CD. They said they'd call me when they found it, but I still haven't gotten a call. Must be a pretty disorganized place. I hope they haven't lost the CD totally.

Saturday, September 13
Three of the computers at this library seem to have frozen up. Oh, well. I'm off to King of Prussia.

According to this article, the Pixies might be going on a reunion tour next year. If they go through with it, I hope I'll be able to catch one of their shows.

YACCS is back up again, but no one has left me any comments since it went back up. I guess it might as well have just stayed down.

I've gotten a few new CD's in the past few days. One of them is the new Frank Black album, Show Me Your Tears. I didn't like it that much upon first listen, but it's starting to grow on me. That's generally the way with Frank's albums. As of right now, my favorite song on there is "Massif Centrale." Oh, and the CD case has a Maneki Neko on it, which should make eriKa happy. {g} I also got the Minus Five's "Emperor of the Bathroom" EP, and the Sugarplastic's Bang, the Earth Is Round, which is a really good album. People have compared them to XTC, and I can see that. It seems to be intentional, since they use the words "ugly underneath" in one song. Unfortunately, there seems to be a scratch on the CD, about two minutes into the first song. I should probably make a copy of it, so it won't get worse. Since my computer isn't hooked up right now, though, I can't do that, nor can I play The Sims. I haven't wanted to play that game in some time, but I had a dream about it last night, and I always have a desire to play it after I've dreamed about it (and I dream about it more often than you might think). It never works in real life like it does in my dreams, but that's probably a good thing, since it's usually really frustrating in the dreams.

Tuesday, September 9
Is there any fast food place that serves breakfast after 11 AM or so? I know I'd give such a place my business.

I haven't had a chance to buy Frank Black's new album yet. I'll probably go to Best Buy tomorrow.

According to what I've read on AOL, people being sued for file sharing include an unemployed woman, an old man who rarely used computers, and a girl who apparently didn't realize she was doing anything illegal. If you needed any more proof that the RIAA is pure evil, there it is. But hey, what would this country be without corporations walking all over private citizens and lawyers finding new ways to get rich?

Monday, September 8
I don't like buying shoes or getting haircuts, because what seems all right at the store almost never does when I get it home.

Sunday, September 7
I changed the "about" text, but I have a nagging feeling that I've used this quote before. I don't want to be repeating myself. Does anyone remember seeing it here in the past?

Just two things I forgot to mention about the wedding:

1. Lambert Castle, where the ceremony was held, was pretty cool (we got to go inside after the ceremony had ended), but not really what I thought it would be. It was smaller than I expected, for one thing. When I hear the word "castle," I usually think of a really imposing medieval-type edifice, while this seemed to me to be essentially a mansion with turrets.
2. I tasted champagne for the first time ever, and I didn't like it all that much. It mostly just tasted like grape juice, which I do like, but there was a bit of a sour flavor to it that I didn't care for.

And, unrelated to the wedding, I'm going to mention that Frank Black's new album, Show Me Your Tears, will be released on Tuesday. I'm not sure I'll be able to buy it that day, but I'll probably get it on Wednesday if I can't.

Hmm, what all do I have to say? I can think of a few things:

1. I'm using Beth's computer, and it now has AOL 9.0 installed. It certainly looks different from the last version, but I'm not sure it really acts that differently. I guess I'll find out.
2. YACCS still isn't working, and no other comment servers seem to be accepting any new users. That's pretty annoying.
3. I had wanted to see Cracker in Philadelphia in October, but it looks like they're just the opening act for some band called Cowboy Mouth, so I don't think I'm going to go.
4. Yesterday, Beth and I went up to North Jersey (the farthest I'd ever driven in one day) for Suzanne's wedding. This was the first really traditional wedding I can recall going to. My uncle got married back in 1996, but that was a very small ceremony. I think I went to my aunt's wedding and one for some woman my dad worked with when I was a kid, but I can't remember either of them. So it was kind of a weird experience for me. I can't think of much else specific to say about it just now (hopefully Beth will write about it later on), but I will mention that Beth wore a really pretty dress that her mom made for her. Also, Beth received a fish as a party favor, and, although we got it back to her house all right, her cat broke the bowl and presumably ate the fish. It was depressing. :(

Wednesday, September 3
Wow, the children's room here is a horrible mess. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that.

Looks like YACCS is down yet again, and they won't be getting it fixed for another week. Is there another free comment server I can use? If anyone knows, please e-mail me, since I obviously don't have comments now. Considering how few comments I get, it's not like it really matters that much, but it's mostly the principle of the thing, I guess.

A pretty cool article about Weird Al was posted to an Al mailing list I'm on. A few quotes I enjoyed from it included this one about Avril Lavigne:

"Apparently she had no idea who I was when we approached her, so
we had to give her the boxed set and educate her," he says. "But
she's Canadian, so . . ."

He also mentions the recall in California:

"I thought the reason they elected him was because they were gonna
give him a shot for, like, the entire term. It's not like he did
anything like send our troops to war without a reason."

YACCS is back up, and it looks like I got a grand total of one comment I hadn't seen before. That's pretty much par for the course for when I'm unable to access some part of the Internet for a few days, though. I was kind of hoping that my post about wanting strangers to comment would lure lurkers out of the woodwork, but I think this proves what I had suspected before: there ARE no lurkers in the woodwork. Anyway, I'd better go get some work done.

Monday, September 1
I'm back from visiting my Uncle Tim and Aunt Jann. I hadn't seen them in some time, and I had a good time visiting them. They just recently got a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which is a kind of dog I'd never heard of before. It's a pretty big breed, with a ridge of hair on its back that goes in the opposite direction from the rest of the hair. They were apparently bred to hunt big game in Africa. My uncle and aunt's dog is named Rookie, and he's very nice, and usually pretty calm. Ridgebacks apparently don't bark much.