The Highways and Byways of the Stratosphere

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Bob Scott

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Sunday, November 30
I decorated my blog for Christmas. What do you think?

I finally had to knuckle under and look at a walkthrough for Dragon Warrior Monsters, since I couldn't figure out how to get to the SkyDragon. It took me longer to have to turn there than it does for most games, though.

I've also started playing Final Fantasy Legend III, which my brother owns. I probably won't do that much in it until I've finished (or get stuck in) the other game, though. Based on what little I've played, I'm not sure I care for the way message speed is dealt with. In a lot of games with large quantities of text, you can choose the rate at which the displays and/or scrolls through this text. In FFL3, though, the text generally runs really slowly, but you can speed it up with the A button. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but it's definitely different.

Oh, and I've started reading Terry Pratchett's new Discworld book, Monstrous Regiment, so I have a few things to occupy my time in the near future (aside from working and all that).

Saturday, November 29
Several radio stations have already started playing nothing but Christmas music. It seems a little bit early, but I don't have a problem with it. I can't hear "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" without thinking of that old Staples back-to-school commercial, though.

I got something in the mail advertising some Greatest Hits of the Eagles CD, and it referred to "the hard-rocking 'Hotel California.'" Well, I guess it's "hard-rocking" compared to other Eagles songs, but still, that's not exactly what I would describe as hard rock.

Friday, November 28
I had a pretty good Thanksgiving, just in case you were wondering. I spent the day at Beth's house, and a lot of her family members came over. There were as many as twenty-three people here at any given time. I did have turkey, as well as ham and lasagna. It was a good meal.

At night, I caught the final episode of Futurama, which I missed the first time around. It was a really good episode, I thought, with a mix of comedy with some more emotional stuff. The Robot Devil had a good part in it. I really wish the show hadn't been cancelled so quickly, as it had a lot of potential. I guess if no one was watching it there wasn't much help for it, but I'm sure FOX constantly pre-empting the show and switching its time slot around didn't help matters much.

Thursday, November 27
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this!

Since it's Thanksgiving, that means Christmas is just around the metaphorical corner, so I should start shopping soon. I don't know what to get anyone, though.

Speaking of shopping, the other day, Beth played Super Mario Kart Double Dash at Kmart. It looked pretty cool, but one thing I'm wondering about it is how baby Mario and Luigi can be separate racers from their adult versions. Were time machines involved?

Tuesday, November 25
It's annoying when I try to find online information for a question on Q&A NJ, and all I find are old term papers, or, worse yet, sites that want you to BUY old term papers. I mean, I'm sure the information in them is relatively accurate, but I'd prefer to find something more authoritative, you know?

I hate cold weather. There was rain last night, and I couldn't figure out whether it was frozen or just hard. Fortunately, it didn't leave any ice on the roads. I'm REALLY hoping there won't be any of that this year. I had a dream last night that there was snow all over, and I was going to blog about how annoying that was, but I guess it didn't really happen. Oh, well. It's still getting cold, and I still don't like it.

Monday, November 24
I wish more people would send me e-mail while I was at work. I wish more people would send me e-mail ANYWAY, but especially while I was at work.

I'm hungry. I don't know what to eat, though.

This post is pretty pointless. Hey, that's alliterative!

I didn't take any wrong turns on my way to work today! Aren't you proud of me? {g}

This library has a book called Being Sexual...And Celibate. Weird.

Sunday, November 23
I've been playing Dragon Warrior Monsters quite a bit as of late. Like Pokémon, you can capture and train monsters. Unlike Pokémon (any Pokémon game I'm aware of, anyway), you can breed monsters. I tried out that feature today, breeding a Healer and something else to get a SlimeNite. You need one male and one female to breed, but, while I haven't tried seeking his services yet, there's a guy who will apparently change a monster's gender if you need him to. That's right--it's a video game with sex change operations!

I almost always make some kind of wrong turn when coming here to my new job. I guess I'll get over that eventually. I hope so, anyway.

Saturday, November 22
Now playing: Cracker, Countrysides

I got this album in a package from my dad today, along with Tori Amos' To Venus and Back and the Superstar expansion pack for The Sims. There's already another expansion pack beyond that out, so I haven't been keeping up with them as well as before. It's been a long time since I've played the game, though. I guess I'll have to get back to it when (and if) I get my computer hooked up.

Speaking of presents, Beth informed me that she also got a package today, with birthday presents for both of us from Colleen. She gave me Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, by Terry Pratchett, and both of us Tori's "Caught A Lite Sneeze" EP. Colleen is awesome.

Late this afternoon, a bunch of birds perched in a tree, yelled a lot, and then left. I wonder what that was about.

Now playing: The Smiths, Singles

We might be getting DSL at my house soon. That means I'll be able to hook up my own computer! Hooray!

Friday, November 21
Last night, my family celebrated my birthday. My mom made me a carrot cake. Beth's mom had already made me a cake, so I now have two cakes to eat. My sister gave me two shirts, and my mom gave me a gift certificate to Red Lobster, which was nice of them.

Today was my first day volunteering at Longwood Gardens. I did cataloging, which wasn't that difficult. Fortunately, it wasn't original cataloging, or anything of that sort. It basically just consisted of following directions for the books that had not yet been cataloged. If I keep this up, I suppose I can tell potential employers that I have cataloging experience. I know a lot of libraries and other businesses seem to want that.

Thursday, November 20
Yesterday was apparently an auspicious day for losing things, since I misplaced both my cell phone and Beth's GameBoy. I found both of them, but I have to say that I wish the world could be put on hold when I'm looking for things. It's annoying to have to look for something when I know I'm going to have to get to work really soon, and the clock just keeps ticking (or advancing, anyway, since I wasn't looking in a place where the clocks actually tick).

After I found the GameBoy, I finally beat Pokémon Yellow. Take THAT, Elite Four! In your face, Gary Oak! I'm sure there have been five-year-olds who beat it less time, but I'm usually really bad at video games, so that's pretty cool. In Dragon Warrior Monsters, I defeated some dragon and it joined me.

On a totally unrelated note, does anyone think Dr. Seuss would really have been cool with a movie adaptation of The Cat in the Hat that includes mild innuendo and crude humor?

Wednesday, November 19
58% of people who voted in an AOL poll think same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to get married? What is WRONG with people? Is there any way that allowing same-sex marriages would even affect them?

As I mentioned earlier, yesterday was my birthday. After work, I opened presents from Beth and her family. Beth's mom and Uncle John both gave me shirts, and her mom also gave me a blanket. Her uncle Harry gave me some chocolates, deodorant, and cologne. I've never worn cologne before, so this might be a good opportunity to start. Beth herself gave me the CD of Frank Black's John Peel sessions with Teenage Fanclub, a copy of L. Frank Baum's The Sea Fairies, and Pokémon Red. I guess I'll start playing that if I can EVER beat the Elite Four in Yellow. Also, my brother gave me a gift certificate to Amazon, so I'll have to decide how to spend that.

After I opened presents, Beth and I went out to eat at Denny's. I had a Breakfast Dagwood, something I can never finish in one sitting, and last night was no exception. While I enjoy going places just with Beth, I kind of wish someone else could have gone with us. My birthday is one time of year when I wish I had more friends, and not just for the extra presents. Overall, though, my birthday was a fun occasion.

Tuesday, November 18
Today is my birthday, and I'm stuck here at work. Tonight, though, I should be able to open some of my presents, and Beth and I will go out to eat.

Monday, November 17
There was some song on the radio about farting on Santa's lap. I can't even begin to tell you how wrong that is.

Wow, this is weird. Apparently some people think this baby toy is saying, "I hate you" in the background of ocean noises. If it's true, it's pretty creepy, but I have to wonder whether this is along the lines of people thinking the talking Po dolls were saying "faggot."

I thought last night's Simpsons was a good episode, although I haven't seen Evita, so the parody was pretty much lost on me. My dad had given Beth the first season Simpsons DVD, so we also watched some early episodes with commentary. That was interesting, even if they did use some animation jargon that we didn't understand.

Sunday, November 16
They put in a new printing system at work recently, and it's been eating people's money and not printing things out. I hope they can get it fixed soon. It's annoying.


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I've never watched Babylon 5, so I have no idea who that is.

Neutron -- You don't take sides, you just sort of
hang out and blend into the crowd. If someone
lets you loose though, you can cause some
serious damage. If you are arround too many
other neutrons you get bored and start to

What kind of subatomic particle are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

You know, I like They Might Be Giants as much as the next person, and probably more than many people, but I have to say that listing 21 different TMBG-related things as interests is going a little too far.

You are Form 3, Unicorn: The Innocent.

"And The Unicorn knew she wasn't meant to
go into the Dark Wood. Disregarding the advice
given to her by the spirits, Unicorn went
inside and bled silver blood.. For her
misdeed, the world knew evil."

Some examples of the Unicorn Form are Eve
(Christian) and Pandora (Greek).
The Unicorn is associated with the concept of
innocence, the number 3, and the element of
Her sign is the twilight sun.

As a member of Form 3, you are a curious
individual. You are drawn to new things and
become fascinated with ideas you've never come
in contact with before. Some people may say
you are too nosey, but it's only because you
like getting to the bottom of things and
solving them. Unicorns are the best friends to
have because they are inquisitive.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I just got a spam e-mail where the subject line was "Damn! I have an STD!" I didn't open it, but that made me laugh.

Anyway, Beth and I just recently got back from Atlantic City, where we saw Elton John. I thought he put on a good show, and he played for a long time. I didn't know every song he played, but he did do "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues," "Tiny Dancer," and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," which are really good songs. Our seats were pretty lousy, but I guess that's to be expected in a huge venue, unless you're willing to pay upwards of $100 per seat. I think this was the biggest concert audience I'd ever been in, but it's also the most famous musician I've ever seen, so that's no surprise. Beth told me some amusing stories about the guy sitting next to her. He apparently called his brother twice, once during "Rocket Man" and again during "Tiny Dancer," and told him that he was hearing those songs. He also played air piano, and tricked his daughter (who seemed to be really into the show; she had a sign and dressed up) into leaving before the last encore (which was "Your Song," by the way). There were also annoying people behind us, one of whom spilled beer on my seat. They talked through some of the songs, and one of them yelled out, "Play The Lion King!" I think it's impossible to go to a show and NOT be surrounded by obnoxious people. The show was a lot of fun, though, and I'm glad Beth finally got to see Elton, and on her birthday at that.

Saturday, November 15
Beth and I saw They Might Be Giants, Rasputina, and Belle and Sebastian in Philadelphia last night. For most of the details about the shows, you can read Beth's entry, since she details most of the good and not-so-good aspects. I do have a few things to add, however. The TMBG in-store at Borders was really crowded, and there were more little kids than I would have expected. Yes, I know the in-store was for a children's book and CD, but I still thought it would be pretty much all adult fans. I would imagine that a lot of the children there had parents who were TMBG fans, and the parents were forcing the kids to listen to the same music that they do. I certainly don't have a problem with parents playing TMBG (or whatever other band they like) to their kids, but I have to wonder how far some of these parents go, and how many of their kids will end up HATING TMBG as a form of rebellion. The performance was good. They played:

Why Does The Sun Shine? ("The heat and light of the Sun are caused by the nuclear reactions between Conshohocken, King of Prussia, Main Line, and Camden!")
Particle Man (with John Linnell playing the stylophone)
Cyclops Rock (Peter Noone version)
Bed, Bed, Bed (with drummer Marty Beller doing the sound effects)
Robot Parade
Wicked Little Critta (followed by a discussion about whether "dink" counts as a curse word)
Stalk Of Wheat (the first time I'd ever heard this song, and I really liked it)

I was disappointed that we weren't able to stick around to get stuff signed. I don't know that I'll EVER meet the Johns.

I liked what we saw of Rasputina's set. I'm not really that familiar with their songs, but based on what I have heard, they sound pretty similar live and on their albums. Same way with Belle and Sebastian, actually. There are a lot of people in the band, and they managed to work in pretty much all of the instruments that they have in their recorded work, which is a considerable amount on some songs. They played a lot of stuff from their new album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, as well as some older stuff that I knew, like "She's Losing It," "Sing Jonathan David," "Judy And The Dream Of Horses," "Sleep The Clock Around," and "The Boy With The Arab Strap." They invited Rasputina on stage to play "Fox In The Snow" and to play along with another song (I forget which one), and it's always cool when the main band and the opener interact. I really liked the show, even if the audience was annoying. The band sort of set a precedent for obnoxious behavior by taking a few requests and letting some people dance on the stage. I can see that the band would want to be viewed as cool with their fans' antics, but allowing stuff like that can open the door to people shouting out the titles of every song the band ever played (and then some), as well as other inappropriate concert behavior. After the show, I bought some B&S postcards, and Beth and I headed back to the bus station to wait there for hours. This seems to happen to me every time I take the bus to Philadelphia for a concert. I'm sure there's a reason why they have such a long break between buses on Friday nights, but I really can't understand why there aren't more passengers right after the concerts let out. The venues and public transportation companies really should start coordinating better than they do now, but I don't foresee it happening in the near future.

And, last but certainly not least, today is Beth's birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETH!

Thursday, November 13
Why is nothing on the Internet as much fun as it used to be?

Things I wish I could do:
1. Be funny, in a way that people laugh WITH me, rather than AT me
2. Cook
3. Draw
4. Sing, play instruments, and write songs (all related things)
5. Something that would get me a job that pays well enough for me to support myself

I heard Tori Amos' "Mary" on WXPN on the way to work today. I assume it's the version that's going to be on Tales of a Librarian, the new greatest hits collection, which I probably won't be buying despite the fact that it comes out on my birthday and has "librarian" in the title. Speaking of librarians and my birthday, I share the same birthday as the former director of the library near my house, and of my next-door neighbor, who was an elementary school librarian. Perhaps the eighteenth is just a good day for librarians to be born.

Here are my results from the Belief-O-Matic:

1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (99%)
3. Liberal Quakers (91%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (86%)
5. Neo-Pagan (77%)
6. New Age (70%)
7. Theravada Buddhism (70%)
8. Nontheist (65%)
9. Reform Judaism (59%)
10. Scientology (55%)
11. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (54%)
12. New Thought (54%)
13. Orthodox Quaker (53%)
14. Bahá'í Faith (52%)
15. Mahayana Buddhism (52%)
16. Taoism (50%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (39%)
18. Jainism (36%)
19. Jehovah's Witness (36%)
20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (34%)
21. Sikhism (34%)
22. Islam (24%)
23. Orthodox Judaism (24%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (24%)
25. Hinduism (20%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (13%)
27. Roman Catholic (13%)

The wind sure is strong today. I remember hearing that they were going to be.

Last night, I finally got to see the global warming episode of Futurama. It was pretty good. I mean, it had Al Gore, a dark wizard, and the headless body of Spiro Agnew. What more could you ask for? I hope Cartoon Network is going to be showing the rest of the episodes from the last "season" (that's in quotation marks since it wasn't really a full season), since I missed a few, including the very last one. Maybe I should check on that.

Have you noticed how so many of my entires and paragraphs start with "yesterday," "last night," "today," or something similar? I'm a one-trick pony when it comes to starting blog entries.

Wednesday, November 12

How evil are you?

I just recently watched Sunday's Simpsons episode, which was pretty good. Not as good as the original episode with Homer's mother, but a decent follow-up. Beth brought up the possibility that the very end of the episode might have been tacked on, so that it wouldn't end on such a depressing (and final) note. I guess it's possible, but if it's true, I'm glad they didn't go with the depressing ending. We also watched the Family Guy episode that FOX refused to air. Neither of us could figure out why they wouldn't show it; it didn't strike me as particularly offensive. Oh, well. At least I got to see it.

Tuesday, November 11
Happy Veterans' Day!

Since I don't have much to say today, and I try to write something here every day, I thought I'd write a little bit about some of my favorite albums. Listing albums that are strong all the way through has been done on several forums I've been on, and I thought I'd do that now without a forum.

XTC: Skylarking

If anyone were to ask me about my favorite album ever, this would be the answer I'd give. Great songs all the way through, with a definite summer-y feel to the whole thing. Oddly enough, this album isn't even the same throughout the world. When "Dear God" was a relative hit in the States, the record company decided to put it on in place of "Mermaid Smiled." I haven't actually heard the British version of the album, but I've heard "Mermaid Smiled," and I think the album would be excellent with either of these songs on it. The weakest track on Skylarking is probably "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul," and even that is pretty good.

As far as XTC goes, their psychadelic pastiche work that they did as the Dukes of Stratosphear was also excellent. The Chips from the Chocolate Fireball CD contains both their "25 O'Clock" EP and the Psonic Psunspot album. I'd say it also ranks pretty high in my favorites.

Frank Black: Teenager of the Year: Pretty tough feat here, since it has 22 songs, but I think that's a large part of what I like about it. People say they'd rather have, say, 12 good songs than more not-so-great ones, but I really don't think any of the songs here are bad. As with most Frank albums, it took me a little while to get into it, but when it did click, it became one of my all-time favorites. I'd also like to give honorable mentions to Dog in the Sand, probably the Frank album that took the LEAST time to click with me, and the Pixies' Bossanova.

Moxy Früvous: Bargainville

This wasn't my first Früvous album. My first was You Will Go to the Moon, which I thought was pretty good, but not really great. I guess I took somewhat of a gamble in getting this one as well, but it was worth it. It blew me away the first time I listened to it. The best song on the album is definitely "BJ Don't Cry," my all-time favorite Früvous song. There's a little bit of everything in that song. (Well, not EVERYTHING, I suppose, but it does an excellent job of mixing musical styles.)

The Posies: Failure

I downloaded this album from eMusic, and found it incredibly catchy, without any real weak spots. I have some of the band's other albums, and they have some good songs, but I don't think they've ever surpassed Failure, which was their first album.

Ben Folds: Rockin' the Suburbs, and Sloan: Navy Blues

These two albums don't have that much in common, but I included them together because Beth introduced me to both of them, and I have to agree with her that they're just really solid albums.

A few other albums that would probably go on my Top Whatever list, if I were to make one:

Tori Amos: Under the Pink
Camper Van Beethoven: self-titled
Hypnotic Clambake: Kent the Zen Master
Tom Lehrer: That Was the Year That Was

I'd also be pretty much obligated to include at least one They Might Be Giants album, since they're my favorite band and all. I don't think their albums tend to be all that consistent overall, though. I usually say that Lincoln is my favorite, but even that has some songs that just aren't as good as the rest, like "Lie Still, Little Bottle" and "You'll Miss Me." That's not to say that these songs are BAD, but they sort of mess up the flow. Same deal with "Spy" on John Henry, which is perhaps TMBG's most consistent album in other respects. It's also difficult for me to choose an overall favorite album by Weird Al, but maybe I'd go with In 3-D.

Monday, November 10
I bought a used copy of Dragon Warrior Monsters at GameStop today. I'd say it's sort of a Pokémon rip-off, but I don't actually know when it was created with respect to Pokémon. I'm pretty sure the Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest in Japan) games had the idea of capturing and training monsters and having them fight battles before Pokémon even existed, but the idea to have a game based ENTIRELY around that might well have been inspired by the popularity of Pokémon. Anyway, I only played a little bit of the game, but it seems like it'll be fun.

I wish we could just skip winter this year. I guess I still want to have Christmas, but I think I could do without the ice, snow, and low temperatures.

I need to cut my fingernails.

Last night, I met my dad at an Italian restaurant for dinner. On the way there, I was listening to WXPN, and I heard the end of a Mountain Stage set by Ralph Stanley. I didn't know the guy's name, but I immediately thought he was probably the person who sang "O Death" (a song I originally knew through Camper Van Beethoven's cover) on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Sure enough, the next song he sang was "O Death," which he introduced as having been on that very soundtrack. I thought it was pretty cool that I recognized the guy's voice.

Anyway, at the restaurant, I ordered a pizza, but I only ended up eating one piece of it. My dad gave me about half of his lasagna, and he and his wife Barbara had some of my pizza. I still have about half of it left over, though, so that's probably what I'll eat for breakfast (brunch?). After dinner, my dad bought me a pair of new sneakers, which I kind of needed. I picked them out quickly, though, so I'm hoping they work out all right for me. They seemed to fit fine when I tried them on at the store.

Sunday, November 9
Reading the TMBG off-topic list archives makes me kind of nostalgic for the heyday of that list. Not only did I meet some cool people there, including my girlfriend, but I liked that I could check my e-mail at nearly any time of day and find something amusing. Certainly a contrast to now, when, if I'm lucky, I'll get something from Nonestica, and very little else. All I got within the past several hours were some automated messages. The thing is, despite the occasional resurgence, I don't think the off-topic list itself will ever regain its former glory. Too many people have either left entirely or changed their attitudes. I certainly wouldn't mind being on another fun, high-traffic mailing list with people I liked (or at least didn't strongly dislike), but I've yet to find one. Other lists I've joined are fun but limited in scope (like Nonestica), boring (Chalkhills), low-traffic, or difficult to keep up with or get into. And blogs and online forums, while fun in their own way, aren't really the same. I guess it's not really such a big deal, but I miss that old list sometimes.

My dad is up from New Mexico for a visit. I should be going out to eat with him in about an hour.

I am Ash, from the "Evil Dead" trilogy.
I'm the guy with the...chainsaw.

Which Random Cult Movie Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I think I'm close to winning Pokémon Yellow, but I still have to beat all of the Elite Four in succession. The first time I tried, I defeated the first trainer with only one Pokémon remaining. I think I need to build up my Pokémon before trying again. It's kind of annoying when I'm at that kind of point in a game. I've pretty much given up on Super Mario RPG, and I'm close to the end of that, too. Maybe I should try it again sometime soon.

Saturday, November 8
I don't like the fact that the weather is getting colder, or that the days are getting shorter.

I drove to Delaware for the first time today, and knocked off my hubcap on a curb. Fortunately, I was able to get it back and put it back on. While in Delaware, I bought a copy of the new Belle and Sebastian album at Best Buy. I'm planning on giving it to Beth, but I might listen to it first.

I felt kind of guilty about Cat this morning, thinking that if I had done things differently, maybe she wouldn't have died so quickly. I guess that's normal, though. There's probably nothing I could have done.

I should go out somewhere today. I'm thinking maybe the King of Prussia Mall, or somewhere else with stores.

Friday, November 7
I went down to Longwood Gardens today, to see about volunteering at their library. It looks like I'll be doing some cataloging there. Since I'm busy in the upcoming weeks, I won't be going in for training for two more weeks. I think it'll be good experience, since a lot of people seem to be looking for catalogers, and they generally don't seem to consider me for those positions.

Thursday, November 6
I've made it to the Jerry Baxter days of the TMBG Off-Topic List archives. What WAS Bob thinking?

Bob Scott claims to be working on a book. That should be interesting.

You know, Mike Leffel was a really funny guy. He probably still is, but I'm not even sure what happened to him. I don't think he's updated his online comics in ages. Maybe I should check and find out for sure, though.

Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||||||||||| 54%
Schizoid |||||||||||| 46%
Schizotypal |||||||||||||| 54%
Antisocial |||||||||| 38%
Borderline |||||||||| 34%
Histrionic |||||||||||||||| 66%
Narcissistic |||||||||||| 50%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Dependent |||||||||||||| 54%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||| 42%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test

I'm working two jobs now. That's kind of weird. They're both part-time, and I know a lot of people work two or more part-time jobs at a time, but I've never done it before. It might be nice if they weren't so far away from each other, but it's no big deal.

Another weird thing is that I've been driving for over a year now. I didn't even start driving until I was twenty-four, and I was thinking that I would never start. I'm glad I learned, though, as it makes it much easier to get places. I'm not sure I would be able to work either of my jobs without driving. There are certainly times I wish I didn't have to drive, like today, with all of the rain and fog on my way to work. It would be nice to have a rain-repelling device like Sir Pryse Bocks has in John Dough and the Cherub, although I would prefer it if it didn't run out of power as quickly as his did. Still, not being able to drive wouldn't help in those situations. I just hope this winter isn't bad in terms of ice and snow, so I won't have to drive through that.

Wednesday, November 5
I think I'm getting the hang of this job. That's no surprise, though; it's pretty easy. It tends to move fairly slowly, so I've actually been spending a lot of my time here reading the archives of the Ozzy Digest and the TMBG Off-Topic List. I'm inclined to do things like that when I'm bored. I kind of miss when the off-topic list had a lot of traffic. It's still around today, but no one has said anything there in days, and even that wasn't much. Oh, well.

My cat, Cat, died yesterday. She was old and weak, so I was pretty much resigned to the fact that it would happen soon, but it's still upsetting. We've had her for about fifteen years, an she was a good cat, but she had a bad habit of peeing on things, so she spent most of her later life in the basement or the bathroom. I feel like I should have spent more time with her in recent months and years. I guess that kind of feeling is normal. I'm going to miss her. :(

Tuesday, November 4
Amazon apparently deleted all of my past ratings on items. Has this happened to anyone else?

My job was pretty easy, and looks like it will get even easier as I get used to it. The most annoying part about checking out books is that I have to use a label maker to put a sticker on each one telling when it's due back. I take the stickers off when the books are returned. I'm not really a fan of this system. Why not just use cards or slips of paper?

I won't be home until around 10:30 at night, so I'm not going to be able to vote today. I really didn't know anything about the people running anyway, so it's not like I would have been able to vote in an educated fashion, but I still think it's an opportunity that should be taken. I'll be sure to vote next year, when my main criterion will probably be "someone who isn't Dubya."

Monday, November 3
I've started working at my new job. It doesn't seem like it will be all that difficult, which is good.

Sunday, November 2
This year's Simpsons Halloween Special was pretty good. I don't think it'll go down as a classic, but I think it might have been somewhat better overall than the last few. As with many recent episodes, the best jokes tended to be meta-humor: Kang and Kodos making fun of the fact that they were showing the Halloween episode in November, and Homer referencing the first segment in the second. There was some good Milhouse lines, and the Halloween credits were back, which is a good thing. Maybe next year (if the show is still on next year) they should actually show the Halloween special in October, though, rather than referencing the fact that they didn't.

Today was the last day this year that Great Adventure was open (well, the theme park part of it, anyway; there's still Winter Lights starting later this month), so Beth and I got one last hurrah out of our season passes by going there. We were both tired, so we didn't stay for that long, but we did ride several rides. The Runaway Train had practically no line, so Beth insisted that we ride numerous times in a row. I also drove through the safari for the first time. It was pretty cool. While some of the more dangerous animals (such as the the typical lions, tigers, and bears) were behind fences, others could walk right into the road. It was both kind of scary and really neat to have camels crossing the street right in front of your car.

I always get kind of depressed around this time of year. I guess it has something to do with the changing seasons and shortening days, even though I don't even go outside all that much when the days are long and warm.

Saturday, November 1
Last night, Beth and I went trick-or-treating. Yes, I know we're kind of old for it, and the candy isn't usually that good anyway, but it was fun. As per Beth's joking suggestion, I carried a squeaky caveman club so as to be an anesthesiologist, but I only ended up explaining the joke to two or three people. After trick-or-treating, we went to eat at Bennigan's, where we heard Weird Al's "Nature Trail To Hell," which was a pleasant surprise. I couldn't finish my food, and I boxed up my leftovers, but I forgot to bring the box, which pretty much always happens with me. It annoys me somewhat, since it essentially means I wasted both food and money, but I DID eat most of it, so I guess it's not a really big deal. I just have to remember to start bringing those boxes back with me.

Later, we watched Halloween III, the only movie in that series that doesn't fit nto the regular continuity. Instead of Michael Myers, there's some ridiculous plot about a murderous Irish toymaker. The movie was...well, different. I'll give it that. There seemed to be a general theme that kids will buy or watch anything with a lot of hype, regardless of how crappy it is. We also saw a little bit of Jason X (and no, I don't know why it's just called Jason and not Friday the 13th either), which was also weird, but in a different way. Jason is cryogenically frozen, and wakes up in a future with space stations, scantily clad women, and sadomasochistic Lolita affairs. In general, I'd say putting characters in space is a last-ditch effort to save a dying series.

I should go get my oil changed sometime today.