Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Looks Like I Won't Have to Go to Canada, After All!

Excellent news! The new Doctor Who boxed set is going to be released in the US in February. Now, if I can just manage to remain patient until then...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why, Yes. 15 Years Later, and I Do Still Hear "Watch out for the Tram Car" in My Dreams.

OK, I doubt the vast majority of these will mean anything whatsoever to most people reading this, but, man, this list has filled me with a deep and intense sense of nostalgia. It's also given me a massive craving for a cheesesteak, some Herr's chips, a birch beer, and some Taskycakes.

You Know You're From South Jersey When...

You don't "go to the beach", you go "down the shore".

In your mind you hear "watch out for the tram car please" even in your sleep.

You've had arguments over cheesesteak quality.

When it snows more than an inch, you call it a blizzard.

You know someone named Siprasiut Xayapachan.

You've actually found the Echelon Mall.

Your uncle is in the mafia.

You or your friends have Lyme Disease.

You don't understand why there aren't more 24-hour diners elsewhere in the country.

You know what a Wawa is, and know the location of at least 15 of them.

You know what became of the 13th Leeds child, and claim to have seen him one time while peeing in the woods.

One time you were driving in the woods and got stuck in sand.

You have an EZ Pass, but you just hold it up.

Even though there's a new Wal-Mart in your town, you still go to the Berlin Farmers Market for cheap stuff.

Your neighborhood demonstrates co-existence of African-Americans and racist rednecks.

You know that you should get the hell out of Camden before dark.

Your car is covered with yellow-green dust in April ann May.

You buy Shop-Rite brand food at Shop-Rite.

Honesty, sincerity, and courtesy are things you once saw happen in Ohio.

You know how to successfully handle a traffic circle.

You think the Olive Garden is a bunch of crap and should not open restaurants in South Jersey.

You worked at a blueberry farm when you were 13.

You played soccer from Kindergarten through high school.

You've counted the number of titty bars on the Black Horse Pike.

You always went to the Franklin Institute when you were a kid.

Your middle school hangout was the mall.

You have an unusable, piece-of-shit boat in your front yard.

You once skipped school and went to Wildwood.

You're Italian.

You know where to get the best bagel.

You've called someone an "asshole" to their face at the Philly airport.

You say "water" weird.

Even your school made good Italian subs, but you call them hoagies.

You've almost fallen asleep on the Expressway.

You've lived through hurricanes, nor'easters and fires, but have never seen a tornado, earthquake or volcano.

You can't believe MTV went to Seaside Heights.

You know that ACME is an actual store, not just a Warner Bros. creation.

You never had school on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

You take day trips to New York City.

The mafia runs half the businesses in your town.

You have mandatory recycling. Enforced by law.

In the woods behind your house, you can find couches, washing machines, and shoes.

You don't have to go to Red Lobster to get fresh seafood.

You go to at least one parade at the boardwalk each year.

You've made a meal out of Tastycakes, Herr's BBQ potato chips, and Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer.

You know the Atlantic City High School marching band can lay down some phat beats.

You know New Years is all about the Mummers and the Polar Bear club.

You smoke Parliament Lights.

You go to the local Fire Department barbeque in June.

Down the road, in the middle of nowhere, is an Egyptian restaurant and a custard stand with a minature golf course.

You know what custard is in South Jersey.

You can go bowling at 1:30 A.M. (with automatic scoring!)

In high school, you worked at a Friendly's.

Route 206 doesn't freak you out at night.

One time, a sea gull shit all over your head.

You once said, "It smells like Philadelphia in here."

You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little different".

Your mom still loves Bruce Springsteen.

You know it can be -10 degrees and 70 degrees in January in the same year.

There's a fruit and vegetable stand down the road.

You will always say "YO", and you'll say it often.

You scoff at tourists in Philadelphia.

Your town has an online commmunity.

At least one person brings Big Fizz to a party.

You go to another state and sit at a gas station wondering when the people will come out to pump your gas.

You have your own bucket for carmel corn refills.

You know that no matter how much they put into the Camden waterfront Camden is still Camden.

You have to mail your relocated friends tastykakes.

You think North Jersey is a different state and South Jersey deserves its own secession.

Your high school prom was at the Camden Aquarium or The Mansion in Voorhees.

You have season passes to Great Adventure.

You refuse to call Hoagies "subs."

You know where Olga's Diner is on rt 70.

You are tired of people not believing you're from jersey because you don't have a New York accent.

You drive by a farm every time you get in the car.

You know what "jimmies" are and refuse to call them anything else.

Eastern Regional High School has a rip list every year!

Your neighbor is either a painter, a plumber, a builder, or an electrician with a work truck in the driveway.

You have crossed all 5 bridges into Philly at one point in your life.

You take day trips to philly to walk on South Street.

You have had a near or close call experiences hitting a deer with your car.

You run around in the nearest patch of woods and play paint ball with your buddies.

You've considered renaming "the Garden State" to "the Hoagie State"

You have a story about the "Hell Hole" ride in Wildwood.

You remember the ducks in the middle of Cherry Hill Mall.

You call the Berlin Farmer's Market the Berlin Auction or the Auction.

You took your report card to Clementon Park for free tickets.

You've had some of the best parties in a field.

Other people dont know what funnel cake and water ice is because everyone else calls it fried dough and slush.

You went "diner hopping" till the sun came up.

You don't acknoledge that it is tomorrow until either you go to sleep or the sun comes up.

You know where to buy a katana for less than $50.

You go on dates to diners and arcades.

You have empty Wawa half gallon iced tea bottles all over your car and room.

You've ever driven around aimlessly for hours with your friends saying "So, whatta we doin?"

You've ever said the phrase "look at fricken MacGyver over here!"

You know the difference betwine the train and the speedline.

The term "I think of you as a brother" turns into a whole family tree.

You ever drove all the way to the shore just to walk around for 5 minutes then drive back.

Your memories of places all consist of what you did there once when you were fucked up.

You ever went over someone's house to hang out with their mom.

You have a knife collection, a PS2, a cell phone, a pager, and a computer but you can't afford to get your car fixed.

One of your hangouts is a parking lot.

You say "'lanic city", instead of Atlantic City.

You can't get that sand out of your toes no matter how long it's been there.

You haven't been able to find a decent stromboli since moving out of South Jersey.

You've seen a shack with a satellite dish.

You know that a Jug Handle is both a feature of the highway and a bar that looks like someone's house in Maple Shade.

You know of at least 3 bars where you know they won't card you.

You lived near a "crick" not a creek.

You don't recognize any one at your family reunion.

You say "gimme" instead of give me, or "com' mer" instead of come here.

You know a Chrissy and we all know she's gotten around!

You think we should sell north "Joisey" to New York for $24.

Everyone eventually starred at the Latin Casino.

You never could figure out which was the Black Horse Pike or The White Horse Pike.

You're a female and have beaten the crap out of at least one guy who wasn't your brother.

You ever taken your parents car while they were asleep or away, before you were old enough to drive.

You ever cut your foot on a broken bottle in a local stream.

You have gotten bad poison ivy from hiding in a bush to make weird noises at the people passing by.

There is a dead body somewhere in or near the stream by your house.

You have to drive at least 30-60 minutes to get to work in order to make more than $10 an hour.

You know what "pulling a camper" means and do it publicly when it is necessary.

You know that a "Yield" sign is merely a suggestion.

You've considered going to your high school late at night to check for ghosts in the halls rumoured haunted.

You think pit bulls are harmless.

You don't think you have an accent.

Half your high school went to Camden County College.

You know what the song "V-town" is about.

Your front yard is made out of stones.

Everything is "twenty minutes away". If you ask how long it takes to get any place in South Jersey, the person always says, "about twenty minutes". To get to a mall, "Oh, about 20 minutes". To get to the airport, "Mmm, about 20 minutes." To get from Runnemede to Philly, "Only about 20 minutes". Try it. Only the shore areas take more than "twenty minutes". They're usually "an hour and twenty minutes."

Thrift shopping with friends is an event.

You've intentionally stood in front of the tram car, and you're upset that it no longer stutters.

You remember the old Morey's Pier before the fire.

Your parents gave in and bought you a hermit crab when you were down the shore.

You curse off three drivers in two minutes.

You went to StoryBook Land as a kid.

You haven't moved out of state soley for the reason you know the food is that bad everywhere else.


You know the one-day sale at JC Penny's really lasts three.

You live in a "dry town" and every road out of it has a liquor store at the town border.

Every time someone in Hollywood makes fun of Jersey, you're mad and proud at the same time.

Your big elementary school trip was to Springdale Farms.

You know what the conductor is going to say for every stop on the PATCO HighSpeedline.

Your neighborhood has a name that ties people together, as in "the kids"

Your shoes have turned black from being in Pennsauken.

You know at least 5 people who work at a prison.

You say "porta reeko" instead of puerto rico, as it should be pronounced.

You go to college and describe where you live in reference to how far you are from Cherry Hill.

You come home from college for christmas break and 75% of your HS graduating class is at the same diner you are at 3am.

You aren't scared of the speed line.

You don't even care when you leave your door unlocked.

More than one of your friends has spent more than a week at your house.

You've lived in a row home.

Making left turns just doesn't feel right anymore.

You have a super secret place to sled that in better than anywhere else in town!

You remember The Garden State Race Track and the day it burnt to the ground and all the tons of ashes that fell for miles.

You can spend the day at the Berlin Auction shopping at the outside flea market.

"Jeet?" makes sense when you hear it.

The only thing you can play on guitar is "Stairway to Heaven"

You were amazed Moorsetown was on MTV Cribs.

A member of your family does not have all of their teeth.

You know Voorhees used to be known as Kirkwood.

You had a birthday party at Xhilarama.

You've been to 2 or more festivals named after some kind of fruit (strawberry, apple, blueberry, lima bean).

You're astounded when a friend that moves tells you theres not a Wawa nor CVS withen a 10 mile radius of them.

Going to New York is a huge trip but Philly is someplace to go when you're bored.

You think Amish people are amazing.

Your whole school knows when each water ice place opens, and the line goes on forever!

You would drop everything you were doing and run to the voting polls right now if you heard we were voting to make North and South Jersey separate states.

Summer is a process, not a season.

You've ever been to Wheaton Village.

You know which places were built on indian burial grounds.

You've slept behind a Wawa.

You remember Caldor.

You've had a dinner with your friends for less than $3.

You don't know that in every other state, people get their liscenses when they're 16.

Everyone you know has had Confirmation but never goes to church.

After seeing a movie at the Ritz, you hang out at Tunes and then play Scrabble at Coffeeworks.

You know all of the "back roads" to get everywhere and prefer them to the expressway.

You think a mountain is any landform taller than your house.

You know what a "shoe-bie" is and can pick one out at the beach.

You go to Delaware to buy smokes.

You can name all the flavors of salt water taffy.

You can smell and know when it's low tide.

You remember the bad gypsy moth years.

You eat at restaurants that have locations I, II, III, IV, and V.

You know that you don't put ketchup on boardwalk fries.

You get three 50's in a row when you play skeeball.

Donald Trump is mentioned at least daily in your local paper.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from south Jersey.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Book Geek

I think everyone and his dog's already linked to this Top 20 Geek Novels poll, but what the heck, it's my turn now. I note with some interest, but not much surprise, that of the 20 books, I've read 17. Two more, Cryptonomicon and The Illuminatus! Trilogy are still languishing on my To-Read Pile. Weirdly, I've never even heard of The Trouble with Lichen, despite having read some of Wyndham's other stuff. Is that one something that's much better known in the UK than the US? Or did it have a different title here, maybe?

Anyway, of the ones I have read, I can't really quibble with the choice of any of them, although it's certainly easy enough to name ones that might have made the list and didn't. OK, I think Stranger in a Strange Land turns from a good book into a, um, less good book partway though, Nineteen Eighty-Four is kind of tedious, and Dune, while interesting, is decidedly overrated. Oh, and The Color of Magic is easily Pratchett's weakest, though I assume it's pretty much there as a representation of the Discworld series as a whole. But even those ones are the sorts of things any geek ought to be familiar with, in the interests of geekish cultural literacy, and I'd definitely recommend any of the others.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cold and Tired, I Walk the Earth.

Bah. It's very cold and very dark outside, there's an evil, evil wind that's been blowing for two days, I finally have to go back to work after all that time off, and now my car won't start. I think the battery's probably just dead. The evil wind apparently blew my trunk open yesterday. (Presumably it hadn't latched properly, but, still, that tells you just how evil this wind is.) My guess would be that it had been open like that for hours by the time I noticed it, and the trunk light was on long enough to drain the battery. Still, it's a little late to go about looking for someone to give me a jump, so I guess I'm going to be walking in to work tonight. That in itself isn't what makes me unhappy; I've walked much farther in much worse weather. What makes me unhappy is that I seem to be in one of those odd winter moods where you don't want to do anything at all but get under a blanket with a cup of hot cider and try to forget the world outside exists, and I can't. Bah, I say.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Geek Primers

Via my e-buddy John Hall, here's a couple of amusing and highly opinionated articles on the history of Doctor Who and Star Trek. The Who one actually might be usefully informative for new viewers wondering what the heck this show is about and where it comes from, though I should perhaps mention that it features the infamous "Katy Manning naked with a Dalek" picture, and thus is NSFW. The Trek one is a little harsh, but not, in my opinion at least, entirely unfair. I certainly agree with their assessment of Voyager: "Not awful in the sense of the brain-stealing aliens of the original series, but more in the sense of the numbingly tedious formulaic tripe mentality that won television its reputation as a vast wasteland.'" Ah, too true, too true.
I Have Absolutely Nothing to Add to This.

Betty's Random Movie Quote:

'Sorry I'm late. I was taking a crap.'

- Henry Gondroff, The Sting

Take this quiz at

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Pop Culture Randomosity

I forgot to mention it, but I did get out to see the new Harry Potter movie over the weekend. I haven't been a big fan of the HP movies, as every one of them has seemed to me to have developed serious pacing problems in the book-to-movie transition, and I had some plot problems with Goblet of Fire to begin with, so my expectations weren't all that high, but I enjoyed it anyway. There wasn't nearly enough Snape, of course, but he did get to steal one scene completely without so much as uttering a word of dialog, and you can't not like that. And David Tennant makes one damned cool bad guy.

Speaking of whom... Just in case there are any Doctor Who fans in the audience who don't know about this already, there was a short snippet of new Who that aired in the UK last week as part of a charity program, and it can be seen online here. It picks up right where the last episode left off, so, naturally, it's spoilery if you haven't seen the last season. Man, I am so looking forward to the Christmas special. Even more than I already was, I mean.
A Very Mellow Turkey Day

To my fellow Americans: Happy Thanksgiving! I'm not doing much of anything special for the holiday... I had an invite to dinner with a friend's family in Albuquerque, but, man, after all the travelling I just got back from, somehow I just can't face the 2-hour-plus round-trip into the city. (Said friend offered to stop by and pick me up on his way up from Las Cruces so I didn't have to drive, which was nice of him, but he was going to be coming through at about 6:30 in the morning, so, um... No. Just no. Especially since I'm starting night shifts next week.) The weekend apparently just wiped me out, 'cause I'm still tired. I just really hope I'm not coming down with anything.

Anyway, so, I'm just going to hang out here in town, probably go and see some friends later and eat their food, because that's what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Kitten Pics!

Yes, I finally managed to get my scanner working (by virtue of switching it off and on a lot, mostly), and thus, at long last, by uproarious popular demand, I present Unbearably Cute Pics of Vir the Kitten! Yaaaay!

I'm not sure how old he is in this one, but it can't be more than a couple of weeks. For reference, that bunny, minus the ears, is just a smidge bigger than my fist.

Here he is lying on his teeny little back. His belly's much furrier now, by the way.

See what I mean about being the cutest thing ever in the history of cute?

You can see him getting bigger...

I think this was the first day I let him out of quarantine, so he would have been just over six weeks.

Cats and books are two of the very best things ever.

Snoozin' in my bed.

Vir says, "How did I get up here?"

"I think I'll just stretch out on your dirty pajamas..."

"...and take a nice little nap."

Not a kitten pic, but I include it because I suspect that this is what happened to my scanner:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Well, I now have kitten pictures, but my scanner doesn't seem to be working. Possibly because the cats like to lie on top of it, I don't know.


Monday, November 21, 2005

I survived the Farscape convention, and have returned in one piece! The cats also survived my absence, and clearly Vir was being well-fed, because, man is he growing. He certainly was not this big when I left him! And his eyes are definitely more green than blue now, too.

More blogging later, perhaps, when I'm less tired and have caught up on some of the zillion things awaiting me on my arrival. In the meantime, have a meme:

You scored as SG-1 (from Stargate). You are versatile and diverse in your thinking. You have an open mind to that which seems highly unlikely and accept it with a bit of humor. Now if only aliens would stop trying to take over your body.

Coming on December 1, 2005:
Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? The Sequel

SG-1 (from Stargate)


Moya (from Farscape)


Bebop (from Cowboy Bebop)


Millennium Falcon (from Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (from The Matrix)


Serenity (from Firefly)


Enterprise D (from Star Trek)


Galactica (from Battlestar: Galactica)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

Damn it, why couldn't I get a show I actually watch?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No Kitten, and Soon No Me

No kitten pics yet, I'm afraid, as the film wasn't ready. Oh, well, it'll give you guys something to look forward to when I get back, right? Heck, if I have to miss the kitty and his cuddly fuzzy cuteness for four days, you can miss it, too. Man, I keep lamenting about how I don't want to leave him and wondering if I can pack him in my suitcase... And then, usually, he jumps up on me with all his claws extended and bites at my hands while I'm trying to type or something, and the thought occurs that it might actually be nice to get a break from him for a while.

Where am I off to, then, you ask? Well, like the truly massive geek I am, I am off to attend a Farscape convention in Burbank, California. I'm looking forward to it, if only because it'll give me a chance to meet a lot of people who've been nothing more than names on a screen to me for many years. (No, I don't mean the actors; I mean other fans.)

There will likely be no blog updates while I'm away (although I always seem to say that and then find some time and net access somewhere and do it anyway, so who knows), but I'll doubtless force you to listen to my geektastic ravings when I get back.

In the meantime, since it seems to have become something of a tradition to list the books I'm taking with me when I travel, this weekend's list is:

Vanishing Point by Stephen Cole (Unless I finish it first; I've only got about 50 pages left).
Do You Speak American? by Robert MacNeil and William Cran
The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Hey, if I get stuck in Las Vegas airport, I want to be prepared! Because slot machines do not entertain me at all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Musical Fortunetelling, Revisited

I did a variation on this meme a while back, but I think this version has more questions, and, heck, it's fun enough to do twice. For those of you who missed it the first time, you cue up iTunes,or whatever other music-playing system you have, set it on random shuffle, and let the resultant playlist answer all your most important questions.

(Um, you don't need to be a "hardhat atheist" to know that this is entirely for amusement value and doesn't actually reveal any Profound Secrets, right?)

So I fired up my trusty Rio Karma, which contains my entire music collection and then some, and received the following, er, interesting results.

Question: What do you think of me, iTunes Karma?

Answer: "Story of Isaac" (Susan Vega, covering Leonard Cohen)

Um... I have no idea what that means, but I find it disturbing.

Question: Will I have a happy life?

Answer: "A Winter Snowscape" (Jethro Tull)

Hmm. Winter's not usually associated with happiness...

Question: What do my friends really think of me?

Answer: "This Town in the Rain" (Anthony Stewart Head)

They think I'm annoying and wet?

Question: Do people secretly lust after me?

Answer: "Play It All Night Long" (Warren Zevon)

Translation: Yes, but it a really creepy and disgusting way.

Question: What should I do with my life?

Answer: "Dawn's Lament" (Michelle Trachtenberg)

I should angst in annoying teenage fashion about how nobody notices me?

Question: Why must life be so full of pain?

Answer: "Peter Parker" (The Great Luke Ski)

It's all the fault of those damned radioactive spiders!

Question: How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?

Answer: "Quietly Making Noise" (Jimmy Buffett)

Well, that's pretty clear, at least.

Question: Will I ever have children?

Answer: "Wherever You Will Go" (The Calling)

I'll have kids following me everywhere? Aargh!

Question: Will I die happy?

Answer: "Songs from the Wood" (Jethro Tull)

That seems like a pretty unambiguous "yes." I'll not only die happy, I'll die feeling much better than I could know!

Question: Can you give me some advice?

Answer: "Available Light" (Rush).

I should buy light bulbs, maybe?

Question: What do you think happiness is?

Answer: Scherzo, Episode 1, Part 1 (Big Finish Productions)

Happiness is Doctor Who! Well, I kind of knew that already.

Question: What's my favorite fetish?

Answer: "'Ya-Hoo' Main Title" (The Simpsons)

Oh, yeah, that Yodelin' Zeke totally does it for me.

Question: Am I a complete freak?

Answer: "Living in the Past" (Jethro Tull)

Yes, I am a Jethro Tull-loving freak who is stuck in the past.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By The Way...

For all those who've been bugging me about kitten pics, I dropped the roll of film off to be developed yesterday, so there will be pictures soon, I promise! Though I'm not sure how soon... I'm leaving town for a few days -- more on that later, I'm sure -- and if they're not done by Wednesday, I might not have time to scan any in before I go.
I Don't Think I'm That Bad. I Mean, I Respect The Rights of Everybody Else to Be Completely and Stupidly Wrong.


You are an atheist, a rationalist, a believer in the triumph of science and of reason over libido. You can't stand mumbo jumbo, ritual, spiritual nonsense of any kind, and you refuse to allow for these longings in others.

Astrologers, Scientologists and new-age crytal ball creeps are no different in your view from priests, rabbis and imams. They're all just weak-minded pilgrims on the road to easy answers. Nature as revealed by science is awesome enough for you, but it's a nature that needs curbing and taming by us on our evolutionary journey to perfection.

Your heros are Einstein, Darwin, Marx and -- these days -- Gould, Blakemore, Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin. Could you be hiding a little behind those absolutist views, worried that, if you let in a few doubts and contradictory ideas, the whole edifice might crumble? Loosen up a bit and try to enjoy the amazing variety of human belief systems. Don't worry -- it's unlikely you'll end up chanting your days away in some distant mountain cult.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

I mean, OK, I agree with that whole first paragraph, sure (except for the "refuse to allow for" part, because you've got to allow for things that exist, don't you?). And I suppose I'd even agree with most of the second, although a) I wouldn't put it that bluntly, and b) I'm extremely leery of phrases like "evolutionary journey to perfection." I'll go with Einstein and Darwin as heroes, absolutely, but Marx? Um, no. And, hey, where's Dawkins on that list o' scientists? And I really don't know where they're getting that "hiding behind absolutist views" thing. I said I'd sew my kid's nativity play costume, doggone it! Despite the fact that I don't have a kid and can't sew. (Actually, they didn't have an option for what I actually would have done in that situation, which is to see it as an opportunity to talk to the kid about religious beliefs, religion's place in society, what it's like to participate in a religious activity for a belief system you don't share, and how to respect other people's beliefs and culture without giving in to pressures to conform to them. So there.)

Monday, November 14, 2005


I have phones again. Yay! Except that means that whatever the hell 800-number it is that keeps calling me at annoying hours of the morning will probably be back at it again.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Communications Breakdown

I just suddenly realized when I went to make a (thankfully utterly unimportant) phone call that I have no dial tone in my house. I can't exactly tell, but I have the strong suspicion that the stucco guys accidentally disconnected some wires while they were wrapping my house up in black paper and wire mesh. (It's really quite interesting looking at the moment!)

I've e-mailed the contractors. If they can figure out what (if anything) they did and fix it, then yay. Otherwise, I'll call the phone company on Monday. 'Til then, well, for those very few of you who have my cell phone number, I'll try to actually check the messages. The rest of you will just have to contact me by e-mail if you have a desperate urge to communicate with me. Which, frankly, is how I generally prefer to talk to people, anyway.
Well, I Suppose I Could Do Worse As a Motto.

Fun is most important in your life.

Having a high focus on fun indicates that you value your own enjoyment over anything else. And there is nothing wrong with that. Your motto is we're here for a good time - not a long time.

Life Piechart -
Take this quiz at

Mind you, I don't think my definition of "fun" is quite the same as most people's...
Your Irregularly-Scheduled Dose of Random Linkage

The new design for the Cybermen: I'm honestly not quite sure how I feel about this. The head looks fine, but, as someone put it, the body looks kinda like it belongs on Power Rangers. On the other hand, as someone else put it, it wouldn't really be Doctor Who if the aliens didn't look a bit cheesy.

Steve, Don't Eat It: Steve eats really disgusting things so that you don't have to. Bizarrely compelling, and possibly useful to dieters as an appetite suppressant.

Excerpts from one-star book reviews on Amazon: Deeply amusing. Though I have some sympathy with the complaint that The Great Gatsby is "no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops."

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Keep Thinking About That Guy in Fight Club With His Fridge Full of Nothing But Condiments.

Today's big accomplishment: cleaning out the refrigerator. After disposing of any items which appeared to be ice-encrusted, or deeply ancient, or both, I note that my fridge contains the following items:

2 mostly-full 10-lb. bags of coffee beans (cinnamon hazelnut and mocha java flavored)
1 low-fat french bread pizza
1 low-fat turkey dinner
1 boneless chicken breast

Carton of orange juice
Carton of 2% milk
Half a jug of spiced apple cider
Can of coffee
5 eggs that are actually well past their use-by date, but probably won't kill me
Tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
Half a can of chicken broth
1 ear of corn on the cob
Blackberry wine cooler left over from several New Year's Eves ago
Tiny amount of Zesty Italian salad dressing
Jar of sweet pickles
Half a bottle of BBQ sauce

I have the feeling this all says something telling about me, really.
Things I Really Should Have Learned By Now, #9,742

Note to self: You should not read books about space shuttle disasters in public, because at some point you will want to start crying, and that's just embarrassing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I'm Sure This Will Surprise No One Who Knows Me.

"Intellectually" Intelligent

You're 'Intellectually Intelligent.' That pretty much means that you're good with theoretical ideas and concepts - but this comes to you naturally. More or less, you're a natural brainiac. Good for you.

30% theoretical intelligence
60% natural intelligence

Take this quiz at
This Again

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A greenish-blue t-shirt that says "Visit the Triassic: Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona," with a picture of some proto-dinosauric critters I probably knew the name of once. White socks. Brown belt. Black sneakers.

Current mood: Eh, kind of tired. I was feeling a bit cranky, too, but now that I'm off work that's ebbing a bit. Day shift does that to me, though.

Current music: No music today so far, but earlier I was listening to a Doctor Who audio play, Neverland. Very cool story.

Current annoyance: Living in a country full of idiots who think they can legislate the word "science" into meaning whatever they'd like it to mean and bigots who apparently think that allowing gay people to marry will ruin marriage for heterosexuals in, as far as I can tell, much the same way that letting blacks into the country club ruins being rich for white people.

Current thing: Counting the days until my vacation.

Current desktop picture: Still the same picture of heavenly bodies over the St. Lawrence River as last time. It's pretty, but I should change it soon.

Current song in head: The extremely loud hammering coming from about a foot away from my ear right now is utterly driving out any music that might otherwise lodge itself in my brain. (See "current worry." Also note that it says something about the depth of my annoyance with aforementioned bigots and idiots that this does not actually constitute my "current annoyance.")

Current book: Comm Check...: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia by Michael Cabbage and William Harwood.

Current video in player: Still nothin'.

Current DVD in player: Disc 3 of season 1 of The West Wing. I'm still liking this show a lot, due in large part to its terrific dialog and well-acted, sympathetic characters. I am starting to come to the conclusion that the writers are better at setting up story arcs than they are on following through on them, but I think I'm prepared to forgive them that. Heck, dangling threads and anticlimaxes even sort of add realism, when you can get away with them. And this show has spurred me to change my usual answer to a question I get asked surprisingly often: "If you could pick any fictional universe to live in, what would it be?" I usually say Iain Banks' "Culture," due to my intense longing not to have to work for a living and to be free to devote all my time to my entirely trivial hobbies without social censure. But somebody pointed out to me recently that that might not be the best choice, what with all the massive interstellar violence and stuff. So, instead, I want to live in this strange alternate universe where honest, intelligent, compassionate, progressive politicians not only exist, but they can actually get elected to the White House. I'd vote for Bartlet. Hell, I'd campaign for Bartlet.

Current refreshment: Mango-passionfruit tea.

Current worry: So, I've got contractors working on my house right now to give it a nice new coat of stucco, because the company that holds my homeowner's insurance insisted. That's fine, actually. 'cause it really did badly need to be done. Problem is, it's gonna cost $6,400, and I have $4,900 in the bank. (Or did, before I made the first payment to the contractors.) No big deal, I figured. I also have a credit limit from hell; I can put the extra $1,500 on credit and pay it back in a couple of months. Only the contractor won't take a credit card, there doesn't seem to be any way to just transfer funds from the card to my bank account, the ATM won't give me that much in cash, and I threw out the "convenience checks" they sent me because I was certain I'd never use them. Sigh.

Current thought: I kind of hope these contractors are punctual going-home-at-5:00 types, because that pounding is starting to get on my nerves. And, hey, if they work slow, maybe it'll give me more time to figure out how to get the money.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Talking to Myself

I just sent some e-mails to the me of the future. I bet she doesn't answer them, though. The jerk.

Friday, November 04, 2005

State of the Kitten Report

Well, little Vir is seven weeks old tonight! He seems to still be doing very well. I'm letting him out and about the house now while I'm home, and that's proving much less problematical than I'd feared. He doesn't like to be out of sight of me for long, unless he's in the safe haven of Kitten World (aka the master bathroom), which makes it pretty easy to keep an eye on him. Aside from an unfortunate tendency to want to chew on my speaker wires when I put him on top of the computer desk, he hasn't seemed terribly inclined to do anything especially destructive or dangerous. And the other cats haven't offered him violence yet, although they do both hiss at him if he comes too close.

There's an amusing pattern developing there, by the way. Sweet, mellow little Happiness will hiss and glare and not do a whole lot else. Nova, the twelve-pound bully-cat, will hiss and then run away. Lately, I've started noticing that when Happiness hisses at Vir, his tail instantly goes between his legs in a submissive gesture. After an encounter with Nova, though, often as not the fur on his tail is standing up in that defensive/aggressive kind of way. Yes, my cats are sorting out the new hierarchy, and it looks like the one-pound kitten may not be at the bottom of it, thanks to the fact that Nova, like so many bullies, is a massive coward. (He only gets away with it with Happiness because she lets him, and has since he was not much bigger than Vir.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Strange Connections

I just got this really odd e-mail from (Well, technically, I got it a few days ago, but I'm backed on my e-mail, OK?) It said, "We've noticed that customers who have purchased 'Babylon 5 - The Complete Fifth Season' also purchased 'The Partridge Family - The Complete Second Season' on DVD."

Possibly there is some connection between the two shows, but trying to think of one just makes my brain hurt.