Sunday, December 31, 2006

Deep-Sixing '06

Happy New Year, everybody! Or happy End of the Old Year, depending on exactly where you live. There's still another six or seven hours left of 2006 where I am, and I'm intending to spend the rest of it slacking off; having already made a very poor showing of doing anything genuinely productive today, the only sensible thing seems to be to give up on it completely. So I'm going to go and hang out with some friends, watch some movies, and maybe even have a drink or three... Which, honestly, really does count as a wild party time for me.

Have fun, all, and be safe! I'll see ya in 2007!

Cat Scratch Fever!

Wow, I can tell I'm out of allergy pills. Every time I get cuddled by a cat, my skin feels like it's on fire.

Note to self: go to the pharmacy tomorrow, if it's open.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Set a Course for El Paso, Warp Factor 5!

A friend of mine -- hello and thanks, Captain Chlorophyll! -- sent me an old clipping from an El Paso newspaper (which I was also able to find an online copy of, if you're curious). It's from 2002, when the city was about to host its first Star Trek convention, for which occasion they were commissioning a plaque to mark the site of Gene Roddenberry's birthplace. "We can become a big Trekkie town," said an El Paso city representative. And, honestly, I'm bothering to share this mainly just because that quote, for some reason, cracks me up completely.

I have to say, I haven't exactly heard of El Paso having become "a big Trekkie town" in the last four years, but I admit to having been a bit out of the Trekkish loop lately. And, hey, if it works for Riverside, Iowa...

Sniffle and Blah

I have a cold. Waaaaah!

OK, OK, it's not actually all that bad. Even the wimpy decongestants the government is willing to trust me with seem to be enough to knock out most of the stuffiness. But I still feel like I want to crawl back under a blanket and spend the entire day watching Mythbusters and drinking herbal tea.

But, instead, I will go in to work, like the diligent, self-sacrificing person I am. Probably.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Maximum Verbosity Does Home Electronics

In other news, I did finally buy myself a digital camera. (Or at least I ordered it; it should be here in the early days of the new year.) Many thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and advice! I eventually ended up settling on the Canon Powershot A410, which was recommended to me by someone who said they owned one and were happy with it. The various reviews and customer feedback I looked at gave the strong impression of Canon as a reliable brand, and this particular camera as a good machine that's easy to use for the digital-camera novice and well-featured for the price. So I'm feeling pretty good about it!

It's only 3.2MP, though. My mother tried hard to convince me that anything less than 5MP was undesirable, but everything else I've read and everyone else I've consulted suggests that for normal-size photos 3.2 should be just fine. Hey, it's not the first time I've failed to listen to my mother...

I've also ordered some more memory for my PC, which is currently limping along like a small child trying to carry a Saint Bernard. Here's hoping fumble-fingered me can actually manage to open 'er up and install the thing without any hardware-related catastrophes. But if I suddenly drop off the face of the internet in a week or so, you can probably make a good guess as to why.

Baby, It's Slightly Chilly Outside.

I suppose it says something about the weather here that I only just today realized that I never unpacked any of my winter sweaters...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Joy for the Incorrigible Introvert

A very merry Christmas to all who celebrate, in whatever capacity!

I went out yesterday for a big turkey meal and some socializing (well, OK, gaming) with friends, and that was fun, but I'm opting for a nice, quiet, relaxing day today. I've got presents to open as soon as I've finished up my coffee, I've got apple pie and spiced chai for later, and I've got the Mythbusters holiday special on my TiVo. (Hey, that's my kind of seasonal programming!) And I'll doubtless talk to all my scattered family members on the phone.

Yeah, that sounds just about perfect to me...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Think It's Past Time For Some Random Links!

Scary Mary: A trailer for Mary Poppins, remixed to make it look like a horror film. I think this one's been linked to by half the net already, but in case you haven't seen it, here it is.

Build a Dalek to Scare Drinkers: A news item about some guy who built a Dalek and uses it to scare drunken students. Hey, I can think of worse hobbies.

Verizon Math: Listen and weep as some poor bastard tries repeatedly to explain to the brain-dead Verizon employees who are providing his internet access that .002 cents and .002 dollars are, in fact, different amounts of money. Or if you can't make it through that because you've rendered yourself insensible from beating your head against a wall in sympathy, you can read the transcript on the VerizonMath blog. Apparently he's running a t-shirt design contest over there, too.

Attack of the Sprouts: Smash the evil brussel sprouts before they force you to eat them! It's a fun game for all right-minded evil-green-vegetable-hating people.

How to Wrap a Christmas Present: Santa teaches you how to wrap your gifts up all purty. Except that, man, he's doing pretty much exactly what I do, and mine always come out looking like they've been wrapped by a half-trained chimp.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tis Still The Season

OK, I'm ready for it to be Christmas now.

For what seems like weeks, I've constantly found myself deciding that whatever it is I'm thinking about doing ought to be put off until "after the holidays." There's something I want to buy for myself? Better put it off until after the holidays, lest someone else has decided to pluck it off my wishlist and buy it for me. There are things I know nobody's going to get for me which I really need to buy? Better put it off until after the holidays, so I don't have to fight the last-minute Christmas shoppers. I ought to make an appointment for the dentist/the doctor/a haircut/the vet? Eh, better put it off until after the holidays, when things'll be less hectic and it'll be easier to schedule.

Geez, isn't it "after the holidays" yet? Besides, I've got presents to open, and they've been sitting there forever.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Half-Awake Weather-Related Post

Oooh. Snow.

Gosh, What a Surprise User Test: The Trekkie Test.

I would say more about this, but I have to go re-arrange my Deep Space 9 action figures. One of the cats has been tussling with Garak again...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

In Which I Solicit Consumer Advice

I've got some Christmas money coming, apparently, that's sort of been earmarked towards buying a digital camera, since I've been saying for months that I really need to get one, the better to post pictures of my cats on the internet like any decent, normal person. I know very little about cameras, though, digital or otherwise, so if anybody has any suggestions for good brands or for places to shop, I'll be glad to hear them. I'm not looking for anything remotely professional-quality, just something inexpensive and easy to use. I'm really hoping not to have to spend more than a couple hundred bucks, at the most.

Also, I have at last come to the conclusion that I really, really need to get a laptop. Or at least, I really, really want to get a laptop, which is close enough to "need" for my purposes. So any helpful thoughts/suggestions/comments on what to look for and what to avoid in the laptop department are also extremely welcome.

Mob Opera

There's no particular reason why I haven't updated for a few days. I've just been lazy. Lazy and boring.

But, what the heck, we'll call it time for another installment of What Betty's Watching, I've just finished the latest DVD release of The Sopranos. It's kind of surprising just how much I like this show, because, basically? It's a soap opera. I always used to think I hated soap operas, but I've come to realize that most of the traditional elements of soaps are in fact things that appeal to me. Complex, ongoing storylines in which we get to follow all the intimate details of various characters' lives.... Bring it on! What I actually hate is the kind of people that soap operas -- at least, US soap operas -- always seem to be about. Beautiful, glamorous people who are obsessed with their love lives and get hugely melodramatic about everything bore me. Hell, they actively repulse me. But give me something structured like a soap and make it about gangsters, and I'm totally there. Gangsters are interesting, and, while they're also kind of repulsive, they're repulsive in ways that are entertaining rather than painfully annoying to watch. (Possibly this is because I have had negative experiences with beautiful, shallow, melodramatic people going at least back to junior high school, but, despite living in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for years, I have never had any traumatic personal experiences with the mafia.)

Which isn't to say there aren't any painfully annoying characters on The Sopranos, but the cool thing about that show is that the characters you keep wishing would die horribly often do. Ah, if only that were the case on certain other programs.

Honestly, the only thing that could possibly be better than a soap opera with gangsters would be a soap opera with gangsters in space. Because I firmly believe that everything is better if it's set in space. (Note: if any network executives happen to be reading this and are interested in this idea, I am easily reachable via e-mail.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Or Possibly I'm Just a Butterfly Dreaming All of This.

I woke up this morning -- too damned early -- to the sound of someone using a jackhammer practically right outside my window. Somehow, despite the noise, I managed to get back to sleep... and proceeded to have a dream about being woken up too damned early by someone using a jackhammer outside my window.

I know dreams tend to incorporate bits of reality, but this kind of turnaround time is ridiculous! (Though, yes, I know, it was undoubtedly the sound that did it. It's hard to interpret a jackhammer as sounding like anything else, even if you are asleep.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Totally Knew the Traveling Wilburys Question.

Rock Star
You scored 98%!
You damn rock star. You know all the basics, and if you got any wrong, I bet it was that stupid Traveling Wilburys question.

Your friends are probably intimidated by your knowledge of classic rock and envy your impressive collection. When a classic rock song comes on the radio, you can probably identify it before the vocals kick in most of the time. You probably get good scores on the "maiden name of Clapton's mom" tests, too.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on notes

Link: The BASIC classic rock Test written by allmydays on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still The Same Old Blog

So, apparently when it says "Your new version of Blogger is ready!" in large, enthusiastic letters on my Blogger dashboard, it lies. Because I finally conquered my fear of change and clicked the link asking it to switch me over, and it promptly told me it couldn't, because my blog is too big. (Well, yeah, guys, it's not called "Maximum Verbosity" for nothing.) I am feeling oddly disappointed.

Also, the page telling me why I couldn't switch over seems to indicate that the new version still is considered to be in the beta stage, which isn't exactly what "ready" indicates to me, either. Well, never mind. I'll just sit here with my huge-ass blog and wait for the technology to catch up with me...

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Can't Help It If I Fear Change.

By the way, Blogger is now informing me that their new version is out of beta and ready for use and that I should switch to it, but I can't help but feel a little nervous, especially as I recall people who were using it while it was still in beta complaining about it rather loudly.

Is anybody out there currently using the new version of Blogger? How different is it?

I'm a Loser, Baby...

Loser- INTP
20% Extraversion, 66% Intuition, 53% Thinking, 46% Judging
Talked to another human being lately? I'm serious. You value knowledge
above ALL else. You love new ideas, and become very excited over
abstractions and theories. The fact that nobody else cares still hasn't
become apparent to you...

Nerd's a great word to describe you, and I seriously couldn't care less
about the different definitions of the word and why you're actually
more of a geek than a nerd. Don't pretend you weren't thinking that.
You want every single miniscule fact and theory to be presented

Critical? Sarcastic? Cynical? Pessimistic? Just a few words to describe
you when you're at your very best...*cough* Sorry, I mean worst.
Picking up the dudes or dudettes isn't something you find easy, but
don't worry too much about it. You can blame it on your personality
type now.

On top of all this, you're shy. Nice one, wench. No wonder you're on OKCupid!

Now, quickly go and delete everything about "theoretical questions"
from your profile page. As long as nobody tries to start a conversation
with you, just MAYBE you'll now have a chance of picking up a date. But
don't get your hopes up.

I am interested though. If a tree fell over in a forest, would it really make a sound?


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.


The other personality types are as follows...
Loner - Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Pushover - Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Criminal - Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Borefest - Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Almost Perfect - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Freak - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Crackpot - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Clown - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Sap - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Commander - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Do Gooder - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Scumbag - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Busybody - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Prick - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Dictator - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Extraversion
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Intuition
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Thinking
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Judging

Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Heh. I have to admit, they got me dead to rights. I was thinking about the shades of definition between "nerd" and "geek." Although, really, I'm not at all pessimistic and cynical! Except when I am...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Meme For All Months

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A black t-shirt I just bought at White Sands, with a lovely picture of sunset over the sands. White crew socks. Black sneakers.

Current mood: Pretty good. Kind of hungry.

Current music: The family road trip was pretty much a cavalcade of classic rock, featuring The Who, The Moody Blues, The Grateful Dead, and Jethro Tull. Since then, I've been catching up on my podcasts instead of listening to music, though.

Current annoyance: My computer keeps freezing up at random moments. I think it really needs some more memory. I hope that's all it really needs.

Current thing: Not going to work. Although I'm back there tomorrow, alas. It should be interesting, as they were supposed to be reorganizing everything while I was gone.

Current desktop picture: This picture of lightning at Kitt Peak Observatory.

Current song in head: "Dude Looks Like a Lady." Because I just got a calendar in the mail, but they sent me one with women on it when I ordered men. Don't look at me like that. It's very tasteful and intellectual. Really.

Current book: Adverbs by Daniel Handler.

Current DVD in player: Last weekend's episode of Torchwood.

Current refreshment: Water.

Current worry: That I'm going to end up with diabetes, given that there's a history of it on both sides of my family. Spending time with my dad really reminded me of it -- he and his wife both have it -- but it's something I've been mildly worried about for a while. I'll sometimes find myself feeling really thirsty and thinking, "uh-oh, is this a symptom?" and then having to remind myself that, no, you idiot, you just ate a bag of potato chips.

Current thought: Mmm... potato chips...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Meme For December

Write the first sentence from the first entry of every month.

OK, here we go. The Year in Maximum Verbosity:

January: Since it's sort of become traditional for some insane reason, I hereby present the complete list of all the books I read in 2005.

February: A friend of mine, on having located the relevant anthology and discovered that I had, in fact, correctly identified the author of a science fiction story he'd mentioned in passing to me months ago: "You're a scary, scary nerd."

March: I finished the Doctor Who commentaries today, while I was sitting around being mostly brain-dead from lack of sleep.

April: I wasn't feeling very well for much of the weekend.

May: I dropped a full cup of coffee onto the carpet in my hallway practically first thing this morning.

June: Well, that seems kind of pointless and silly.

July: Oh, god damn it.

August: So, last night -- well, this afternoon, technically -- I dreamed I was part of a group that was unearthing this ancient artifact from a cave.

September: There is very little in this world more intrinsically funny than a cat who's got his head stuck in a box of kleenex.

October: Thanks to the acquisition of the TiVo, my DVD-watching rate has dropped off enough I can practically hear the folks at Netflix breathing a sigh of relief.

November: I suppose it's nice to know that, after spending pretty much my entire adult life in New Mexico, I still haven't lost the old South Jersey accent.

December: Well, the relatives have been safely dispatched to the airport!

Yeah, I think that probably tells you most of what you need to know about me and my year...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Whoo-hoo! I Even Beat Firefly!

3 Episodes
( 61 Costs, 27 Reception, and 20 Cult Appeal )
Everything seemed to go wrong with you. You had high hopes and high
expectations, and you poured the money into making sure it happened.
But something along the way went wrong. People just didn't tune in. And
because you tried to go for the bigger mainstream audience, you didn't
inject enough innovative material to make the experts take notice. An
failure in every sense of the word, FOX lets you go after a meager
three episodes.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Costs
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Reception
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Cult Appeal

Link: The When Will FOX Cancel You? Test written by hashtable on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Didja Miss Me?

Well, the relatives have been safely dispatched to the airport! It was a pleasant visit, but they did kind of tire me out. I think I did more driving in this past week than in the past year combined. By New Mexico standards, at least, I guess we didn't actually cover all that much ground: back and forth to the Albuquerque airport twice, down to Alamogordo and White Sands, and then out to the VLA site. But I think that's a reasonably respectable number of miles added to the odometer.

We, um, also did a Doctor Who marathon at one point. Because it seems that it is utterly impossible for me to have any sort of social interaction without that happening, somehow.

In any case, I'm back at the ol' blog now... Although my predictions were correct, and I didn't get much done online while they were here, so I'm pretty far behind on e-mail and such and it may take me a while to get caught up. (Hey, even, I have to step away from the computer sometime! Apparently.)