Archive of May, 2005
May 31, 2005:
Took a long weekend from the writing thing, to see if I could recharge the batteries. For a while I had a week's worth of buffer, but that disintegrated pretty quickly. I actually have a title in the holding pen, but no text to go with it. And now I'm not sure if it's worth the bother to write about.
Anyway, Memorial Day weekend. Didn't do much of anything on Saturday, then went cycling on the W&OD trail Sunday afternoon and caught a little of the Viva Vienna fair (think a county fair, but with fewer rides, more politicians running for office, and more overpriced trinkets). Then Sunday evening I helped Cory and Htet Htet assemble some Ikea stuff. (Hey, it's not like I had anything better to do.)
I was planning on just doing some driving around Monday, to try to learn where things are, but that plan kinda fell through. Wound up getting some good Chinese food for dinner, which gives it a leg up on most other Mondays, at least.
Ah well, back to the grind.
May 26, 2005:
It's been rather cool here lately; I've had to run the furnace the last couple nights. That's even odd for late May in northeast Ohio, never mind here.
(Of course, now that I said something it'll probably get up to 85 today. And in another couple months you'll get to listen to me gripe about the 130-degree, 150-percent-humidity weather we'll be having.)
May 24, 2005:
One of these days I'm going to have to have work done on my shoulder. Not because of any kind of sports injury (I can hear the people who know me muttering "no kidding" already) but because of all the times I've tried to lift the lid of the trunk and learned that I'd forgotten to pull the little lever to release the lock.
May 23, 2005:
I haven't bothered crafting something like an LJ-cut, so I'll just put the review where you have to unhide it to read.
Overall, good flick. Go see it. I may have to give it another look on a bigger screen at some point. But since this movie runs close to two and a half hours, this time I'll make sure I drain the bladder beforehand.
May 20, 2005:
A comment-spammer pulled a drive-by on me yesterday. Wasn't terribly into his work, though: All he got was a single entry. As of right now I don't plan on doing anything about it, but if it starts being a problem I may rig up some kind of is-a-human-there check.
May 19, 2005:
My trash can smells.
Not because I have a week's worth of trash rotting in it, but because I just changed the bag. I didn't play close enough attention when I bought the things, and now I have "fresh scent" trash bags.
And it's not even pine scent, or something similarly inoffensive. It's freakin' perfume. My trash can smells like goddamn perfume. I understand the desire to cover up and/or neutralize unpleasant trash smells, but c'mon. Perfume?
May 17, 2005:
All in all, I thought Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a very good movie. I think they did a good job of adapting Douglas Adams's book to the screen (which makes sense, since Adams himself did most of the adaptation before he died). Some things did change -- the slapstick thought-smackers weren't in the books as far as I can remember, and the Trillian-Arthur stuff was played up quite a bit to make for a little bit of internal conflict.
But for the most part they either did what I would have imagined, or something else suitably wacky. Casting Alan Rickman as Marvin the depressed robot was a great move, though I never pictured him as plodding along like movie-Marvin did. The Heart of Gold looked good (my imagination could only conjure up a retro-sci-fi rocket ship for that one) and the Infinite Improbability Drive firing up was done well ("Ford?" "Yeah?" "I think I'm a sofa." "I know how you feel.").
Zaphod's second head was kind of odd, but having an off-center prosthetic head would have been horrible from an effects point of view. The compromise they reached was acceptable, I guess. Zaphod was acted well enough, never knowing whether he was crazy like a fox, just plain crazy, or not all that bright.
Mos Def as Ford Prefect worked well; I kind of saw him playing the character like he did in the Italian Job remake, and I don't think my guess was too far off. Ford needs to have an aura of coolness about him, even when he doesn't know what's going on, and I think Mos Def does that well.
I won't get into the story, for fear of spoilers and because I can't remember too well which parts they imported from the other books. But I am looking forward to what I assume will be upcoming sequels, complete with Krikket robots, the Bistromath and SEP Fields. And God's Last Message to His Creation would be nice, too.
May 16, 2005:
Well, Wendy's had themselves a good idea -- one they've done before, I'm pretty sure. Last weekend, they gave away Frosty Juniors, no purchase necessary. (I cached the image, in case Wendy's takes the page down.)
Of course, almost nobody's going to go to Wendy's and just get a triple-shot of milkshake. While they're there getting their free stuff they're going to buy meals. So for the minimal cost of Frosty-stuff (what's in those things, anyway?) they probably doubled their business this weekend.
Not quite as cool as the Penguins deciding that discounting tickets for college students to at least get butts in the seats was a good deal for all involved -- I once got tickets 10-15 rows behind the net for $15 each -- but still a good plan.
I, of course, bought a double-cheeseburger meal to go with my triple-shot of Frosty.
May 13, 2005:
... all over my car. I'd really appreciate it if everything would stop pollinating now; the yellow dust on my hood is almost as think as the road salt that was caked on last winter. Fortunately, with the exception of that bout of hay fever right after I moved, the allergies have taken it all in stride.
May 12, 2005:
The water in Centreville has a lot of chlorine in it. So much that after drinking Akron water for 18 years and Pittsburgh water for 10½ years, I had to buy a water filter to get rid of the chlorinated taste -- it was like drinking out of a pool.
This morning I realized that I haven't scrubbed out the toilet since I moved in. I couldn't actually, since my old toilet brush was "retired" when I left Pittsburgh and I haven't bought a new one (that old one was getting... oh, what's the word... nasty). Now, in Pittsburgh, if you left the toilet for a week or two you started getting mold growing in the bowl. Kinda gross, really. But here I've gone a little more than a month with no problems. The water's actually been sterilized.
I'm tempted to see how long it can go.
May 10, 2005:
I need a new bookshelf. The old one was getting pretty full, and a little while ago I finished it off. The Chantilly branch of the library had a used book sale and I went and sank eight bucks on books. Garden of Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, Star Trek: I'm Working On That by William Shatner and Chip Walter (named so because Stephen Hawking, during a tour of the Enterprise-D engine room set, motioned to the warp engines and said, "I'm working on that") and a few Shakespeare plays that I've been meaning to read again.
Even if one turns out to be a stinker (I'm Working On That isn't as good as I'd hoped) i can comfort myself with the fact that I only paid about 75¢ for it. Of course, there'll be the cost of a new bookcase at some point, but we won't get into that.
May 09, 2005:
I've been waking up at about 8:00 or 9:00 on weekends lately. I don't think I'm in any danger of becoming like my father -- 6:30 is hard enough to do with an alarm clock, never mind just getting up then -- but I haven't gotten used to the fact that it isn't overcast here like it is in Pittsburgh. There's a lot of light coming through that window in the mornings now.
Of course, on the (relatively) rare cloudy day I sleep as late as I did back in Pittsburgh. Maybe I ought to start closing my blinds more on the weekend. Or maybe I can get used to the fact that I can run all my errands by 10:00 and have the rest of the day to goof off.
May 06, 2005:
I realize that in a lot of ways Virginia is very different from the rest of the southern states. But I saw proof positive that I was in The South on the way to work recently -- I passed a riced-out Sentra with a trailer hitch.
May 05, 2005:
I got a library card this week for the Fairfax County library system. What was the impetus for this? The Daily Show. Now that I have a DVR I've been recording Daily Show episodes and they've had a run of interesting books lately. No God But God by Reza Aslan and Speaking Freely by Floyd Abrams are the two most recent ones I've seen (I'm about a week behind; there may be more).
And I may not be the only one taking my reading cues from basic cable. Every copy of No God But God in the library system has a hold on it. This is both very cool and somewhat sad all at the same time.
May 03, 2005:
Well, once I got done running over other people's vehicles and smashing my head on the moving truck, I got settled in. A couple weeks ago I went to the DMV to get my driver's license transferred to Virginia, retitle my car, and get new license plates.
When I transferred my license from Ohio to Pennsylvania, back around 1999 or so, all I needed was my old Ohio ID. Nowadays things are different. To get a driver's license in the state of Virginia you need your old ID, a birth certificate or passport, proof of your social security number, and proof of residency. Good thing I already ordered a copy of my birth certificate in case I decide to get a passport.
I arrived at the DMV at about 10:00 on a Saturday morning armed with my birth certificate, a pay stub, my PA title, and my PA emissions inspection results. Cars in Fairfax County require an emissions inspection, but a valid inspection from some other states, including PA, will work. The pay stub I brought for both proof of residency (my address is written on the check) and proof of my SSN.
Lines at the DMV are based on what you need to do, not necessarily when you get there. I learned that the hard way as people who arrived after me were helped first because only one teller (later two) was handling licensing. I was 10th in that line.
Shortly after noon I got to the teller. I fished out all my paperwork and--- Notice I said the address is written on the check. The check usually goes into that slot on the side of the bank rather quickly; all I had was the stub. Which didn't have my address on it. Meaning I spent an hour and a half waiting to not get my license, because I'm an idiot.
No worries though, there's still the title and registration. The title goes through just fine; there are no leins to worry about. But it turns out that even though my PA emissions are valid until the end of July, the fact that they weren't done within this calendar year means Virginia wouldn't take them. Not because they were 11 months old. Because they hadn't been done in 2005. Apparently if you move here in early January you're boned on emissions.
So for my two hours at the DMV I came away with a set of license plates that expire on May 31. One hour per plate.
I've since gotten my driver's license while on my lunch break (the lines are a great deal shorter at 11 AM). It doesn't expire until October 31, 2011. Which means that I won't be waiting in those lines for quite a while.
May 02, 2005:
Just as an FYI: If you're going to be a dick and take up two spaces when you park, try to make sure you're driving something nicer than a Honda Civic.
No, that car's not mine. It's a newer model for starters, and the wrong color. I don't park like that. Ever.