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Like many others in the U.S., I voted today. I went mid-morning to avoid the crowds. I had heard some stories about lines forming out the door, but when I went to my polling place it was very quiet, and there was no waiting. It only took ten minutes.

R voted last week, by mail. She signed up for permanent vote-by-mail status. This is probably more convenient, but I like the ceremony of going to the poll, signing the register, marking the ballot, and dropping it into the ballot box. My sense of ceremony has been restored now that we've gotten rid of the touch-screen machines and have gone back to paper ballots. I also got to use my Sensa United We Stand pen to sign the register and mark the ballot. Hooray!

I got a little tingle voting for president. Can it really be possible that we'd elect a black man to be President of the U.S.?  Most of the early polls seem to be predicting an Obama victory, and I even heard one mention of the word "landslide" already. Ridiculous! But we'll find out soon enough.

I also pressed a little more vehemently when I voted NO on California Proposition 8. I know it doesn't make any difference how hard I pressed, but I wanted to make darn sure my vote counted.

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Yesterday was free cone day at Ben & Jerry's. A few of us from work headed over there and stood in line and got our free cone. The line was well out the door but it moved pretty fast. I don't exactly know what the deal is; I think anyone who asks can get a free cone with a single scoop. I'm not sure what would happen if you asked for a double or a sundae or something. Of course you could always pay to get one. Or maybe not, since it would slow down the line of people waiting for freebie singles. But, I didn't really care, since a single scoop is enough for me.

Yes, you read that right, a single scoop of ice cream is enough for me. I'm not sure when that happened. It wasn't always the case, but now it is.

I remember eating something recently and remarking to myself that it was "too sweet." When I was a kid I remember hearing adults say that something was "too sweet." It was an utterly foreign concept to me as a child. It was impossible for something to be too sweet. Yet, here I was, saying that something was "too sweet."

I must be an adult or something. Damn.
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My friend nezumiko is in the hospital right now after having undergone abdominal surgery. But that's not what this medical adventure is about.

R's cat Oliver is also having some medical issues. Among other things, he's currently suffering from a urinary tract issue. The treatment for this is to feed him special food to reduce the pH of his urine, to give him anti-inflammatory medication, and to increase fluids. So how do you make a cat drink? Well, we've given him things like chicken broth, which he likes very much. It helps, but it's not quite enough. In addition, sometimes it's necessary to administer 100ml of Lactated Ringer's solution. How do you do this? Well, you hang a bag of it high up somewhere, wrestle the cat to the ground, stick a needle under his skin, and hold everything in place until enough has flowed in.

So that's what we did this exciting Friday evening. It actually went quite smoothly. Naturally Oliver wasn't too pleased with being held in place for several minutes. I did the honors with the needle. He didn't even flinch when I inserted it. I actually have a bit of practice with this, having had to administer similar treatment to my late cat Fluffy several years ago. I assure you that the procedure is much easier with two people.
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Whoever named this cereal had No Imagination Whatsoevar....

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No, not for that reason.

I bought a 1.5L bottle of Inglenook "California Classic Burgundy" for about $6 today. I mainly wanted mass quantities of wine for cooking a stew. I certainly wasn't going to cook with a $20 bottle of vintage wine or anything. The Inglenook isn't the cheapest wine I've ever seen. (Two-buck Chuck is really only $2 for a 750ml bottle, but I was at Nob Hill Foods, not Trader Joe's.) But it was about the cheapest wine I could find, unless I wanted to get a 4L jug or a 5L box of wine, but I didn't need that much.

R said it was the kind of wine her parents used to buy, when the only choices were Burgundy, Chablis, or Rosé. None of these high-falutin' varietals they have nowadays. It's also the kind of wine my parents would have bought, except they never bought wine. More precisely, it's the kind of wine that my parents would get as gifts, which they'd stick in the garage and never drink, and so it'd sit there for thirty years. Trust me, this kind of wine does not age well.

Anyway, the wine served its intended cooking purpose quite well. I didn't use it all, and I was waiting around while cooking the stew, with an open bottle of wine, and one thing led to another. Yes, I had a glass. And... well... it wasn't the worst glass of wine I've ever had. It was inoffensive. Actually, it was rather pleasant. At 12.5%, It had a fairly low alcohol content. The trend these days seems to be toward "hot" wines with alcohol of 14.5% or so, which I find too much. So 12.5% was just fine.

This is, you know, just an everyday kind of wine. What a concept.
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This is a photo of the back of a smoke detector I installed recently.

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As if I needed any more evidence.

I was shopping in the local Fry's the other day. (No, that itself is not the evidence, though it very well could be, I suppose.)

Anyway, so I was at Fry's the other day shopping for a little bit of electronics, and another customer was shopping for the same product, and she asked me some questions about the product we were shopping for. She knew I wasn't an employee, and I guess she figured it would take too long to track down an actual Fry's employee, and even if she had she wouldn't get a useful answer anyway. She probably figured right.

And she thought that maybe the guy standing next to her reading all the product specifications on a bunch of different boxes probably knew what he was talking about. Well, whaddaya know, she probably figured right about that too.

Maybe I win a kewpie doll or a ribbon for this.

For the record, I am not one of those guys -- and they're all guys, believe me -- who hangs around in Fry's offering solicited or unsolicited advice to other customers, apparently just for kicks. I may be a geek, but I'm not that much of a geek. Sheesh.
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There's this show on the E! channel called Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It's one of those "reality" (heh) shows about a family of ordinary Hollywood socialites, all sisters whose names begin with 'K' and Bruce Jenner. Yes, really. Sample episode topics include:

  • The girls head off to Mexico for a sexy photoshoot.
  • A sex scandal rocks the family. (No!)
  • Kim poses for a magazine photoshoot.
  • Kourtney gets the results of a pregnancy test.
  • Khloe has trouble coping with the anniversary of her father's death, ending up in jail.
I'm not sure what kind of reality this is. Maybe an alternate kind.

In any case I heard a promo for this show a while back and I could have sworn it was called Keeping Up With the Cardassians. The Cardassians are, of course, one of the alien races from Star Trek. I guess you'd call me a Trekkie, or perhaps a Trekker. I keep up with Star Trek news reasonably closely, so I was surprised not to have heard about this new show featuring these aliens. But of course I was completely wrong, it's not another Star Trek series, it's this reality/entertainment show.

I'm such a geek. I'm probably the only one on the internet to have thought this show was about the Cardassians. Well, Google shows four other links on the internet with this phrase, so I'm not the only one. Still, that's pretty rarefied geekdom.

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Wired has done a head-to-head comparison of the Zune vs. the iPod. They prefer the Zune! ZOMG indeed.
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I was in our local Target store yesterday, and I saw an amazing sight: I watched somebody by a Zune! OMG! (Or should that be, ZOMG!)

If Apple made a brown iPod, people would think it was cool. Will brown be the new silver?
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