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I went shopping last night. Since I don’t feel much like cooking these days I opted to run over to Wal*Mart. Going there is a no brainer because they have the widest variety of frozen food. It’s a veritable cornucopia of badly made, deep frozen, meals. What I found surprising is that they also have a wider variety of canned cat food. They had stuff that I didn’t know was made. Hopefully Junior will appreciate that. My local grocery store, HEB, is kind of getting me annoyed. Especially after their latest store reorganization. It’s harder for me to find things and they carry less things that I’m interested in. I guess that’s good for someone, but not for me.

For anyone wondering, I fixed my sheet problem. Evidently the tag does not go to the lower right, as I always believed. I rotated my sheets one corner clockwise and now it’s all spiffy. I also noticed that my mattress, if it really matters, is probably backwards. It doesn’t seem to be hurting anything so as long as the sleep police don’t show up I should be all right.

On Saturday, my Futurama Monopoly set showed up. I was all excited because it’s been pre-ordered for months. I would have started to feel like I was scammed if I hadn’t forgotten all about it. Anyway, it’s here. I have nobody to play with, but I have it. I don’t even like Monopoly that much so I guess it’s all right. Any way, I won’t open the thing up to look at the gold Bender head so as not to de-value the set. People play chess by mail; I wonder if anyone plays Futurama Monopoly by mail?

There’s been quite a bit of rain in the last week. Austinites can’t drive in good weather so throwing “water from the sky” at them is a disaster. It’s not like we live in a desert, either. Sure, we’ve had two years of drought, but that’s no reason to panic when it actually does start to rain.

I think there’s some sort of underground racing thing going on, too. It usually takes place during the morning rush hour. I’m guessing, because no one has clued me  in on the particulars, that the object is to get to work before anyone else does. I don’t know what the prize is but I want in on it. The other day I had about a mile of clear space behind me but some dude in a truck had to surge ahead of me, pull into my lane in front of me and then slam on the brakes so he could make his exit. Let me repeat: I had about a mile of free space behind me. That’s how it works around here. If you’re ahead of someone, you win! I’m still pretty sure you don’t have to take a driver’s test around here.

I’ve been reading “The Physics of Star Trek” by Lawrence M. Krauss. According to him, things are not looking good for a real ‘holodeck.’ This makes me sad. But I also know that whatever is impossible today can be possible tomorrow. I have to admit, though, that it would probably be easier and more cost effective to have something that plugs into the brain and gives an experience like lucid dreaming. The problem with that is you don’t get the physical exertion you would if you had a working ‘holodeck.’ Still, I’m sure that somewhere out there someone is trying to figure out how to make it a reality. I’m betting on the porn industry. One of these days I’m going to do the research to find out just how much porn has been involved in the advancement of technology. I’ll bet there’s a correlation between the rise of VCR sales and the drop in trench coat sales.

I’m still playing Skyrim. Haven’t finished it yet, either. I’m having too much fun doing the side quests to worry about the main story.

I love how Bethesda has thrown in little things to make the world seem more alive, but sometimes it leads to some pretty absurd things. Why, just the other day I was creeping through a cave when I saw a bandit doing his turn at guard duty. I readied by bow and shot an arrow at him. It hit him, but it didn’t kill him. He drew his sword and began walking around the cave saying things like he heard something and that he’d find me. After a minute or so he gave up and decided, “It must be my imagination.” He took his post again. With an arrow sticking out of his head. I’m thinking, “Dude, you’ve got an arrow in your head! How can you think it’s your imagination?” Had he survived the second arrow and gotten off guard duty what would his friends have said? “Hey, Klipshnick, you’re indoors, take off your helmet.” “I’d like to but I can’t, on account of this arrow keeping it pinned to my head.”

I’m not good with social events. I rarely feel comfortable in the company of people I don’t know, which gets strange because how else do you get to know people? This week I’ve got a lunch and a dinner to attend. Both are related to work, but I haven’t been at work long enough to be friendly with more than one or two people. I think, also, that I would like to dress better than I normally do. This is unfortunate because I don’t have any style sense. I also don’t have anyone nearby that has any style sense.

I love those bags of food products. Mashed potatoes, cat treats, it doesn’t matter. On the package it says, “Tear here” and has a jolly arrow pointing to an already cut notch in the bag. You tear the top clean off and see that the bag didn’t open, you just tore the top of the bag off. You still have to grab opposite sides of the bag and pull and tear open the top. Or, you may pull too hard and tear the bag in half, sending stuff flying all over the place. Nice.

The company that I’ve been working at for the past few weeks had their Christmas party. I was invited, despite being new and a consultant. I’m bad with social affairs; I’m worse with social affairs where I don’t know anyone.

Obviously, the first thing to do is buy new clothes. And, because of my over-sized feet, I needed new shoes, too. So I went shopping. At the outlet mall. I don’t know when people decided to start changing word definitions around, but outlet malls are now trendy and expensive, not a place to buy slightly irregular things. To make a long story short, I let the salesperson lady (is that politically correct enough?) recommend stuff. Then I paid for it. Then I left.

When I got home I did what any sane person would do: I went over the new clothes looking for tags and stickers. I don’t know about other people, but I live in fear of walking around with New Clothes Tags & Stickers adorning my body. I went over them again, for paranoia’s sake, the next day. I even threw them in the washing machine since I had other things to wash.

After I got dressed and inspected myself in the mirror, I noticed that Junior was incredibly jumpy around me. He kept staring at my shoes. Evidently, my new shoes give him the fear.

Cats-eye view of Stompin' Shoes

So I went to the party. It wasn’t easy for me. It would have been much easier to just to not go. But I went. Sure, I had to drive around the block a few times because nobody told me the valet parking was on one street while the restaurant address was on another. No big deal. I went in, stood around not doing anything, until it was decided to usher all the employees into the dining room.

Once there, I staked out a table that only had me at it. That’s my usual way of doing things. I plant myself then wait and see who shows up around me. It turned out to be my boss and his daughter. Then it was the CEO. Huh. I’d like to thank my boss for making sure I didn’t stay silent the entire night. In fact, the entire place has a kind of “family” feel to it.

Then dinner was over. I left for home. But first I decided to stop for some after-dinner coffee, since the restaurant didn’t believe in such a thing. I went inside, ordered my coffee, and then the barista said, “I hate to point this out but you have a sticker on your shirt.” I looked down and, sure enough, right on my shirt pocket was the size sticker for my shirt. Somehow it had survived a thorough going over, a washing, and looking at myself in the mirror.