journal for 2003-11-02


I just finished the first segment of my 2003 NaNoWriMo project. I’m not sure how confident I am that I’ll complete it this year, but I’m hoping the effort will be enjoyable. I’m already behind, of course, since I didn’t write anything yesterday and didn’t start until quite late today. I need to catch up and then try to stay on schedule, even if it means writing total crap.


So, we’re sure we have mice, as we suspected back when the fig cake disappeared. Gloria left some cookie pieces on the counter last night, wrapped in paper. This morning, they were gone, and the paper was at various places along the counter and behind the fridge.

Time to buy some traps and have a look behind the fridge, I guess. I’m hoping there’s nothing more to do than clean up some mouse turds and maybe plaster over a mouse hole.

drug testing

IQE has decided to implement random drug testing. When I asked why, I was told “because we want to.” It’s infuriating that employees seem to be neither punished for failure nor rewarded for accomplishment, and that IQE’s solution seems to be to implement a system that punishes people for something completely unrelated to performance. Also, the idea of being told that I have to waive my constitutional rights in order to keep my job is fairly ludicrous.

They’ll start doing the testing in March. It’ll be hard to find something new and equally decent by then. The cynical part of my mind tells me that it would be great fun to pass the test and, once assured that I passed, quit. Even if that wasn’t an unpleasant thing to do, it would require really good timing with any new job prospect.

the car

We got a new car stereo. It’s pretty boss. The Geo only had a radio and tape deck. Despite that, it was a full 2 DIN system. I don’t understand why Chevy does that. It makes it a real pain to put in a new system. Fortunately, we had this one installed.

The new system is a JVC. It plays CDs, including ISO9660 CDs with MP3 files on them. I made a CD with all our Bad Religion albums, and it’s slick. You can flip through the albums (directories) and then play the songs on them. I’m only slightly miffed by the fact that iTunes can’t be told (as far as I can tell) to burn an MP3 CD with albums divided into folders. It’s easy enough to do it in other ways.

The system also has a line in, so I can connect my iPod to it. It’s an all-around nice system, I think. It wasn’t a bad deal, either. It cost $200, plus around $50 for the installation kit. The labor was free. There was a $30 rebate, so I did the sucker thing and dropped $40 on a warranty. The only unpleasant part about the whole thing was the wait while it was installed. The sales kid warned us that it could take up to four hours. The technician told us it would take around two. We wandered way up 7th Street, and it was hot out there on Saturday. We wasted a pile of time and I bought some video games at Microplay. The clerk there told me that American-designed games are drivel. It was amusing. Finally, I checked our voicemail and we got the impression that our car had been done for over an hour already. Doh!

That’s all behind us now, though, and we can listen to CDs in the car again. We got Kraftwerk’s The Mix again, too, which we’d been listening to on tape.

Written on November 2, 2003