No More Paperpushers!

I hate paperwork. I don't mind paper, but the sheer amount of paper that our society consumes is crazy. Today was a bank and courthouse day. My credit card bill was due, so I had the fun of paying for my semester's books. I was able to offset it a little because my check from GenCon arrived, so I got a hundred dollars back from Celebration 3 several months late. Better late than never. From the bank, I drove across Montpelier, got a parking space, payed the meter, then walked to the courthouse to submit my passport paperwork. Got there and found that they didn't take Visa Cards like I was told. The lady told me to go to the post office next door to get a money order, because I didn't have my check book with me. Got to the post office, found that they didn't take a credit card either. Walked across the city back to the bank to withdraw the money. Went back to the courthouse, figuring I'd bypass a step. Turns out the federal government doesn't accept cash, only checks or money orders. Back to the post office. Got the money order. Finally got my picture taken and everything submitted. Went back to my car to find a six dollar parking ticket. $6! It probably cost about half that to print off the damn thing. Gah!
I then went out to buy the Serenity soundtrack and a back issue of Astonishing X-Men that I'd been looking for. The Serenity soundtrack is really good. Not as good as I'd hoped that it'd be, but still amazing nonetheless. It's got a bit more of a frantic sound than the series does, but it still retains a good feel of the 'verse that Gred Edmonson created with his own music for the series. David Newman did a steller job creating a very different soundtrack that really doesn't sound like a lot of other soundtracks out there. Some of the music I've heard for a while now. Serenity, the main theme for the movie and Going for a Ride were downloadable off the British Serenity website, and they are probably the best songs in the entire album. The Serenity theme pops up everywhere too- in various keys and sounds, and it's a catchy song.
Something interesting about passports. Over the summer, I learned that the State Department is going to be requiring everyone who wants to travel to Canada and any Central American countries to use a Passport. Used to be, you didn't need one, just a Birth Certificate. It's going to cause a lot of headaches for almost everyone who goes over the border, and living in a state that's so close to the border, it's no surprised that some people are annoyed. I also learned that all passports are going to be fitted with an electronic chip that contains all of the same data as the passport itself. I guess that the reasoning behind this is that it'll expose more tampering, because if there's a discrepency, they'll learn right away. My guess is that it will also ease some traffic if all you have to do is swipe the damn thing across a counter or reader.
So after all that fun, I helped my Dad out at school for a while. KAS Inc. maintains a remediation site on the Norwich Campus, where a couple of really leaky gas stations were located. They've pulled thousands of gallons of petroleum out of the ground. (And I thought the food was bad at school). I basically did what I did at the beginning of the summer- measured a couple of groundwater wells while Dad serviced the incinerator, measuring the depth to product. Fun stuff, I hope that I can do it again next summer.Then, back to home to watch some Firefly, and a take home exam on the Civil War that's due tomorrow. I'm almost done with that, it's a pretty easy topic, so I'm having some fun typing it up. It's interesting to realize that most everything in class discussed thus far can be pulled into this essay, so it's just a matter of getting the right words in the right order. And, after my Glacial Exam earlier today, I'm feeling pretty confident.

Okay, my hands hurt. 3 DAYS UNTIL SERENITY!