1/15/01, 2:00 p.m. - Happy Birthday, Grandma! Yes, it's true, today is my Grandma Peggy's birthday. No, I will not tell you how old she is, because a lady never reveals her age!

You would all be very proud of me, for something that happened yesterday. See, about three weeks ago, the main headlight on my car burned out, and I've just been using my bright lights. I know, I know. Well, I actually replaced it yesterday - myself! For most people, something like this is trivial. I, however, am not automotively-inclined. I can find the radio, usually. The gas and brake thingys are a bit more difficult. The ignition, I can find on a good day. Beyond that, um ... that's why they created mechanics! lol

One thing that I got from my mother (besides my stunning good lucks lmao) is a love of reading. I am constantly reading something, even if it's as horribly written as The Hobbit. eBay has only helped me in my search for certain authors' works.

A few months ago, I found the last book in the Savage Empire series by Jean Lorrah, so I was able to read it from beginning to end (as it should be). I've found books by Ron Dee, Harlan Ellison, and Poppy Z. Brite, which are all unfortunately out of print, and all very hard to find. The books that I tend to read are not found in used bookstores, either. They are read by a very small audience, with under 6,000 copies per book printed. That's tiny when you consider that the average paperback gets over half a million copies printed.

As with everything, it's buyer-beware. I encourage you to look before you leap when it comes to eBay. Don't get into a bidding-heat, because you'll end up paying several times what you would have to. Compare prices. The first one there isn't always the only one there.

Now that I've given that disclaimer, I'll let you know what my latest goodies are. Day of the Dead is probably the best episode produced in season 5 of Babylon 5. I've talked about it before, and if you've been reading along, you know that I have been searching for autographs from Bridget Flanery and Marie Marshall. Bridget played Zoe, and Marie Marshall reprised her role as Dodger. Ed Wasser came back as Morden, and Fabiana Udenio came back as Londo's love, Adira. It is a story of goodbyes, and one of hope, and ... in many ways ... it is a gift to those who have been watching from the beginning.

Skybox cards produced several sets of trading cards for the series. One of them, the season 5 set, included something like 25 different autographed cards. One of them, Fabiana Udenio's, I already had. I bought a box of cards back when I was working at the hospital, and pulled her card from one of the packs. Similarly, I've done that with William Windom, Majel Barret, and a few others.

Where is this all headed? To eBay. I found Marie Marshall *and* Bridget Flanery, together. How do I know they're real? Because they are the signed cards from that set.

In addition, I found a set of three books by Poppy Z Brite - and I didn't have any of them! - for only four bucks. That's right, four bucks.

When we had the house fire in 1993, only one book of mine survived. That was Lost Souls, by Poppy Z. Brite. Lost Souls was her first book, and it was published in hardcover by Dell/Abyss. In the years since, I've been able to get Love in Vein, Love in Vein 2, Plastic Jesus, What If?, and several others of hers. Her writing style is nothing short of breathtaking. Now, I will have Exquisite Corpse and Are You Loathsome Tonight? .. two collections of short stories, and I forgot what the third one is.

I also found a really cool eagle thing for Jim's birthday. He likes - no, drools over - anything with eagles on them (the bird, not the music!). I'm intentionally leaving the actual item out of this entry, in case for some strange reason he decides to stumble onto my page, but I'll tell ya about it later.

* * *

On a completely different note, e-sharp.

I did a little research into genealogy, and found out that my last name, Obrecht, means, literally, "Over There" ... It was apparently something to do with being a head executioner in the 1300's. Oddly, my first name, Mitch, means "Who is like God?" ... So my name literally means "Who is like God over there?"

This pretty much demonstrates that the people who make up the baby-name books don't have a clue.

Well, that's pretty much all I have to say at the moment. Until next time ...

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