Friday, January 9, 2009

Holiday Recap...

This was, hands down, the most relaxing Christmas I have had in the past decade. No crazy rushing around, no catastrophes, no worries! Usually, my "Holiday Recap" blog is a multi-volume tome of epic length. This time, there is nothing major to report! No Gnus is good Gnus.

Christmas Eve was sooooo peaceful. I spent the first half of the day at work. It was slow, as expected, so most of us spent the morning chatting, munching on goodies, and waiting for 1pm. After that, I made one or two last-minute runs on the way home. Once there, I was able to spend the evening in the quiet company of my family. We cooked, watched TV, and even our good friend Leigh came over to share the evening with us! She's pretty much family by now. We've known "Auntie Leigh" (as the kids have always called her) since high school and her family's Christmas was a bit jumbled this year, so we we MORE than happy to share the festivities with her.

About 9pm we placed goodies for Santa on the faux fireplace Sonya made out of cardboard boxes (it looks great! VERY clever), and the kids hit the hay. Shortly after, Leigh went home, we finished wrapping the kids' stuff and placed the unwrapped gifts from Santa under the tree. We got to bed about midnight, which beats last year when we were crawling into bed, after a major car accident and a trip to the emergency room, at 4:30am.

Christmas Day
True to our traditiions, we woke up, opened gifts, had breakfast, headed to the Wife's parents' place, opened more gifts, and had dinner. Some of my better gifts were a new 500G portable drive from my dad, Family Guy Vol 6 from the wife and kids, a new set of cookware from the in-laws, and a heated seat cover for my icebox of a car (warm tushie, FTW).

The only event of note was, between gifts and dinner at the in-laws, I was playing with my new hard drive and transferring some files from my overstuffed 160G. The computer stut down and wouldn't boot Windows. Having gone through this before and having been given the quick fix solution by my old friend and computer guru Chris, I reset the SATA driver and all was well - for about 20 minuutes. After that, it crashed and I couldn't get it to power on at all. Just a blinking power button. Ugh. No new toy for now, I guess.
The next day, we headed to my grandfather's for my family's half of the Christmas Spirit. The kids and I got there a bit before Sonya, who was running errands. We did our usual: grab pizza, open gifts (money, mostly, for me), catch up, and - as has been tradition most years - leave in time for me to get to work at the video store.

On Saturday, I take the morning to run some errands. First stop: MicroCenter to FINALLY get myself a decent digital camera. I found a good deal on a Nikon CoolPix in blue. It has everything I need: decent macro setting, SDslot (as opposed to Olympus's bizarre cards), video mode, compact size. I walk out happy with my purchase, even if I don't know when I'll be able to move them to my computer and upload them.
Next stop, the little computer repair shop for a preliminary diagnosis of my ailing computer. They looked at, and the prognosis wasn't good: fried motherboard. That's like terminal Chick Cancer. Not worth repairing, most likely. With a heavy heart I crawl back into my car and call my dad to vent. After all, she got me the computer in the first place, as well as the new hard dive I was so looking forward to and barely got to use. Whenever I'm hit with a Murphy's Law moment (like getting a new computer gadget and having the computer die, for example), she's the first one I dial because she'll help me focus on the irony and humor rather than the tragedy. At the very least I'll get some sympathy and catch up with her a bit. I relayed the symptoms and she confirmed the diagnosis (sigh).

"Well," she says, "you're just going to have to find a deal."

"Yea, but even a deal will take me a while to afford."

"No, you don't understand. Find a deal AND CALLL ME."

(stunned silence)

"Are you sure? That's really not why I called. You just spent a pretty penny on the new hard drive for me already!"
"Of course that's why you called," she said, with a tone of loving patience and good humor.

To be fair, I have a track record of hitting my dad up for occasional bailouts. It's rare, but when I needed my Barbershop Society dues paid so I could go to convention, I called up sheepishly, dropping hints with all the subtlety of the Blitzkrieg. When my brakes needed work last year about this time, I called her. Ironically, that bailout ended in another Murphy's Law moment when 2 weeks later, I got into the aforementioned car crash, totaling my car on Christmas Eve. I hit black ice, which the brakes couldn't have helped with, making it MORE ironic/pitiful.
"Honestly, no it isn't! ....But if you're SURE about this..."
"Go home and do some research."
So after trolling my usual techno-gadget deal sites (,,, I find a good deal on a Dell at I send my dad the link and next thing I know, it's on its way!
Sunday and Monday we just plain 'ol days off. I shouldn't say "plain 'ol" as days off for me are rediculously rare, but regardless, it was nice. I watched Liam make insane progress on his new RipStik.

(I have no idea where he gets his coordination from). We also wentr to my great uncle's Christmas party Monday night, which was nice.
A 5-day Holiday vacation at home. I could get used to this...
Coming Up Next: Auld Lang Syne and such...

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