Tiny Kangaroo Down Sport

We have memories scattered all about the living room. Donna and her sister dragged down out of the attic about a half dozen boxes filled with pictures and memorabilia that their mother had collected over the years. When everyone was here over Thanksgiving, the brothers and sisters went through the boxes and took back with them some of the photos and their childhood report cards, etc. But what went back with them was a fraction of the collection.

Over the past week Donna has been going through the boxes a little at a time. She has unearthed some treasures, her grandmother’s high school diploma, year books from her mom’s two years at Marysville College in the late 40’s, a wedding photo of her aunt…

She has also unearthed a few pieces of trash as well, a souvenir I sent back from a 1979 U.S.S. Midway liberty stop in Perth, Australia, a genuine kangaroo skin.

Started down, went up, still up.
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Hark The Hearld Angels Sing

Well I thought I might not listen to any Christmas music this year, but I cracked tonight.

Tomorrow is the MMC‘s annual Holiday Extravaganza and my part of it is to lead a Christmas Light Tour. It started four years ago based on an article in the Augusta Chronicle and it seems that every year the number of gargantuan displays of holiday overload dwindle in number. Two years ago we moved the party location to a different spot and that cut down on the possible routes to take too. Tonight we went to see what we could come up with and the answer is very little. There are only 2 houses left on the tour worth seeing. We did find one more, but it was a 17 mile trip to add it to the route…next year we will have to find something else to do as a prelude to the party.

What better way to go driving and looking for Christmas lights than with the top down and seasonal music playing on the car’s audio system. So I popped the CD full of 700 Megs worth of Christmas MP3s.

Weekend Update

Went for a little walk in Hitchcock Woods yesterday afternoon. As usual I took my camera and as usual I didn’t take any pictures. I think next year instead of doing another series like Mr. Fletcher’s Ride, I will just vow to take some pictures during each walk and post one to a Hitchcock Woods Gallery.

Speaking of galleries, I added four new shots to the Enchanted Ceiling gallery yesterday; Angry, Morning 2, Speed and Streak. I had a really cool streak photo that I used in the Barndoor Fan Club‘s Twilight photo contest, but I can’t find the original, so all I have is this 300 x 225 image:

Both days we managed to eke out a top down drive. Both short. Mid fifties is on the border of being pleasant at highway speeds anyway, but with the low sun angle it gets chilly after not too long.

The Egg Nog milk shake at Baskin-Robbins is not nearly as good as the one Rachel serves up at the Sno-Cap Drive In.

Started up, went down, back up, down again, up again, still up.
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Gray Is The New White II

Gray Is The New White
The folks at CafePress are touting their new black t-shirts by using the tag line, “Black is the New Black!” I even used that as a title of a post here back in November when they announced the addition of Black T-shirts. Yestersday’s post about how the CafePress white printing on black tees came out gray got me thinking (all together now – Uh Oh!).

I Googled for the phrase “Gray is the New White” and didn’t find anybody who was in the business of selling shirts with that slogan on them. Neither the domain www.grayisthenewwhite.com nor www.graynewwhite.com is taken. So I’m proud to announce a new product in my CafePress store:

That Wasn’t Easy

Decided to spend the last of the Christmas cash on some newly required essentials. The new $500 laptop has beget a couple of required purchases, a carrying case/bag and a wireless router.

I started at staples.com and quickly filled my shopping cart. A cheap-o polyester computer case for $29.99 and a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router (Model# WRT54G) $57.94. The router came with an instant $3 off coupon and a $15 mail in rebate bringing its cost to under $40.

Six hours later I received an email:

Please be advised that due to the high demand and current “Special Buy” our stock has been depleted and cannot be re-ordered, back ordered and no substitute is offered. The quantity ordered will not be shipped and please note that you have not been charged for this item. The item may not be returning to stock. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

So I figured seeing as I was actually having to leave my house and go shopping, I’d cancel the computer bag too. There is no way to do that online, you have to dial the 1-800 number (how so last century.) The CRS who answered after a short wait was friendly, efficient but no so helpful. Through no fault of his own, mind you, but because the computer bag was direct ship from the manufacturer he said he would try to put a stop order on it. Because the order might be to far along to stop, I’m thinking that is doubtful because the estimated delivery date was 1/9, I had two options; refuse delivery when it arrives or accept delivery and return it to the closest Staples.

On a whim and because we were going out to get a gallon of paint for the bathroom tonight we swung by Staples the store. I thought for sure they would be out of the router as well, but there were 4 on the shelf. I picked one up and headed for the check-out figuring the worst could happen was I was going to miss out on the $3 instant coupon, but when the cashier rang me up it came to the same price as I had online. The three bucks off was listed right there on the receipt. Now I just have to fill out the rebate form online – again.

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I’m Free, I’m Free

Wire free that is. I have managed to muddle my way through setting up my own wireless network at home. I got the cable internet into and through the router no problem, but was having trouble getting the laptop to connect.

Tonight to make sure there was nothing wrong with the laptop’s wireless card we cruised downtown Aiken looking for unsecured networks. The Hotel Aiken was wide open, but the signal strength was not too hot. Connected to their network no problem, but internet access was iffy at best. The Holiday Inn Express near my house house was much better, wide open and could surf the net better. Using the Holiday Inn Express network they start out IE with it going to the main Holiday Inn web site, but after that you can go where you want to go.

When we got home I disabled the security on the router and sure enough I could connect. I really didn’t want to live that way, so I re enabled security with different settings and BINGO we were in.

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Smart Marketing

Part I:
Bought a laptop from Dell recently. They are forever running special promos; free this or that or free upgrades in an effort to entice a sale. I bit on the slightly above basic laptop and what contributed to it was $150 savings, free printer, free internal wireless and upgraded shipping. The same unit is $100 more without the printer or wireless right now, but maybe cheaper next week or at the small business store or by checking the /tv store.

I hooked up the free Dell 720 color ink jet printer tonight to replace my old Lexmark Z12 which was like $30 when new several years ago. Of course the free printer included the trial size ink cartridges which made me leery about running the alignment test and sample page for fear of using most of the ink up. Dell was nice enough to include some software that will let you know when your ink is low and instead of just popping a warning from the task tray it will launch IE and take you to the Dell supply page…

Part II
Last couple of years at tax time I have used H&R Block’s Tax Cut. I used to use Turbo Tax but switched after reading about Intuit’s digital rights management features that were crashing PCs of a couple years ago. I am happy with Tax Cut and was thinking about getting it again this year. But I don’t have to think anymore, in today’s mail was a silvery looking DVD sized case with Tax Cut Deluxe and one standard state program. Plus all the usual free with rebate software and/or electronic filing you normally get. I just have to load the CD and give them $29.95 off of my charge card. No going to the store and maybe choosing a competitor’s product…

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New Year’s Eve Eve

Family Circus

Family Circus

We took the Christmas decorations down though…

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
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