December 9, 2001

“It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year!” Happy Holidays!

Earl and I have had a festive weekend as it may be. Yesterday we began and for the most part, completed our Christmas shopping. We always have to do it with a big bang, so we decided to go to a mall I hadn’t been to in 10 years.

In Nashua, New Hampshire.

Now, if you look at a map of the United States, you will see that Utica, New York (the closest city) is a drive from Nashua, N.H. Who cares! As a matter of fact, it’s 4 hours away. So we jumped into the car Saturday morning and headed to New England. One tank of gas later, we were there at Pheasant Lane Mall.

One of the most beautiful things about Pheasant Lane Mall is that they have a Chick-Fil-A. I think I’ve mentioned before that I absolutely love Chick-Fil-A. Not to sound hypocritical, but the vegetarian deal goes on HOLD when I’m near Chick-Fil-A. Ideally, that would be my only exception to the rule, but I’m still wrestling with that a little bit. If you can go to Chick-Fil-A, GO! Best fast food that can’t be beat.

I lived in the “Mass-Hampshire” area back in the late 1980s when I worked for Digital Equipment Corp. So I was pretty familiar with the area, and I had been to Pheasant Lane before. But wow, how things have grown up around there! We used the debit card until it had skid marks on it and managed to buy all of the necessary Christmas presents except for the ones for each other. I have an idea of what I’m getting Earl, and I’m going to pick that up this week and then I’ll be done done done with Christmas shopping.

We drove home in a pretty good snow storm last night, and got home around 12:30 a.m. I made the mistake of going the “back way” through the Berkshire mountains on Mass. Rt. 2. I forgot how twisty and windy those mountain roads could be, especially with a lot of snow falling! The was the first snow storm for the Impala, so I was pleased to see that it handled very, very well.

Why is it that people forget all laws, rules, etc. on the road when the snow begins to fall? A one way street is still a one way street. Turn signals are still required. Stopping in the middle of a travel lane is prohibited. The New York Thruway can be a pain in the snow too, because there’s a lot of out of state drivers that are in an absolute panic when it comes to driving in snow. I grew up in the Upstate New York snow belt, so it doesn’t really bother me to drive in any snow conditions, but some people get so crazy! And the crazy people usually have Jersey plates on their car.

Today we drove into town and picked up our Christmas tree, a beautiful wreath for the front of the house and a nice table centerpiece. The tree is currently “falling” so we can decorate it tomorrow night after work. With the snow on the ground and the tree in the living room, it’s beginning to feel like Christmas. Finally. Of course, Mr. Weatherman says it’s going to be 60 by the end of the week again, so who knows.

Otherwise, today has been a lazy day with us doing laundry, etc. The geek in me is trying to figure out how to switch over to Linux here at home without losing any of my functionality, but I’m not having any luck with the webcam part. And the webcam is important to me. So I’m going to keep working on that issue. Hopefully I’ll find an answer soon. I’ve used a bunch of the main Linux distributions before, but I’m trying to find the one I like the best. Right now I’m leaning toward RedHat 7.1.