Earl and I had a wonderful weekend. I guess what “they” say is true, absence does make the heart grow fonder. It’s sure nice to have him home.

He met up with me Friday night at my Aunt and Uncle’s house outside of Syracuse. I cobbled together a computer for them and installed it, amongst pizza and wings for supper. It’s always nice to get together with the family, and I enjoy helping out with what geeky talents I have.

Saturday morning was the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utica, and since I work for a radio station, we had to be part of it. Living in Upstate N.Y. can make a St. Patrick’s Day parade interesting, especially when it’s snowing so hard that you can’t see two or three floats ahead of you in the parade. And to keep things really interesting, one is decked out in full winter gear, complete with ski mask and gloves. In fact, your gloves impede your dexterity, so instead of throwing a tootsie roll or two, you end up throwing a couple dozen. At most parades, children are begging for candy, at the Utica St. Patrick’s Day parade, children are cowering in fear of being pelted by large amounts of Dum Dums.

After the fun and frivolity of the St. Patrick’s Day parade (who was that masked man?) Earl and I headed off to Rochester, because it’s rare that we do anything close to home. We had a wonderful meal at Champps in the EastView Mall in Victor and then did a little shopping. I say a “little” shopping. Actually, Earl (with a little coaxing from me), bought a new set of cookware from Williams-Sonoma and I (with a little coaxing from Earl) bought a new Toshiba e805 PocketPC to replace my Sony Clié. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying the Clié, in fact, it’s been a little trooper, but I felt that I had outgrown it. It was a base model so it didn’t have a lot of room for expansion, and I was really feeling the need to jump on the WiFi wagon. And I never felt that the Clié was the sturdiest piece of equipment I owned, so instead of getting a bigger and better Clié, I jumped onto the Microsoft bandwagon and switched to the PocketPC platform. Quite simply, I love it. I love finding WiFi hotspots. And I can’t believe I’m admitting it, but I like Windows Mobile much better than PalmOS. I’m already ten times more productive on my new Toshiba than I was on any of my Palm-based gear. And Earl gets the Clié, which he is absolutely delighted about because it’s in color and has a lighted screen.

On Sunday we were just basically lazy. Did some grocery shopping. To keep things interesting I smashed a $25.00 bottle of vitamins in the “Nature’s Way” section of the store. It wasn’t intentional of course, but my hand went spastic when I picked it up and flung it across the aisle. I had a quick flashback to 1975 when I knocked over a display of glass quart-bottles of 7up in the P&C and my mother shrieked at me and gave me a smack. Earl said I looked like I was going to cry when I dropped the vitamins. Maybe I need therapy after all. Always the honest guy, I went to the service desk and told them I saw someone smash the bottle of vitamins and they better call for a clean up. Just kidding, I ‘fessed up and they didn’t even make me pay.

We watched the third Indiana Jones movie on DVD before calling it a night. It was a relaxing weekend, which is just what the doctor ordered.

I was in good spirits when I went to work this morning. And to my delight, I was still in good spirits when I arrived home this evening. Life is good.