The holidays are over

Whew. The holidays are over. I’m flying home to Texas tomorrow, and I’m kinda looking forward to my first normal week of work next week. The last two weeks have been half-weeks, interrupted by holidays in the middle. I prefer long weekend holidays.

I’m still coming down off a bout with illness: my voice is almost back, but I still can’t hear out of my left ear. I’ve got some kind of ear infection, I suppose. Tylenol Cold & Flu has been holding it at bay. I love that stuff.

I’m going shopping this morning for a souvenir for Erika and an external FireWire hard drive case for a friend’s Sony laptop. Seems his existing external USB hard drive isn’t playing nice with his new Sony. I thought USB was supposed to solve all our plug & play problems, but my last two days of fumbling with that drive have taught me otherwise. I’m hoping the FireWire one will go a lot smoother.

The week or two after the holidays always bring tons of free tech support work: us computer guys spend hours helping family and friends use their new gear. It’s so frustrating to see such useless documentation shipping with computer equipment: every new machine should come with a “For Dummies” book for its particular operating system, like “Windows XP For Dummies.” From here on out, I’m making a mental note to give those out as Christmas presents.

I’m also shopping for a DVD player for Dad & Caryl as a late Christmas gift. I came home last night and they were watching The Others on VHS, and I remembered how bad picture quality is for tapes, especially rented ones. They’re going to be blown away by the clean, consistent picture you get on DVD’s. The players are so cheap these days that there’s no reason to keep renting tapes.

Our new baby!

I’m proud to announce the newest member of our family. He’s an inch and a half long, he weighs two ounces, and he’s a natural born swimmer. We haven’t named him yet, though.

Erika got us another baby turtle, which brings our aquatic family up to three. He’s a wee fella, and I can’t wait to get home and play with him. What a great way to ring in the new year!

In sadder news, Bailey (Mom’s Great Dane) is being put to sleep tomorrow. He finally lost his battle with cancer. He led a long, full life, and we all loved him dearly. I’m glad I got the chance to go up there recently and spend time with him, because he’s a big sweetheart. I’ll miss him.