Nov 302006

Turkey Day at the in-laws was a pleasant affair. The drive to Gettysburg took about 8 hours. At night. In the rain. Through steep mountain roads. It was fun, actually. 🙂 My sister-in-law and her husband have a very nice house north of town, and there was plenty of room for all eleven of us for dinner. Aaron had a much bigger kitchen to work in this year, and everyone stayed out from underfoot except for the dog. Dinner was excellent, of course. Lindsay and Chris have a nice home gym and treadmill in the basement, so I was able to keep up on the workouts and burn off the holiday food.

Friday we set out to explore the town of Gettysburg. Twenty minutes later we headed for the battlefield driving tour. Seriously, unless you're into antiques, or are a Civil War buff, there's almost nothing to do in Gettysburg. A walking, candlelight ghost tour might have been interesting, but we didn't have the motivation for it. The war monuments were interesting, and there was a great view of the valley from up on the hills. Afterward we took a driving tour of the valley, which reaffirmed for us that we live in one of the most geographically boring places in the country. We found our way to the only winery in the area, sampled some interesting local wines, and bought six bottles to take back. They had a red called Rhedd Butler, which was unusual because it has a smoky bouquet and finish, but an oakey body; and a white called Tears of Gettysburg, which was very close to being an ice wine. We got a bottle of that for us and each of our mothers, since both of them prefer sweet whites.

Holy crap, I can't believe I'm talking about wine qualities. Quick, somebody give me a Bud Light to restore my depleted butch points!

Anywhizzle, Chris's parents surprised us with a shopping bag full of stuff: snack-size bags of chips and Doritos, granola bars, miniature cans of Coke and bottles of water, candy, travel-sized convenience items (toilet paper, Kleenex, wet wipes, etc.), and some desk toys. I'm really digging this Magnetix Micro 30-piece set; it makes a great distraction when I'm sitting on conference calls that require my presence but not my input. I may swipe Aaron's as well, if he doesn't want it. I can't build a buckyball with only 30 pieces! I actually put a couple of the 60-piece sets on my Christmas list with Mom. We were both really floored by the gift bag: we had no idea that Chris's parents held us in any kind of regard to warrant that kind of thoughtfulness. It was really nice of them.

We left Saturday morning and stopped in Akron overnight to stay with our friend Jimmy. He has a very cool old house near a swanky area of town, full of Old Money homes and estates built by the founders and bigwigs of Goodyear and Firestone. After breakfast on Sunday we got rolling again around noon, and were home by about 3:30.

One of the first things we discovered was that we'd had some kind of power surge while we were gone, as all the clocks were blinking. Aaron's computer would not power up, and I discovered that the power surge had blown out his power supply. Luckily I had a spare 400w PS from a special online sale at Fry's, so I popped that in and got him running again. I cracked open the old PS to see several of the large capacitors cracked, and black goo spattered all over the inside. Strangely, the power strip he was plugged into did not trip. Time to replace that cheap piece of crap, obviously.

Tuesday Aaron flew off to LA for the auto show, staying with jockbdboy, and is having a good ol' time rubbing elbows with celebrities and checking out the new cars. That same day City of Heroes released it's big new content patch, Issue 8, so after work and the gym, that's how I spent my evening. It was good to see so many Rough Traders back in the game, and Wire has a sexy new kilt and trench coat to fight crime in.

Last night mrimp and odysseyseven stopped by in the evening for dinner, so we headed to California Pizza Kitchen at Somerset Mall Collection, then took silly pictures of ourselves using Photo Booth on the iMacs at the Apple store. Afterward we installed Marvel Ultimate Alliance on my PC, and I stayed up way too late playing it. It's a lot of fun, like X-men Legends, only more advanced. I really need a console controller to play it, since it's awkward using a keyboard.

This morning I woke up to discover that the power was out. My alarm had gone off, since it had a battery backup, but the entire neighborhood west and north of our nearest intersection was dark. I could faintly hear the chugging of the backup generators at Flagstar Bank's headquarters across the way. I have to say, it was a peaceful way to start the day: no bright lights and no noise not even the background sounds that we usually tune out. I stood a Maglite on the counter, pointed at the ceiling, so I had light to shower by, and luckily none of my work clothes needed ironing. When I left, two DTE trucks were on our corner, and a small fleet of them were at the substation down the street, including two cop cars in the intersection directing traffic. Something must have really blown up. I hope it's all fixed soon, or there's going to be some major spoilage in the refrigerator/freezer. I'm supposed to have dinner with <lj user="jamie95"> this evening, but haven't been on IM in the evening. Oops. Hope he forgives me. ;o)

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