Thanksgiving Break

I’ve survived my internet-less Thanksgiving break! (With a brief interruption when I found an unsecured wifi network at a restaraunt in Yankton, SD)

The break was nice; I did very little that was productive, but got to spend some time with my Grandma (see pic below) and my dad’s sister & her husband. Though we forgot to hang up Grandma’s 40-years-of-service clock from Avon, we did get her a Christmas present of a new computer.

[Grandma Betty and Colin, Austin-Straubel Airport, Summer ’05]

That story is worth a brief diversion. We went to the Best Buy in Sioux City, IA, where my dad and I picked out a desktop (Compaq Presario SR1610NX [hopefully the link works… is ugly…]) and a monitor (MAG LT716s), both of which had some Black Friday sales or rebates or some such. Got a pretty good price on it; I want to say the whole system came to like $500 including 17″ LCD. Way more computer than my Grandma will need, seeing as she just wanted it to play solitaire, freecell, etc. (Your standard Windows freebies). The amazing part of this, though, was not the price (which we probably could have gotten lower had we shopped around a bit, but Dad wanted the BestBuy Reward Zone points), but rather the customer service we got at Best Buy. I was, in a word, shocked. We shopped a bit on our own to pick the items we wanted out, but when we grabbed a sales guy, he grabbed the requested items down from the storage for us, loaded them on a cart, asked if we needed anything else and then wished us a nice day. That was it. He didn’t push a single accessory, performance service plan, GeekSquad installation, not even antivirus software. It was insane. If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Best Buy, you’ll understand why I was so amazed. I’ve got $20 that says that guy gets fired.

Anyway, continuing with the weekend, we viewed a fair number of films since my mother had some foot surgery and wasn’t up to walking about yet. I did marginal amounts of homework, but generally just lazed about, ate food, slept, etc. It was a good time. Car trip was a bit lengthy (9+ hours each way for me, even more for the rest of the family to get back to Green Bay), but I got plenty of sleep in.

Outcomes of the weekend:

  1. I have actually been awake in nearly all of my classes so far this week. I don’t think I’ve gotten 10 minutes of sleep total yet in class, which has to be a record for the year.
  2. I hurt. Don’t take a week off of lifting without good reason.
  3. I have a Christmas list prepared, so for everyone who would like to buy me things, just ask! Some highlights are an upgraded laptop (see previous post), some flamenco and celtic CDs, and America: The Calendar.

A final thought:

People need to learn how to drive. I’ll save all of my frustrations for a future post, but let me just summarize one major pet-peeve. What you may call “on ramps” to the highway are also known as “acceleration lanes.” In these lanes, you should accelerate. It is dangerous and stupid to try merging into 80 mph traffic at 55 mph, even in South Dakota. Period. End of discussion. Oh, and for God’s sake look behind you while you’re backing up, especially in parking lots. Don’t ever get close to running over my mother on crutches again. Ever.