Happy Holidays!

December 26, 2013

As I write this, my Christmas vacation, such as it was, is pretty much over. It’s 6pm on Boxing Day, and I’ll be working from home tomorrow. But it’s been a good couple of days.

Late on Christmas Eve, my brother called me up with some last minute change of plans. He had to work through the week, including Christmas Day, and the original plan was for the Hamilton branch of the family, (the two of us and Mom,) to go up to Kitchener early and then drive home in time for him to get to work for the afternoon shift, which would mean me leaving at seven thirty in the morning and having just about enough time to unwrap presents and have turkey brunch at my sister’s place. The change in plans was that I drove up separately in my car, which my brother borrowed after brunch when it was time for him to leave. Mom and I stayed, played some cards with my sister and my two nieces, enjoyed a light lunch of desserts, then I drove Mom home in her car, and switched to mine, which had been dropped off at her place.

The gift exchanges went pretty well too. I kept to a tighter budget than in years past, but managed to come up with some stuff for all of my family that they seemed to like. Myself, I scored some gift cards, chocolate treats, three new books to read, and a cool decoration with quotes about writing that I’m going to keep on my desk. Oh, and a wizard’s staff that my Mom made for me! 🙂

Today I did the budget Boxing Day shopping. I picked up a cool new Modern Family calendar for my 2014 goal tracking, and a fancy Bluetooth mouse to use with my Nexus 7 tablet. One of my gift cards helped pay for the mouse, and I used another to download some new music, including albums by Great Big Sea and Amanda Stott.

And I walked to all my shopping; four and a half miles round trip, which is a lot longer than I usually walk in a day, but I feel good for having done it.

So, how were your holidays?


My Boxing Day present arrived

December 27, 2012

 

 

For quite a few years, I’ve been in the habit of getting myself a Boxing Day present. I don’t always get it on Boxing Day, (the day after Christmas,) but it’s usually while the Boxing Week sales are still around, and often funded with gift cards, cash, cheques, or the promise of money given to me for Christmas. Two years ago, the Brother laser printer was a Boxing Day present, and a very good one that I’m still getting a lot of use out of.

Going back to September or so, I had my eye on a SmartTV, a flat screen television set that could connect to a wireless network and play digital video from internet sites or other devices on your home network running media streaming software. I asked my friends and family to get me Futureshop gift cards for my birthday and Christmas to help fund it – they didn’t actually, but my Mom gave me some cash and promised to write me a cheque for more, as she was giving away so much cash that she ran out of bills. When I got back home on Christmas Day, I researched smart TVs on a few websites and placed my order – a 32″ Samsung from Best Buy Canada, with free delivery.

And it arrived today!

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At the moment, I’ve got it all hooked up, checked that I can watch from the LG DVR or the DVD player, browsed YouTube just a little, and experimented a little with Samsung’s own video library service, but I haven’t actually registered for it yet. My Netgear Stora NAS box is apparently already running a media streaming server that the SmartTV recognizes – but it doesn’t have any of my video files set up to stream. So I figured out how to browse to the NAS admin page – it told me that a software update was ready and I wanted to apply, so I figured, why not?

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Sigh. It’s been stuck on ‘Applying update’ for half an hour now, and while it applies the update, the network share drives are offline, so I can’t even copy any videos to a flash drive and try playing that on the TV. But it’s good to be patient. While waiting, I’ve gone and read a fun ‘Six Sentence Sunday’ snippet, edited a few pages of ‘Won’t somebody think of the Children’ to reach my revision target for the day – and got this blog post up for y’all.

Happy Boxing Week!

 


TGIFBC

December 21, 2012

This acronym was offered by a friend of mine at work today, and I think it’s very appropriate. Thank Goodness It’s (the) Friday Before Christmas. 🙂

I’ll be able to work a half-day from home on Monday, for Christmas Eve, and then I have Christmas Day up at my sister’s place, Boxing Day, and I don’t need to go back into the office until next Thursday. On the other hand, I’m kind of on-call for work stuff, but I don’t expect that’ll be too bad.

On the creative front, things are going fairly well. I’ve done some Block Revision on ‘The Storm Mirror’ every morning this week except for Monday, (when I left early to take the bus and got some writing done on ‘Time Bubble Trap’,) and I picked up my art stuff with ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ today, for the first time since October.

TGIFBC to all of you, especially anybody who doesn’t need to go into work on Christmas Eve! 🙂


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