Tuesday, December 31, 2002

It's official - ths year sucked less than 2001

Then again, 2001 was an extraordinary year in suck terms. Personally, it was an average year at best - until you factor in David. He brought it up to be the best year ever for me. Single-handedly, I might add.

He's experiencing the diaper changes that go along with teething (many of you will know of what I speak...), and I expect the first tooth shortly. Tonight, we took him out for an early New Years' dinner. Rinaldo's (our usual haunt) was closed for a private party, so we wound up at the Salem Beerworks instead. A lot of folks had the same idea we did, though - there were babies all over the restaurant tonight. He had fun, though, and so did we.

I'm really looking forward to 2003, for two big reasons. First, David. Second, It's the beginning of my fifth year at work, and I get another week's vacation added in as of Thursday morning.

Needless to say, my priority is definitely with the first reason.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Merry Whatever!

David's seven months old (as of Christmas Eve), and all is well with him. Jane's parents are in town visiting (they arrived Sunday, and they're going back tomorrow) - they're enjoying the time with the little guy a lot.

As many know, the Northeast got buried under a lot of snow from the Christmas Day nor'easter yesterday. We didn't get the snow here until mid-afternoon, but when it hit, it hit big. The five of us had decided (well, actually David had very little to do with the decision) to follow the ancient Turiel Christmas Day dinner tradition - which was to go out for Chinese food.

(footnote to this: Do you know what Chinese people call Chinese food? Food.)

So we went to the Gourmet Garden in Swampscott, which Jane and I had not yet been to - we went to the restaurant that had been there previously a lot, though... And we arrived with the snow blowing sideways and the wind howling, sat down in a full restaurant (in case people didn't know, all us Jews go out for Chinese food on Christmas - it's where we secretly decide how to run the world. Though I think I must have been left out of that meeting, because I don't even get to run my own IT department nowadays.), ordered drinks, and the power went out.

In the time we sat there, the storm got still worse, so when we left we decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to try another place. We stopped back at the house to pick up a bag of leftover subs from the other day, and I drove my in-laws back to the hotel with a bag of leftovers for their dinner. Yum.

Other than that, though, the holiday was a blast. I gave Jane a new point-and-shoot camera to replace the old APS camera she has that doesn't work very well. She gave me a wonderful son.

I got the better gift (of course, she gets to share it...). We're going to try the Chinese restaurant again tonight.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

More fun with English

Here's something that's somewhat related to my previous entry:

My car is a late-model Olds Bravada. When I turn the ignition key, all the warning lights cycle on as part of the self-test the car runs (as they do in virtually all cars). Included in that is an indicator light that illuminates the following message:


Now, maybe I'm just behind the times here, but I've never thought of that word as spelled "GAGES". So just for the heck of it, I Googled the phrase, and it's pretty darned popular. Apparently, thanks to the plate tectonics involved in language, English is shifting beneath me.

I love my native language... I think

As I was heading to work today, I stopped at my local supermarket to get the newspaper. They had signs advertising the weekly specials in the window, as virtually all markets do.

So far so good. I glanced at the signs as I walked in. The most prominent one was for:

Semi-boneless rib roast.

Maybe it's me, but I've never thought "boneless" was a term that lent itself to any modifiers. It's kind of an absolute.

So that was my head-scratcher for today.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Friday, December 13, 2002

Crud. Looks like I killed another one.

And now, DirecTV DSL is shutting down. I've killed yet another DSL ISP. Here's my recent ISP history:

Late 1998-Late 2000: Flashcom. They rocked at first, and started fading fast as they ran out of money. A couple of weeks before they croaked, I jumped ship to:

Late 2000 - Spring 2001: XO. I had their SOHO package, which was pretty nice. It was through NorthPoint, though, and when NorthPoint went to the Great Beyond (and XO, rather than changing CLECs, discontinued my product) I jumped ship to:

April 2001-February 2002: AT&T Broadband. They changed names twice while I was on it, and started getting explicitly server-unfriendly. So I went back to DSL, since the now dying DirecTV Internet could give me a static IP.

DirecTV was great - I was able to get decent speeds, OK support, good reliability, and at a reasonable price. I got one of my employees signed up, and we just put a telecommuter on it a couple of weeks ago.

So I just signed up tonight with Speakeasy. I really hope that wasn't the kiss of death for them, too.

Monday, December 09, 2002

A whole weekend's worth of partying

We spent the weekend celebrating Jane's birthday in one form or another. Friday night was the fancy "elegant dinner and a movie" night. We went to the Grapevine here in Salem (Jane had a tenderloin that {sob} she had them char to oblivion, I had duck). Then we went to our only movie of 2002, which was My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Yes, it's still playing in the first-run houses. It wasn't bad - I even had a few laughs, but it wasn't my idea of what I'd voluntarily make my only big-screen movie of the year. Oh well. Booboo did OK in our absense, though Jane's friend Liz may have been a little overwhelmed.

Saturday, we did errands and then went out to join Jane's friend Lori and her 2-month old daughter (and much of her family) at a restaurant for Lori's birthday. They did some joint partying, though. We went to a few mall stores afterwards (the resturant was in the mall), and I had to change David's diaper on the floor of the womens' restroom at Chico's while Jane tried on clothes out in the store. It, too, was amusing.

Today I was reading to him from a book showing him all the animals (well, about 10 of them). When I turned to the page for "cat", I said the word - he looked at the page, and then turned to his side to look at Gracie. He smiled.

I think I may have a Super Genius Boy on my hands, just like Woodge does. Though mine has a slightly smaller head, proportionately.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Well, I was right

Wednesday afternoon, after I got home, Jane went out to do some errands and get a haircut. I played with David for a while, and then I put him on the Gymini in his room so I could go do a few things in the other room (I had to wrap Jane's birthday gifts).

I could hear David playing and drumming his heels on the floor, so I kept working for about 20 minutes. Then I went into his room to check on him.

He was on his chest, several feet from where I had put him, and he was nosing one of his toys ahead of him. He made it to the open floor, and was in the process of ducking under the crib.

For a second, I was horrified. Then I ran to get the camera and record the occasion, after which I watched him for a few minutes as he shuffled around. When he ran out of gas and started crying a little (he doesn't generally like being on his chest), I picked him and the toy up and put him in he crib to play.

I am now accelerating our childproofing efforts. I need to buy a couple more gates this weekend, I think.

Yesterday, we all went out to Rinaldo's to celebrate Jane's birthday. He had a blast. So did we.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Random Dude (and other) thoughts...

On Friday, I put David down for a nap in his crib - on his back. Jane went in a while later, and he was lying on his chest. This is a Good Thing. He'll be crawling in about another day or so (it seems).

Another quality bit of entertainment - Jane and I were watching wrestling Monday night, while David was playing in his exersaucer. Just for the heck of it, we started making Ric Flair's "Whooo!" noises at him.

So he shrieked back at us each time we did it. Afterwards, he'd giggle. I think he's smarter than he's letting on.

Sad news from the entertainment world: The greatest band in the world has called it quits. I am sad. I also never got to see them live, unfortunately.

One other unrelated thing: The brined turkey recipe I got from Good Eats came out really nice. However, even a 12-pound turkey is huge when you only are feeding 6 people. I'm still eating turkey sandwiches. However, the sandwiches are good - just toast a couple of pieces of brown bread, slap on a little mayo, and stuff with turkey. Lettuce is optional. Yum.