Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hello, Mouse

So Thanksgiving morning dawned, after three days of working nearly non-stop. I was up and showered by 5AM, so we could get the family assembled and on a handy JetBlue flight to Orlando - where we stayed until yesterday morning. The trip was the idea of Jane's folks, who assembled the entire extended family at Disney for the holidays.

Unfortunately, they did so without consulting me first - they originally booked us to go down there the Saturday before Thanksgiving and to spend the week. See the first sentence for the problem with that.

Once we straightened out that dilemma, the trip was nice. It was really our first vacation in almost two years. We arrived Thursday mid-day, and after picking up a rental car and checking into the hotel (the World Center Marriott), we joined her parents and her sister's family over at Disney-MGM that afternoon. Thanksgiving dinner was at one of the theme restaurants, and we stayed to do a few activities and see the evening show of Fantasmic. Which was spectacular, even if the middle part terrified David.

Friday morning we went onto the Disney grounds to go to Shades of Green - the military resort. Jane's dad (US Naval Reserve, Ret.) was able to get everyone heavily discounted Disney passes there, and we added one day to ours. After dropping them off, we went back and spent the afternoon at Epcot. Unfortunately for me, I was coming down with a cold by then that lasted the rest of the trip. But we had fun there, took lots of pictures, went on some rides, and David got to see the huge Finding Nemo-themed exhibit. That night we all ate together in the hotel, as her family was leaving the next morning.

So on Saturday we took Jane's parents to the airport (her sister's family had left a couple of hours earlier), and then continued on to see KSC over at Cape Canaveral. It was a pretty easy drive over, and David was fascinated by the tour. The KSC operation for tourists is now run by Delaware North (the company that owns the Boston Garden and Bruins), so it was all expensive and the food sucked. But we enjoyed the NASA parts and the bus tour. For the money, we should... We did a leisurely drive back that evening, and drove the International Drive "strip", to see all the neon.

And Sunday was dedicated to the Magic Kingdom. We were there from opening to nearly closing, David did plenty of rides, and we got to do a decent buffet breakfast that featured all the Pooh characters. Overall, the day was a hit. And we were back on the ground in Boston by 12:30 yesterday (and I was back in my office by 3).

Overall, it was a neat trip, though I learned a few lessons. First is to use a stroller every day. Carrying David on my shoulders got old real fast, especially with a cold. Each Disney park is pretty darned big. Also, take advantage of their Fastpass system when you want to do a ride. It really simplifies things. The rides themselves are actually pretty short - at least all the ones that queue up without taking passes. Allow at least a day per park if you're into rides.

And the biggest thing I learned is that going with a 3 1/2 year old is fun, but it'll be even better in a couple more years when he's less limited as to what rides he can go on and fully potty-trained. Carrying a diaper bag really slows things down.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Pseudo-random notes

First of all, there is no grand conspiracy to remove Christmas from our culture, despite what the Fox News jackasses would have you think. The linked article does a wonderful job of explaining why. And as somewhat of a secular humanist myself, let me go on record as saying no religious holidays bother me one bit. Don't make me celebrate them, but other than that I couldn't care less.

The simple reason that many stores and businesses advertise "holiday greetings" and the like? It's good for business and more inclusive - after all, most businesses don't just cater to evangelical Christians. They also sell to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and members of all sorts of faiths (or none at all) who don't celebrate Christmas. It's really a no-brainer, which is exactly what most of the conspiracy theorists suffer from.

So after this week's Skins Game (one of the only two golf events I watch each year, including the Masters), there is officially no sporting event worth watching on TV other than football. The winter Olympics won't do too much for me, and given the disarray in Fenway, I'm not exactly waiting eagerly for Spring Training. Even NASCAR, my TV sport to watch when there's nothing else to watch, is now over for the year until Daytona - I think that's some time in February. By the way, Tony Stewart won the points title and the race today was pretty dull until the final two laps. Great finish, though, with Greg Biffle winning by a hood length over Mark Martin.

Actually, a slight addendum - I'll probably watch the BCS bowl games.

Day 2 A.N. (After Nixon) had some moments of promise, but was overall disappointing. I won't give details.

A new Treo firmware update is due RSN, according to the TreoCentral boards. I may not wait for the Cingular-sanctioned version and go straight to the ROW (Rest Of World) image when it's released - after unlocking my Treo a couple of weeks ago it shouldn't be an issue.

Finally for now - the new driveway was finished this morning and looks fantastic.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Were this baseball, he'd be an All-Star

This morning, after a 2-day-long battle, I tricked David into finally leaving a Nixon (apologies to Kinky Friedman) in the potty. He had made the mistake of telling us he'd gone in his diaper way too soon, so when I zipped into his room this morning to check he hadn't actually parted with said Nixon yet. I rushed him into the bathroom and, before he knew what was happening, he had dropped it into the correct place. Finally.

Of course, he made up for it by dropping two subsequent ones in his pull-ups as the day went on. So he only went 1-for-3, great baseball numbers but not so good for dropping deuces. It was One Of Those Days.

In work news, my bookkeeper began working on Friday - I was worse than I hoped, but not nearly as bad as I expected. I walked in to the office this morning to find things fairly organized and two bills waiting for me to print and mail the checks. And while I was there, a customer payment arrived so I could deposit it properly. I like being organized, and it's worth some money to do it right.

And finally, our newly rebuilt driveway is almost complete. We widened it slightly a couple of years after moving in - now it's being done right and re-graded as well. No more scraped doors, bottoming out, or muddy shoes from the puddles that used to form on the edges. It's all brick and really nice-looking.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

RIP, Eddie

"Eddie sucks!"

That chant in arenas around the land was the ultimate tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who passed away this morning in his hotel room in Minneapolis, four years into sobriety and one of the most consistently brilliant performers in the pro wrestling business. Eddie usually worked as a heel, but was so talented that the fans would never let him stay heel for long - and the "Eddie sucks" was how they'd respond to a particularly outrageous stunt - usually mixed in with a healthy dose of laughter. Eddie worked a lucha style, and though he was a smaller man (only about 5'8"), he could mix it up with the big men as well as the cruiserweights. Eddie even held WWE's Heavyweight title for four months last year - the first Latino to be given the ball like that in this era with one of the major companies. And he did a great job in the run as well.

This year, after a recent heel turn ended (a nearly 5-month feud with Rey Mysterio Jr.), he was working his way back to full babyface status in a main event feud with current champ Dave Batista. In fact, tonight he was supposed to be in a taping for SmackDown! (his show) with a three-way title match.

But after arriving last night with his nephew (and fellow performer) Chavo, he checked into his hotel and never left. Eddie left a wife and three daughters. He was only 38, and will be missed by his family, his friends, his peers in the industry, and his fans, of whom I was one. His final performance was on SmackDown! this past Friday night. Its on my TiVo - I haven't watched it yet.

Because when I do, it'll be like saying goodbye. Vaya con Dios, Eddie.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I need a nap

I just finished what was a pretty busy week, capped off with two days of heavy traveling and a lot of on-site hours. During the course of the week, I also removed three more Windows systems from the computing universe (two yesterday and one today), all replaced by Macs. Whoo! David's been nursing a cold, and with the holiday today neither he nor Jane left the house today. He skipped his nap but passed out for the evening a little after 7 today. That should let him catch up on his rest. I'm next.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

See what I meant?

Now, even the Colts finally won a game at Foxboro. The good news is that next year should be a major step back up.

Busy week yet again for me. I'm on the road every day this week, and a couple of those are quite long. This is being posted during a brief break before I head to Boston, where I'll spend the afternoon. Jane has been at a sales meeting in New York, and my folks were up here, helping with David. All has been mostly well, with the exception of David's terrifying plunge down the stairs yesterday - he was racing down too fast with Brown Bear in his hand and wound up sliding half the staircase down on his back. Thankfully he was fine afterwards - just terrified and now extra cautious on the stairs. The message we'd been pounding into him about being careful finally hit home.

On the bright side, potty training appears to have turned the corner. For two days in a row he's kept his pull-ups dry all day, even asking to go potty once while my folks had him yesterday afternoon. And he woke up dry yesterday (no such luck today, but it wasn't much). Those of you without kids: trust me, this is a Good Thing.