xmas and new year 2008/2009

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man, i've really slacked off about writing updates.

i've been buying more stuff for myself. sometime around xmas...maybe the day after xmas...i went by eurway and bought myself a coffee table. i've been looking at coffee tables forever and could never find exactly what i wanted. i'm still not sure this is the one, but it's pretty cool. it's the neo coffee table by actona. it looks like white high gloss plastic bent at both ends and looped under itself with a gap in the middle, with brushed steel legs in rectangular loops with rounded corners supporting it. it is actually a painted and glossed single piece of thick particle board. but it looks pretty cool. i also got two "beaker" accent lights by lite source. one is red and the other is orange. the orange was on display but out of stock, the red was not on display but on close-out and they had one left. so i have to go back and get the orange one when it comes in.

new year's eve the radio show was only manned by myself, barrett, and groovehouse. it was kind of a weird vibe without the part of the crew that usually does most of the talking, but i think we managed to get our radio legs under us fairly quickly and do a pretty decent show.

from there i went over to a co-worker's place nearby for a new year's eve party. stupidly, i decided to try and drive the 3 or 4 blocks and find parking. i couldn't find a spot for a long time, plus i lost the spot i'd had. eventually it worked out though, because i got a spot right in front of his place. it was a formal party, so i went about as formal as i can stomach -- fedora, black leather western-cut suit jacket, black dickies slacks, western shirt tucked in, and my red thinkgeek 8-bit tie. there may be some pics, but i haven't seen them. i hung out there until about 1am and headed home.

new year's day i got up and packed the drove to austin. i went to my brother's and exchanged presents with him and his wife and my nephew. i gave them my old sony stereo, my old linksys wrt54g, and my old airport express 802.11g. i got heather some house stuff and gift cards and such, and got miles some plastic food containers and a gift card to ikea. the main thing i got my brother was a new turntable, along with an ion u record converter device that you hook things (turntable, tape deck, etc.) into then plug it into a usb port on your computer so you can convert them to digital recordings. i ate supper with them, then helped them set all the stuff up. i'd never set up a nice turntable before. when i left, i had pretty much everything going except the sub. his old setup was a stereo+speakers set, and everything including the sub used zip cord to the receiver. my old stereo only provided an rca jack for the sub. i left thinking maybe i could wire his sub with an rca jack and drive it from mine.

i left there and headed to brady. i got to my parents' house around 1am, but they were up. we went ahead and opened presents. i got my mom some house stuff and gift cards. the main thing i got my dad was a pair of infinity bookshelf speakers (primus p162). and i took my brother's old turntable and stereo, plus his old dvd player, to set up a new system for my dad.

the next day i started to set things up. unfortunately, my brother's sony stereo wouldn't really push the infinity speakers. (well, it would, just not very loudly.) fortunately, he'd also given me our grandfather's old pioneer receiver. it'd been mine, then i gave it to him, then he gave it back to me after i gave him mine for xmas. (it'd been out in his storage room.) it was able to push the speakers well. in the bad news section, the banana clips on the 12 gauge speaker wires i bought for the speakers would not fit in the receivers. i had to go and buy some thinner gauge speaker wire. (*sigh* yes, at wal-mart.) while there i bought a digital coax cable too. but since i couldn't use the sony receiver, i ended up not needing it. in even worse news, one speaker didn't work out of the box.

another thing i did was buy two outlet plugs at an ace hardware and cut and rewire the plugs on both the turntable and the dvd player. this is because both of the wires had been chewed on years ago when my brother got a couple of kittens, so they were both frayed in spots. the dvd player would short sometimes because of this. after i cut and rewired them, they seemed to have no shorting problems. the dvd player is for using as a cd player on the stereo. :)

my dad is having to ship the speaker back to the people i bought it from, and they are supposed to be shipping him a new one. i both them from audioholics.com, and so far i've been pretty happy with their customer service.

also on friday i went over and spent some time with my grandmother. i'd gotten her some house stuff, plus a new phone with big numbers. (it also has a pretty loud speaker in the earpiece.)

saturday afternoon i went with my parents down to beaver creek and art, then we stopped at mason and ate at the northside cafe. i've mentioned it a couple of times before. if you're in mason and need a place to eat, i highly recommend it. i had the fritos chili cheeseburger and i had to compress it in order to be able to get my mouth around it.

sunday i drove back to austin and went to a birthday party for my nephew and sister-in-law. (my parents drove separately, but went as well.) after the party, i went with my brother and paid for most of an open-box sony powered sub at a best buy. we took it back to his place and i helped him set it up. this purchase was made because after reading online while at my parents i figured out his sub was powered off his stereo (i.e., the sub was unpowered) and my old stereo only provides line out -- line out would have nowhere near enough juice to drive an unpowered sub (i.e., it needs a powered sub). i also returned his sony receiver to him, as well as his phono pre-amp (since the pioneer had a phono-in and thus didn't need the pre-amp). then i drove back to houston.

i spent this week trying to get used to being back at work and getting up in the morning. fortunately, i did manage to accomplish some things at work (like building out a new proxy server from scratch on the fly because of performance issues on old hardware) -- and i even got a glowing letter of commendation from an engineer from another company that got passed around amongst all my management, even though i didn't really do much of anything in that instance to get complimented. i guess he and the customer thought otherwise though.

tonight was the geek gathering. it was at the coffee groundz in midtown again. turnout was good. the hrc was going to go again, but she twisted her ankle earlier in the day and decided she should stay off it and rest. the turnout was pretty good. loopylow gave me a nice batman hardcover to read. then he discovered his car had been towed. that sucks. there were some cool looking chicks in the area. i of course didn't talk to any of them.

i think i'll write up a separate entry for the various xmas gifts i got, plus things i've been getting myself.

3 Comments

And a great time was had by all!!!!!! Loved my presents and your presence. :) I'm already ready for another visit.

Amanda got a few good photos of you on New Year's Eve-- I'll forward them to your email. Thanks for coming.

mom: glad you didn't flip those two words in the middle sentence. :)

chris: as you can already see, i posted a link to the one that hides my face. :) thanks for having me over. so far the track record on the enjoyableness of your parties is very good. i'm still waiting for the hot single female doctors without a god complex looking for lazy biker nerds to show up though.

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