New Year, New Job

Since my last blog entry, Julie and I got ourselves some Christmas presents. GameStop had a buy two used games get one free sale, so we got three new used games really cheap.

New TV for the Entertainment Setup
The big present we got ourselves was a Sylvania LC320SLX from Target. It is a 31.5″ wide-screen HDTV. We got an amazing deal on the TV. I think we got it for $299, but we have a whole lot of gift cards and additional discounts. I think in the end, we only spent about $100 on it. Julie and I do not have cable, nor do we have an antenna (maybe we’ll get one eventually). I have my old Dell Dimension 2400 with a Radeon 9250 video card running Windows XP (the only Windows computer I have left) that I’ve been using an a multimedia PC connected to the TV. Before, I was using an S-Video-to-Composite cable to connect to the old TV. Now I am using a DVI-to-HDMI cable with the new TV. We also got a component cable for the Wii, so that the Wii could output in HD; and a HDMI cable for the DVD player. The new cables make ALL the difference in the world! I think that Julie wasn’t really sure about us getting the new Wii cable, since the old Wii cable “worked”. After I plugged in the new cable and changed the TV resolution, it was very obvious to Julie why we got the new cable. I also got a wireless mouse for the multimedia PC. It wasn’t any good though. The wireless mouse has less than a three foot range! What’s the point? With a range that short, I’d rather just have a cord. Oh well, I guess TightVNC will continue to be the primary method of input to that computer.

Traveling
We were at Julie’s mom’s house in Virginia from 12/18 – 12/23, her dad’s house in North Carolina from 12/23 – 12/27, and my parents’ house near Pensacola from 12/30 – 1/3. On the way to VA, Julie and I swapped driving half and half, and Julie drove when it started to snow. We didn’t realize that we were driving into the North American Blizzard of 2009! Of course, this was only the second time I had ever seen snow in my life (it snowed 4″ in Pensacola in 1993). When Julie and I got to VA, we pretty much had to drive around 30MPH or less because of the thick snow. Julie said that she had never driven in those conditions either; she said that she had only driven once the snow had already fallen. Darwin was exceptionally annoying on the drive up to VA. He made a big mess that we had to clean up. It took about 11 hours to get up there.
Visiting Julie’s mom was good. Julie had me eat “snow cream”, which is apparently just snow mixed with… stuff. She used cream soda because that’s all there was. Walking around in over a foot of snow was kind of weird to me. While we were there, we also saw Avatar in 3D. I don’t know what it is about 3D, but my brain just doesn’t work well with it. I would guess that it wasn’t until about half way through the movie that my brain adjusted and really saw the 3D.
Darwin and Deli were both a pain on the way to NC, but I think that was because they overheated from the heater. We probably made it too hot for the cats for Geikka’s sake. Main things I remember from visiting Julie’s dad’s was going to her dad’s side’s family Christmas dinner and her step-mom’s side’s family Christmas dinner. We drove around a neighborhood one night to see a bunch of Christmas lights. They had “Christmas balls”, which were lights wrapped around a ball of chicken wire hanging from trees. I had a “stupid moment” when we drove by a house that had lighted Stars of David hanging from a tree. I said, “Oh look, it’s a Jew tree!” I’m not sure how that came out, but I wasn’t intending to be inappropriate. I had a good time seeing everyone, including the dog, Bella.
We had a few days rest in Jacksonville before heading to my parents’ place. I drove the whole way to Pensacola and back [not sure why]. I-10 was as dull as ever.

I have to cut short for now. I have to wake up in 6 hours for my first day on my new job. I’ll continue this tomorrow.