Mundane Happenings

Random notes -

We traveled over Christmas this year. Drove 2 days, visited for 2, and drove 2 days back. It was a lot of time on the road. And may I just say that the New Jersey turnpike is a hellish pit with horrible rest stops. Once we got into Connecticut and Massachusetts, the difference in quality/cleanliness of rest stops was quite noticeable. I don’t know if I just never noticed before, if we never really stopped in New Jersey before, or what, but it was quite striking this time around. Anyway, apart from some rain here and there, we didn’t really hit any bad weather, so we lucked out. The visits were nice, but we’re glad to be home. Oh, PSA: The Doubletree Hotel in Norwalk, Connecticut hands out warm chocolate chip cookies when you check in — we stayed there both on the way up and on the way back.

Replacing our low-rent washer and dryer has been on our house list since we bought this place. As often happens, though, events found a way of forcing us to action – the washer started leaking just before we left for our Christmas travels. When we got home, we scampered over to Sears and a new w/d were delivered this morning. We chose a mismatched set – one Whirlpool washer, one Kenmore dryer – cuz y’know, we’re all iconoclastic like that. I must say, Sears is vastly superior to Lowe’s when it comes to appliances like this. We had an excellent experience both in the store and with respect to delivery at Sears for the w/d and for the fridge we bought awhile back. By contrast, Lowe’s was just annoying about the dishwasher we bought from them and they contract with a crummy third-party installation service who damaged our counters and then refused to do anything to make it right. So, I’m back on the Sears train when it comes to major appliances. I am so enjoying (there’s already a load in the wash) having more options than on/off for the dryer and hot/warm/cold for the washer. Another bonus: this washer is completely closed off in the back, so there’s one less greasy hiding places for the kitties. Sometime in the next month or two, we’ll probably be replacing our range as well, and we’ll scamper back to Sears (guided by Consumer Reports, of course), to do so. (The only drawback is the gang activity at the mall where Sears is located — that’s a bit, umm, offputting. When we walked out of the store at around 8:45pm there were 3 cop cars, several cops, and 2 kids in handcuffs right there on the sidewalk. I felt like I was in an episode of The Wire — which we just finished the second season of, by the way — and starting humming like Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo: “just keep walking, just keep walking.”)

I’m thinking about doing a 365 project at Flickr starting on Tuesday the 1st. Either the 365days project – which is to do a self-portrait every day, or Project365, which is to just take a picture every day. Not sure yet, but maybe if I write it down, that will make it more concrete and I’ll actually do it.

In the realm of annoying gadgets, my Powerbook battery has decided to give up the ghost. This is the second battery I’ve had for this thing and it seems to have just died very rapidly. I don’t really like the MacBooks and I’ve heard not great things about the Macbook Pros, so I want this laptop to last at least one more year, which means I’m going to have to order another battery for it soon. On the plus side, I have 3 power supplies that work on this machine, so I’ve stashed one on each floor of the house where I tend to sit with it as a stopgap solution until I grit my teeth and spend the $130 to get a new battery for it.

I’ve got lots of things queued up in my head to blog, but as usual: who knows when or if I’ll ever get to them. If I do one of the 365 projects, maybe that will help inspire me to post more here, too, in 2008. We’ll see.

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