2006 is running out...
Wow.. are there only three days left in 2006?? It feels like time's been flying by faster than even the most sensitive of clocks can account for.
Lyssa and I have been back in DC for about two days now, and it's been a hell of a vacation thus far. On the 26th, while we were still in Pennsylvania, Lyssa spent some time at home with a friend of hers while I trekked back to Pittsburgh to see my family some more, and catch up with some close friends thereof who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Unfortunately, this sort of messed with the plans I already had set out but there isn't much that can be done about that when it comes to folks helping out when they really don't have to. That afternoon I spent the afternoon with Chuck, Judy, and John (Judy's son). The family and I headed over to celebrate Yule a day after the fact and hang out, a day which turned into an afternoon of munching on leftovers, re-burning CDs that didn't take quite right, and catching up on everything going on back home. We got back around 1700 EST/EDT that day, and my mother and I spent some time in the basement, my old laboratory, cleaning stuff up, throwing stuff out, and digging out some stuff to bring back to DC with me.
Since Lyssa got me that USB audio recorder, I've been planning on converting my collection of audiocassettes (which numbers in the high triple digits from my days as a DJ) into .mp3 files for archival, so that I can get rid of most of them to free up space in my apartment as well as in my folks' house. This would also mean that I could listen to them more (at all, really) by loading them into my iPod. To that end, I picked out a couple of score of tapes, disconnected the dual-slot high-quality tape deck from my PA rig, and loaded the whole lot into the trunk of my TARDIS for the trek back to DC. I got back to Mather around 2000 EST/EDT to meet up with Lyssa, and found that not only were we going a little stir-crazy but that Grant, Mike, and Jill had left for home. In an attempt to get our heads screwed on straight we headed for Sheetz for a snack and some fresh air. We definitely didn't need anything more to eat seeing as how the holiday season is always (a little too) full of tasty things to eat, but sometimes junkfood is just what you need.
We left early the next day for DC and arrived around 1330 EST/EDT, which is a personal record for us because the highway running through West Virginia was all but deserted for the most part.
The day after we got home we did much more running around to get everything squared away - Lyssa had to get her allergy shot for the week, we had to go to the store to pick up a couple of things, there was post-Yule cleanup to do... and Hausfin's car, since it was broken into a couple of days ago, is undrivable because the lock on the driver's side door is thoroughly jacked up. I had a few last-minute errands to run yesterday afternoon, so I drove over to his place and we ran around northern Virginia picking stuff up. This, unfortunately, got me home rather late yesterday afternoon, which left Lyssa and dinner hanging.
This was not my intention - in fact, I'd explained that there were a number of places that had to be visited to get stuff. That is, however, neither here nor there.
Last night Heron61 and Teaotter, who are visiting Heron's parents in northern Virginia, wanted to get together to hang out with Rialian, Lyssa, and myself, partially to get away from Heron's folks but mostly to hang out for the holiday. Rialian came over around 2030 EST/EDT last night, and we piled into the TARDIS to find the homestead of Heron's parents.. which wound up being something of an adventure, not because the house is particularly far away but because it is nestled very far back amidst a mass of small, single-lane, tree-lined streets reminiscent of something in Zork, or perhaps Wishbringer by Infocom. Finding the house wasn't particularly hard - finding our way out of there and back to the highway proved a challenge.
Heron, Teaotter, Rialian, Lyssa, and I hung out just about all night, lounging around the apartment, munching from the cheese tray, and talking about all manner of things, from writing game supplements (and some of the odd line requirements for such writing projects) to the random odd stuff that people like us run into on a daily basis to what it's like to return home after so many years and most everything in between. We stayed up until 0230 EST/EDT today or so, at which time I had to go to bed because I had to get up early. Rialian was kind enough to drive Teaotter and Heron back to his parents' place, so I didn't worry too much about their getting home. Rialian's getting home was a different matter entirely, though..
I got out of bed at 1000 EST/EDT today so that I could get the TARDIS to my insurance company's repair center to have an estimate done and get the damage to the body repaired. I'm told that it's looking like it's the fault of the college student that nailed me on my way back to Pittsburgh, so my deductible is taken care of, as are the rest of the repairs. My rental car was made ready while I sipped coffee and leafed through travel magazines (how decadent (by my standards, anyway)!) and then put my signature on some dead trees and after a few minor adjustments set course for home.
Anybody want a Klein bottle?
All hail the flying Rhenquist - when griefers attack in Second Life!
Scratch one dictator: They hung Saddam Hussein at 2200 EST/EDT tonight. My only questions are when the footage shot will leak out, and whether they used the short drop/hoisted from a crane hanging technique common in the Middle East, or if they used the British long drop hanging technique (for a quick kill).
Something tells me that they used a long drop to speed his execution along. A short drop can take up to a half hour to kill, and it's not at all painless.