November 25, 2005: Black Friday

We were up SO early this morning. I can’t believe that we managed to pull ourselves out of bed. It was all that either of us could do to get out the door but thanks to the wonders of self discipline we somehow managed to pull off this miraculous feat. We were out of the door at 5:22 and on our way to Henrietta for the morning shopping rush. The roads were pretty good this morning and we made really good time getting up to Jefferson. We pulled into the Staples parking lot just in time to run to the end of the line as the line was working its way into the store. Our timing could not have been better. It was only 15F out and way too cold to be standing in line for even a few minutes, as far as we were concerned. Dominica’s coworker, Dan, was at the front of the line and was the second person into the store. Just about everyone going into the store was after the exact same thing: the Samsung 914v 19″ LCD monitors. They were an amazing deal. And we were after them as well. We went as fast as we could and Dominica did an amazing job of snaking through the store and she managed to get the very last two of them. Of course, she didn’t manage to get them before some jerk bashed her in the face with one of his own monitors in an attempt to get her away from the pile. He was there trying to get all of them, apparently, with a shopping cart that he was filling as quickly as possible and a team of people helping him collect them. Dominica was pretty shocked at getting hit in the face AND not getting even an apology or an acknowledgement but she managed to stay in there and get the two monitors. She was a shopping champ. We had been hoping to have been able to get three of them but we were not really expecting to be able to get even a single one so we were really happy with what we got. One of them is for us to put into the upstairs office and the other is for dad. He has been working on a 15″ Samsung LCD for the past several years and that replaced his old HP Pavilion 15″ CRT. He has never had an SXGA (1280×1024) display before and he is really in for a treat. This monitor is 67% larger than his current monitor. That is a huge difference. While we were standing in line to check out Dominica did some scavaging and managed to come up with a really cheap pack of writeable DVDs and her second big score for the day: a Creative MuVo MP3 player that can play Audible Audio (AA) files from Audible.com. Since we use so many Audible books as it is having a player that is supposed to work directly with them is a step in the right direction. It was really cheap. Only $37 and it came with two free books of her choice that she can get from Audible and that is a $22 value right there that we will actually use. So, as far as we are concerned, the unit was only $15. And that is just awesome. Dominica is going to give her iRiver MP3 player to dad. That iRiver has really been around. It started as Andy’s and then it became mine then Min’s and now dad’s. It really is only useful if you are going to be recording with it or if you are only listening to short MP3 files because it can’t handle MP3 files of any length, doesn’t handle most Ogg Vorbis files and can’t play Audible files. So overall it just wasn’t all that useful. I do appreciate, though, that it got us all hooked on having MP3 players. I can’t imagine not having one now!

After we got out of Staples we ran over to Target to see how things were over there but the place was a total madhouse and we decided that it would be best to completely skip any attempt at shopping there and to just head back down to Geneseo. We called dad and he met us at the house and we all went over to the Omega for some breakfast. Boy we eat there a lot. Dad was pretty excited to be getting his new monitor. So was I. I hooked up the new one to test it out before dad made it over for breakfast. It really is a bit larger than what I have been using and the screen quality is really good too. It isn’t an amazing monitor but it sure is amazing for the price. Only $200!! It is a 19″ LCD, thin black frame, 1280×1024 at 75Hz, 600:1 contrast ratio and a 12ms response time. Way better than what I am used to. And the whole thing is absolutely sharp. I am really pleased.

After breakfast Dominica had to drive back to Rochester to go to work for the day. She has a full, normal ten hour day today just like any Friday. I am working today too and had to run over to Perry this morning. Oreo tagged along. That was a bad idea because the weather was really had over there and we are really lucky that we didn’t get stuck somewhere because they were not plowing the roads that the snow was getting pretty deep in places.

I was home a little after noon and managed to spend the whole afternoon just doing little odd things around the house. It is a really slow day for me, no calls, because no one is working today. Very little to go wrong. I love days like today. It is so easy to get so much done. And much easier to relax than on normal days that I just need to take off. That never works. The moment I make an attempt at relaxing I get tons of panicky calls about things going wrong everywhere. It is very stressful.

Dad IM’d me and asked if I wanted to do a fish fry for dinner. I think that dad and I are some of the most faithful Friday Fish Fry people anywhere. We are also some of the most faithful Omega Grill eaters. We aren’t the top though. There are a few groups of people that I am pretty sure eat there everyday. But we have to be really close. Min and I eat there sometimes without dad and he eats there at least once or twice a week without us. And once in a while I have a business meeting there. And once in a great while Eric and I will go there. And once in an even greater while Jeremy and I might go there. Even my “aunt and uncle”, Shirley and Jim, who are really Jeremy’s aunt and uncle go there several times a week. Enough that we normally run into each other there more than once a week. So between us ourselves and our immediate clan we are there for almost every meal. It is kind of scary.

Dad and I hit Walmart on the way back to my house since the rush seemed to have subsided and there weren’t really all that many people there. There weren’t too many great deals left but we had some more mundane shopping to do anyway. I had to get some batteries. We are going through them like mad now between our digital camera and two MP3 players that we both use all of the time. I found Pleasantville on DVD for only $3.44 which was such a good deal that I couldn’t pass it up. I also grabbed That 70’s Show Season Three. It was not on sale but getting it on sale at Target was way too scary for me and I was sure that I would be happier just paying the extra money and not having to fight through mad mobs of people just to find out that all of the copies had been sold all ready anyway.

I recorded my podcasts and played with the hamster before Dominica got home. I also snuck in a game of AoE2 against the computer. Sometimes I just need to play for an hour to really relax. I think that we need to get the FNG up and running again because the games are so intense that they really lower my stress levels. Watching DVDs or television doesn’t have the same effect.

After Dominica got home we popped in some That 70’s Show and watched three or four episodes. What a great show. We managed to get to bed just a little after midnight. Dominica has a full day of work tomorrow so she needs her sleep.

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