• How I Spent My Christmas Vacation…


    Laura, Kyle and I spent the last two weeks of December in Michigan’s beautiful (and snowy) Upper Peninsula and, apart from several family members coming down with some sort of gastro-intestinal plague, we had what I will call a grand old time. Here’s just a sampling of the fun:

    • On the 19th of December, Brenda, the older of my sisters (Kyle calls her “Benta, Benta, Benta!”) had her tonsils and adenoids removed and her uvula reduced. This isn’t a big deal when you’re six years old, but is a significantly bigger deal when you’re approaching thirty. She’s recovering nicely, but spent several days with a very raspy voice eating only orange sherbet.
    • Carolers, honest-to-baby-Jesus carolers, came to my parents’ house. In all of my thirty-four years of yuletide celebration, never have I been caroled to in such a manner. My heart grew three sizes that day.
    • There were eighteen people living in my parents’ house over the course of the holidays, including my parents, their six children (plus three significant others) and seven grandchildren.
    • On Christmas day, the number of people in the house doubled.
    • My younger brother bought an eight-foot-tall inflatable Spongebob Squarepants, which he set up inside the house on Christmas morning.
    • Kyle made two snow angels (with my help), fell face-first into six inches of snow (all by his lonesome) and greatly enjoyed being pulled around the driveway in his new sled.
    • On the 26th, my brothers and I (along with the younger of my sisters’ significant other) went to see Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. It was a funny, ridiculously violent movie and I’m pretty sure we all enjoyed the hell out of it. Get to the chopper!
    • My parents now have DSL and a wifi router. On the 27th of December, there were eight devices (seven of them wireless, including an iPhone) with outstanding DHCP leases on the router. My mind was boggled.
    • My mother had a laptop for one day, after which it was returned to OfficeMax. The GPU was bad, causing blue screens of death before I even had a chance the screw up the laptop on my own terms.

    There are photos, but I’ve not gotten around to retrieving them from the camera yet. Speaking of photos and cameras, Laura and I had a serious case of camera envy while we were in the U.P. There were a half-dozen digital cameras in the house, most of which were smaller than ours, all of which were faster than ours. I fully believe we’d take more photos if our tired old HP PhotoSmart was more compact and didn’t take 30 seconds to write each photo to the CompactFlash card.