Brent Dax (brentdax) wrote,
Brent Dax

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We had family Hanukkah today.  The preparations started with some wrapping around eleven, then some cleanup, then a shower and getting dressed.  The presents were mostly here already, so about 1 pm I started organizing presents into piles by recipient.  This took until after the guests arrived at 2.  Once I finished, I tried to wrangle everybody into the living room to start ripping presents apart; this took several minutes.

Cast of characters:
  • Myself
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Grandma
  • Grandpa
  • Uncle Ken
  • Aunt Dawn, his wife
  • Alex, their almost-5-year-old son
  • Bella, their almost-3-year-old daughter
During the present-opening, I was in charge of giving presents to people and making sure they were opened in the proper order.  A few of the complications:
  • People didn't have the same number of presents as each other.  Dad ran out early; Dawn a little later; then my brother, then myself, then the two little kids (!), then my mother, uncle, sister, Grandma, and finally Grandpa.
  • There were several sets of linked presents (where several people got the same thing and had to open them at the same time), many of which were not marked.  There were also a few cases where present A had to be opened before present B; once again, there was no marking to reflect this.
  • These small children tried to help, despite the fact that they couldn't read and didn't know how the presents were organized.  They also had a tendency to wander off or play with their previous presents when it was their turn, grab their presents early and then start opening them out of turn, etc.
  • My brother was supposed to take care of all the trash, but didn't.
  • Titles instead of names: many presents were marked with "Mom" or "Dad", when there were several moms and dads present.  This was more of a problem while organizing the presents ("Okay, this is for Mom--no, our mom, not Grandma!"), but in at least one case, a present was marked "To: Mom and Dad.  From: Alex and Bella."  (They meant Grandma and Grandpa.)
  • And various other frustrations.
We took a break at four or so to have dinner, which was good.  However, myself, Dad, and my brother had to do all the cleanup, since Mom and my sister had done all the cooking.  Then it was right back to ripping open presents.

We finally finished with the presents about eight; then someone had the bright idea to play a poker game.  That lasted till eleven or so; I lost a great deal of money fairly early on (Hold'Em--I had a great hand from the beginning, but Dad just beat me out on the river, and took about 95% of my money).

I hate Hold'Em.  The probabilities simply defy logic.

I bowed out at some point, while I still had a few chips, and went to the living room to play with the little kids.  At some point, Uncle Ken (who had been the first one knocked out) asked if he could use my chips, and I said he could; he resurfaced a few minutes later, having lost my last few chips.  Sigh.

Oh, and then to top it off, I got to carry Alex out to the car.  Although my brother had it worse; he had to carry the box with all of Grandpa's presents in it, which conststed of a few trinkets and approximately half the contents of the Library of Congress.

Bottom line: though I wasn't working the whole time, I haven't actually rested since this morning.  That's...tiring.

(Oh, and it turns out that Devonie has some homework she didn't tell us about before, so we probably won't be able to go geocaching till next week.  Grrr.)

So...the haul:
  • Six manga, plus three duplicates which I can return.  (Three Ranma, two Oh My Goddess, one Inuyasha, with a dupe from each.)  These were a pleasant surprise.
  • A digital tape measure, which is a neat toy, but one I'll probably end up returning so I can buy something more useful.
  • Three T-shirts.  One says "To err is human, to blame someone else shows management potential"; one is the Thinkgeek "There's no place like" shirt; and one has the Firefox logo.
  • One sweater, which I suppose I'll keep, as I don't have much in the way of semi-formal clothes.
  • Hordes of the Underdark (NWN expansion pack).
  • Doom 3, plus a strategy guide.  Which kicks such the ass.  (I'm not sure whether I'll keep the guide or not; anybody know how necessary it is?)
  • Another 160GB drive.  Which brings up a dilemma...
That doesn't really tell the whole story, though--Blake got a couple presents I'll benefit from, such as Ace Combat 5 and an IOU for the ROTK special edition

Okay.  If you've been following this, you'll know that I just got a 160 GB hard drive, put it in my computer, partitioned it, and installed Windows.  That drive is refurbished; the one I got tonight is new.

OTOH, that drive is also the one that already has all my data on it, while the new one doesn't.  And it's partitioned exotically already (50GB system/programs, 50GB data, 15GB server backups, with the rest for Linux) that I'm not sure I want to try to recreate it with all of its quirks and setup again.  And I already have two optical drives, so I can't have both new drives and my 60GB with my data installed all at the same time.

Hmm...that may not be a factor, really; I could probably install the new drive, use a Gentoo LiveCD, and dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb.  They're the same capacity and manufacturer, and the model numbers aren't far off.  (Linux geeks: let me know if you think that'll work or not.)

Another factor is that I have the core components of a 1.3ghz computer in my room; I could chuck the extra drive into that, but it wouldn't get me a power supply, and I would never use all that capacity.  So I think that idea's out.

Nor do I need 160 GB on the server.

...have you ever heard of somebody having too much space?

So, let's say I return the refurbished drive.  (Dad thought it was a great deal for an SATA drive, except it wasn't SATA; he said it was still pretty good for an IDE drive, though.)  Let's further say that I also return the $40 fingerprint reader that won't work with Firefox, the three manga (which ought to add up to $35), and the tape measure...

Shit, the tape measure is "as seen on TV".  Somehow, I suspect they won't accept returns.

It looks like the refurbished drive was $80, so all of that adds up to $155.  Not enough to buy a meaningful RAM upgrade, but I suspect I could get:
  1. A power supply for the busted-up box.
  2. A small hard drive for same.
  3. An IDE controller card for the server, so that each drive could be on a separate IDE channel, and I could set up RAID.
Or I could wait until "the first half of 2005", when Windows XP x64 Edition (the version that'll include 64-bit support for the Athlon 64) comes out.  Assuming it'll be the same price as XP Pro...upgrade...probably not, huh?

Or I could save all of that for a vacation or something.  Not that it's a whole lot.

Decisions, decisions...

[Oh, and I'm fairly certain none of my other presents are computer parts; one of them is hard but feels like a book, and the others are soft and are probably shirts.]

...I just realized what I didn't get: airline miles.  Damn.  Looks like a job will be more necessary than I thought.

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