Stayed overnight at Bill's, and set up the DVD players the niece and nephew got from their grandparents. Turned out to be quite the undertaking. First, the TVs that they each got for Christmas last year only had coax video inputs, so I couldn't attach the DVD players directly. SIL went to the basement and scrounged up a couple of mechanically useless but electronically sound VCRs (i.e. tape eaters) for me to run the inputs through. Got niece's all set up, popped in her shiny new DVD of The Water Boy, and waited... Nothing. Wouldn't load the disk. Tried it again... Nothing. Cracked open my brand new Farscape S2 disk, and put that in. Again with the not loading. Hooked up nephew's identical DVD player to the system, popped in a disk, and it loaded just fine. On a whim, I rehooked niece's back up, and this time it worked just fine. Didn't change anything, it just worked. Don't know why. Except that now, even though there was no recording going on, the Macrovision copy protection kicked in on the Water Boy DVD. Bother.
I hooked nephew's DVD player to his TV through another tape-eating VCR, and this one passed the signal through to the TV properly, so he was able to enjoy true digital video goodness. Anyhow, this reminds me that I have to see if I can't find a hack for the Macrovision so that my dear niece can watch her DVD. Stupid DVD distributors.
Got some more loot on Christmas Day, a nice, warm winter coat, and a musical lighthouse. The best present, though, Jane gave me. It was a set of 8 oz glass tumblers with my initials etched into them. I was looking at the monogram, and I mentioned that they reminded me of the glasses my grandfather used to have. Jane replied that they *were* my grandfather's glasses, that she'd had them since he'd died, and decided that I ought to have them, since I have the same initials (I'm named after him). Very cool. Plus she gave me a home-made apple strudel with no raisins. Woo hoo!
The winter coat, came in handy, too. Went down to Old Bridge see Alex and Durrah around noon. It had snowed a little overnight, but now it was just raining buckets. Absolutely pouring. Spent a couple of hours at Al's, and when I left, the rain had started to turn to snow. The snow started to accumulate as I was driving back up to Morristown for dinner, and roads started getting slick. By the time I got to Rie's, there was already an inch or two of snow on the ground.
Dinner was low key. Just nine of us. Laura didn't make it down from NY. We all left around 7:00, and I decided to try to head back home. In retrospect, this was not one of the better decisions I've ever made, but it did work out, and no harm was done. The reason I decided to go back was that with all the carpet replacing going on at my place of employment, they had to move various servers that are in my care, and I needed to be around in case something broke. (We've already lost a print server.) My train of logic was that if I was stuck in NJ, something was sure to go wrong, but if I was in Rhody waiting by the phone all would be well.
It only took six hours (although it took four just to get from Morristown to Bridgeport). I figured that the highways would be passable, and there wouldn't be a whole lot of people as insane as I (or as stupid, I never really came to a conclusion on this when I was