Warning: Bloggish posting follows
Saturday was the annual holiday party for Austin NoKidding, which includes a "white elephant" gift exchange. I ended up with a rather (ehem) large clay scene depicting the birth of Christ complete with an animated music box and snow globe. Now while I actually like Christmas decorations, this just was way too busy for my tastes...and apparently everyone else's as well, as I couldn't get anyone to "steal" it away.
I was going to "re-gift" this as next year's white elephant gift that everyone tries to avoid. However, last night I remembered that my ex-boss' wife collects all things Christmas. Their house is amazingly full of all sorts of Christmas decorations, and this "thing" (not even sure what to call it) fits perfectly with the other knick-knacks they have. So last night the gift that nobody wanted has a very good home.
I had a great time talking to Mary who's created a neat country music web site (with the intent to make it her career). It's definitely worth a look at http://www.icmdb.com/.
Yesterday also marked a change in my TV viewing that I hope will be a good thing over the long haul: I got cable and (today) ditched DirecTV. Despite my problems with DirecTV making changes to my TiVo that caused it to randomly reboot, I was actually fairly happy with them. But the idea of putting a large dish on what will soon become my newly installed roof didn't make me feel confident. I also am beginning to tire of the sleezy tactics (that cable is also guilty of) TV delivery companies (how else do you describe cable, satellite, etc.?) use to price their services. If you don't threaten to leave and/or simply express displeasure at the price, they keep jacking it up.
That all being said, I was actually rather impressed with the video quality that cable TV delivered. This is in sharp contrast to how things used to be a few years ago when cable's quality sucked. I think now that they're delivering phone service as well, they tend to pay a little more attention to reliability and quality (although only time will tell what really happens). The Scientific Atlanta DVR is...well...not as impressive. I think TiVo has the edge on almost all the competition, but you'd think SA would take some direction from TiVo and everyone else and provide a few more features. One can only hope that with Cisco purchasing Scientific Atlanta that the software in the box gets better (although PLEASE do not start making THIS DVR reboot randomly!).
I feel that even though I purchased few to no gifts this year, I spent more than my fair share during the holiday season and helped to give the US economy a boost. That certainly was not my intent, but I suppose it's always nice to have some unintended positive side-effects...