25 December 2010

Christmas Ala Mode

We were up so late that we slept in this morning. Despite yesterday's wonderful news, I slept restlessly with disturbing dreams. I finally got up and, for a further Christmas gift for James, walked Willow and fed her.

I had looked for cinnamon waffles at the supermarket, but only found blueberry, etc., and had to get "cinnamon toast" Eggo waffles instead. These are thin and James found they worked best if you toasted them twice, like a biscotti. They were...okay; I wouldn't go out of my way to buy them again.

We spent the rest of the morning enjoying Christmas. Willow had some treats, and I gave Schuyler a slice of mandarin orange. In the afternoon James cooked his corn casserole.

Now, all week they had been predicting snow on Christmas day, and we had just shaken our heads: not gonna happen. It hasn't snowed in Atlanta on Christmas since 1882! Heck, even southern New England mostly has "green" Christmases. But early in the afternoon it started to rain, then snow. It snowed steadily, at first not sticking to anything, then to the soil and the deck rails, then finally to the grass and the tops of vehicles.

About 2:30 we headed to the Butlers through a winter wonderland. We listened to a Gunsmoke episode about a cranky farmer who complained about intruders in his barn: a man and his very pregnant wife, who is the farmer's estranged daughter. I think you can guess that the baby was a boy and brought peace. :-)

We had a great time. Folks brought appetizers—cheese and crackers, an olive tray, popcorn and other small munchies, a bean tip, brownie bites—and we talked and laughed until dinner was ready: beef roast, spiral-cut ham, mashed potatoes, the corn casserole, salad, another veggie I didn't avail myself of. The tables were full, so I sat in the living room with Lin and watched "Voyage of the Damned" on Doctor Who. Later we had gifts.

It continued snowing all afternoon, making a real Christmas card out of Ron and Lin's wooded subdivision. The boys kept dashing outside to slide in the snow and I kept wandering outside myself to take some film on the Flip; James took some photos with the new camera.

We left somewhat after seven and meandered home the long way to check out a few more lights and buy a paper. We arrived home ready to watch the new Doctor Who Christmas episode and discovered that we didn't have a signal on the Dish. So I put on The House Without a Christmas Tree and then messed with the box again. When I eventually got it to work again, I didn't have any sound. Not only that, but if I try to play stuff that we recorded on the DVR previously, when we did have sound, there's no sound either. It's not the television—if we play it via the antenna, the sound is fine. So I called up tech support and went through that for a while. We actually have to pay to have someone come look at the thing, or buy monthly maintenance coverage! If we owned the box, I wouldn't mind it so much, but we rent the stupid thing monthly; why should we pay to fix it? Anyway, James asked to speak to a supervisor and he got the charge waived.

Anyway, we were fretting about losing what was on the box when the technician came (because they haven't been able to fix a DVR box yet; this is our third one), so I tried different things to get it to play. I turned the sound down and attempted to use the receiver, but there was still no sound. But if we play the DVR through the DVD recorder and turn on the receiver, we do get the sound. Not sure if this is caused by the box or maybe an HDMI port. If it's the port on the TV, I can cancel the service call and call H.H. Gregg instead.

So, anyway, Christmas itself is almost over, but Christmastide rolls on. We have holiday things to do tomorrow and a birthday on Monday. Alas, New Year will be spent at home because James has to work New Year's Day.

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