My First Christmas with Meghan

It's a late night here in Minnesota, or an early morning, if you prefer.  The Xmas season is at an end, and none too soon.  If I had any more Xmas, I'd probably lock myself away from the candy canes, wrapping paper, and fruit cake. OK, maybe there wasn't much fruit cake this year, but there certainly was enough family and festivities to keep me and my girlfriend running from one corner of the `burbs to the other.

Yes, this was my first Xmas with my girlfriend, Meghan, and yes, we did put on a lot of miles.  I mentioned my father's 50th birthday in one of my earlier .plan's, so I'll follow up.  It was a lot of fun.  We visited with people I haven't seen in many years.  College years have a way of separating you from your High School youth and those you knew.  It's really awkward, sometimes, trying to pick up conversation topics with old acquaintances and friends, but not at this party

Meghan blended right into the crowd, having a pretty good time for just meeting everyone, my family included.  My brother-in-law entertained us with his strange sense of humor and his constant joking.

We spent the night there with the intent on watching "The Fellowship of the Ring" in Elk River the next afternoon as a birthday present for my dad.  The snow ruined plans, since Mom needed a driving companion for her shopping in St. Cloud.  We rescheduled our movie outing with Dad for the following Friday and headed down to Maple Grove to do a little Xmas shopping before Marya's Holiday Dinner.

As a last minute decision, we watched the movie anyway.  It was excellent! Don't listen to the nay-sayers and hard-core Tolkien fans who play the movie down.  It was very well crafted and followed the book quite respectfully.

With a movie under our belt, we made our way to Marya's for a two course meal, and a couple matches of "Battle of the Sexes".  Many of my friends from the school days in Duluth showed: Gep, Paul, Dave, Wade and Karen, Mikey and Marine, Jessica, and one of Marya's friends (forgive me for the late night brainskip).  The guys beat the girls two games to one, but they were both very close games.  All in all, no one was physically harmed and only a few threats were carried out.

On Sunday, we made our way back up to my home town to spend the day with my immediate family.  How can you turn down prime rib, wine, and family?  Not to mention pie, ice cream, and presents!  Ellie entertained us, like always, with her toddler innocence, and Chris battled for a close second with his comedic relief.  I made out like a bandit with gifts, scoring a home brewing kit among other things.  I can't wait to start my first batch.  Meghan found the de-facto standard anime classic, Akira, in a special edition two disc DVD.  Needless to say, we'll be watching that soon (today, by the calendar).

Sunday night ended with yours truly crushing the opposition in a game of "May I", a multi-deck card game that takes HOURS to play.  It has simple rules, but it is accompanied by plenty of strategy.  If you're interested, send me an email asking for the rules.

Monday, we found ourselves on the road again, this time on the way to Meghan's parents' place.  It was a fairly relaxed night, with dinner, a nap, and a few drinks.  We missed midnight mass on account of a few sleepy family members and a few glasses of whiskey.

We didn't get a chance to sleep in this morning, since the rest of the family was soon to arrive to open gifts.  It was a fun and relaxing day.  I helped install a new garbage disposal and move some furniture -- who can blame her parents for taking advantage of the extra bodies around the house.  Anyway, it was a really nice time.  She has a wonderful family.

Almost done here.  Sometime around six o'clock, we rounded up our stuff and headed over to my Uncle's place for my Mom's larger family get-together.  We arrived shortly after their dinner was finishing up, just in time for drinks (we're good at that), presents, and conversation.  I was able to thoroughly embarrass Meghan by introducing her to EVERYONE (almost) on my Mom's side of the family.  Everyone was in a good mood, and it was wonderful being able to see everyone again.

All in all, it was a very eventful, wonderful, and tiring long weekend.  This .plan file obviously reflects that.  I'm in great need of sleep right now (as the original writing of this .plan will finish sometime around 01:30 December 26, 2001).  Tomorrow, I receive a pre-op visit to the eye doctor before scheduling Lasik surgery next month.  I have plenty of work to keep me busy at the IMA tomorrow, and I plan on relaxing with my Meghan over dinner and anime. ;-)

Sorry about the length of this post, but it was something that needed to be done.  I hope your holiday season has been as eventful and fun filled as mine.




Dec 22, 2001

New plan.  I'm testing out the parsing stuff used with PHP4.  If you're viewing
this .plan from my webpage (http://wookimus.net/~chewie), you should see the
following characters as the HTML special characters: "&".

Anyway, nothing new today.  Lots of stuff going on this weekend, so if I don't
get back to your emails or messages, don't be too put off.  It's a holiday,
after all.

Happy Holidays!



.plan wrapper

Testing a new wrapper program for managing my .plan files.  Real simple hack
that I put together.  I wanted to rename my .plan file to something that could
be referenced in the future as a relatively accurate record of when the .plan
file was written.  The last modified time, found in the struct stat as
st_mtime, provides us this info quite nicely.  Now, thinking like a good UNIX
user, I looked for a program or tool that'd give me this information from a
shell. Did I find one?  No.  So, I broke out VIM and gcc and wrote up a quick
program, stuffed it in ~/bin, then wrote a quick wrapper script to help me
manage my .plan files.  Basically, I call 'newplan.sh' to move the old plan
into ~/web/plans/lastmodtime.plan.  (You can browse this directory if you like.)

So, why didn't I just write up a PHP web page to manage this?  WHY!?  I like
shell!  BASH is your friend.  Pipes are your friend.  VIM is your friend.

Anyway, the work day is almost done.  (Where did the time go?  ARGGG!)  I
actually wanted to get more done today, but I'm not going to slave myself to
this desk all night.  I've got a party to go to!



Dec 20, 2001

I'm starting to value the option to use scoring in procmail.  I'm sick of the
high Noise:Line ratio (40+:1) I see on tclug-list@mn-linux.org and other lists.
I'll be customizing things tonight to either filter email by score or add
special headers to each email so that they're quotable later on. ;-)

Additionally, I'm tired of having to be on my machine at home just to get
email.  I'm going to be moving things over to Ben's machine shortly, or at
least starting over on Ben's machine.  If he doesn't have nmh installed, I'll
prompt him to do so.

Other things happening: Dad turned 50 yesterday!  Christmas plans are quite
busy as a result.  Friday is his birthday party.  Saturday, Meghan and I are
taking him to see LoTR.  Saturday night is Marya's Holiday party.  Sunday is
our family X-mas celebration, scheduled early on account of my dad's work
schedule.  Monday is X-mas eve.  Part of the day will be with Grandma and
Grandpa, and part will be at Meghan's family.  Tuesday is Christmas where we'll
still be at Meghan's parent's house until the afternoon, only to buzz on over
to my Uncle's house for the Kaaria X-mas celebration.

So, starting tomorrow, my long weekend will be a LONG weekend. ;-)