Last night was an early one for me. I usually stay up pretty late reading, playing a video game, typing on here or something to those effects. Last night as we were catching up on TV (as we almost always do) I started dozing off during Saturday Night Live. No offense to Annette Benning.

As with most of the rest of this week, work didn’t seem too busy, but it kept me busy. I did take a break to help my brother-in-law Michael Mercer load his TV into his car. His final exam was today and he’s going to go home until the semester starts back up. The TV in his room at home is tiny so he’s taking the one he keeps here. He also took his Xbox 360. I think it was because I was just starting to get decent at Gears of War.

I also went to the mall with him. We grabbed lunch in the food court, but before that we went to exchange his DVR at the Time-Warner Store. For a while some of the stations have been messed up and when it records he only gets a black screen. It’s a good thing I went with him because when we told him to go ahead and swap it out we didn’t think about the fact that he’s not on the Time-Warner account and he doesn’t remember our address or phone number, despite having lived here for several months now.

I got back and did some work. Scott Hendrix, my boss, was in Raleigh today.

My laptop broke today.  For quite a while now it’s had a problem with the power connection.  I got a new power cord and that solved it for a little while, then it went bad and I got the power cord replaced, but that didn’t solve it the second time.  For months I’ve had to jiggle the power cord to get it to realize that there’s a power cord plugged into it.  A lot of times I’d have to pull the cord to one side or another then anchor it into that position, like by wrapping it around something or putting it under the laptop.  I was fiddling around with it this morning and one of the times I pulled the cord out, the part it plugs into came out with it.  It took me a minute to ply it out of the hole.  It’s sort of the male part inside the female part of the power hookup on the laptop.  There’s absolutely no fix for that, so I’ll either have to send it off to Hewlett-Packard and probably pay $200 or more, or I can put that money towards getting a MacBook.
Amanda came home and we went right back out. The plan was to go to the bank and cash Amanda’s mileage check then go to PetSmart to get the animals some small Christmas gifts and grab a bite to eat. It probably took us ten minutes (only a small exaggeration, if one at all) to get from our neighborhood to the intersection of College Road, which is maybe a quarter of a mile. The problem was that we needed to turn left and if traffic wasn’t coming from the left it was coming from the right. The problem was exacerbated when someone needed to turn left into our neighborhood and ended up backing traffic up probably all the way to the bridge over I-40.

When we finally did get onto College Road it was backed up getting into town. Instead of going all the way down College to the bank we turned at New Centre and went the back way through the Lowe’s parking lot and past Sam’s Club to get to the bank. The whole trip took nearly half an hour. I love this town, but I can’t stand driving in it.

Because of all the traffic we decided to go to Petco instead of PatSmart (it was right there) and neither of us knew what we wanted to eat so we stopped by the Lowe’s Food near the house and picked up some cereal. Amanda also got some Cherry Coke, even though we’ve been good about not having soft drinks/ Her reasoning was that Ben and Jessica Lambeth were coming tonight and Jessica also liked Cherry Coke. Weak.

Once home we printed up a few pictures for our gift to Ben and Jessica, which is a set of coasters with picture frames in them. We chose some pictures from times we all camped on Carolina Beach together.

They got here a little after 9:00. We just sat in the living room watching TV and talking. Ben and Jessica brought some popcorn which we all munched on. When they first got here we were glancing at Comedy Relief 2006 . Amanda wanted to change it after a little while so I kept acting like I was giving her the remote control then pulling it away from her. She got tired of that so she told me to put it down and move my hand away from it. I put it down, but we were sitting on the couch under a blanket and I put the remote on top of my other hand, which was covered up. So as soon as she went for it, I batted it away with the hand under the blanket. This had the unfortunate effect of throwing the remote against the wall before it crashed down onto the floor. The case was separated a bit (not broken) and when I pushed it back together one of the buttons stayed lit up. I was doing all I could to take the case back apart because the button stayed lit up and no buttons were working.

Amanda kept trying to take the remote way to fix it but I wouldn’t let her. Ben understood- it’s a guy thing. After a few minutes I fixed it; when I put the case back together it mashed down another button and trapped it under the case. I just nudged it so it wasn’t mashed down any more and it worked fine. Amanda was in the kitchen at that point, so I told her I fixed it and there was no way she could have figured out how to do it.

She never reads this, so she’ll probably never know that the several minutes I struggled with that thing could have been avoided it I’d just slightly pushed a button over.

Anyway. I was pretty tired so around 10:30 or so I started dozing off. We all headed off to bed around 11:00.

Zach Dotsey