June 2005


2800 miles in the car though… could be interesting. But we've driven great distances before and it's alll been good.


I hate it when this happens. Over the weekend one of my coworkers on a float trip down the Illinois river ended up dead.

We are told that foul play is suspected – some racial slurs, some guys in a pickup, our friend disappeared only to be found later.

Damn. We found out Monday but I didn't even feel like putting it down in writing till now.

We leave next Friday for Philadelphia so I'm frantically trying to make reservations, plan routes, and buy tickets online.

Anybody have a laptop I can borrow for the journey? It would be nice to dump the digicam into, let Evan IM his buddies, watch DVDs, and do some blogging.

Great sums of money are about to be spent; the purchase of a laptop would probably not be noticed but then again…those visa bills are itemized.

I'd give a lot if Evan was a bit older and he could do a third of the driving. Maybe next summer.

We never go to DisneyWorld in order to save money but I'm sure we save any money at all after it's all totalled up but I think the total experience is better than a Disney experience. Or a cruise experience. But I'd like to do those too.

At any rate, I have to go buy some new shirts. Erin will probably get new shoes because that's what she does.

I finally got my video editing software squared away so that it works and now I'm off and running. “Evan's first year” is almost done now.

This stuff is much more tolerable with a nice soundtrack.

Well, we got Evan off to Scout camp where he will be the senior guy in his troop. I hope that means he can have a tent to himself. He stayed up past midnight glow-bowling and didn't call Mel for a ride until everybody in his party was gone. He's afraid she'd embarrass him I guess – which she's never done. At least not to the extent he's afraid of.

We went to church and then Mel suggested we go to IHOP. Strange for lunch on father's day but I thought it sounded good. It turns out that many many other families thought so too. We had to wait but what the heck? We stuffed ourselves with a second breakfast and went home to nap.

I have a new weedeater so Erin wanted us to take the old one apart and see how it worked. OK by me but Mel had other plans. We'll have to do our creative dismantling and throwing away later. It sure is fun to take something apart and know that you don't have to get it back together again. You can throw away each part as you take it off.

We also decided to go see Madagascar. *yawn* It looked good from the previews but…

We hit the pool briefly this afternoon too.

Now I'm trying to install my new hard drive. As always, adding hardware to a PC is way more trouble than I expected.

Erin's performance in our church's SummerSong thing was last night. They did a little musical performance centered around the story of Jonah and as usual, we all had a fine time. It was so enjoyable, we went out for ice cream and so apparently did many of the other little songsters from the church. We whooped it up in Braum's for awhile and then went home to perpare for Saturday.

Our neighborhood decided to have a subdivision-wide garage sale today so we rolled out all the crap left over from last week and sold another $40 worth! That pretty much doubled Melissa's estimates of potential profits. The kids divided it up and Evan discovered he finally had enough to buy that new guitar. But not before the Mimi bus drove up.

That's what we call large tour busses – like the ones that GrayLine tours operates in the big cities where old people (grandmas for example – or, as my kids call her, Mimi) get on and get a tour of the area or go to the casinos as the case may be. Anyway, one of these humungous busses pulled through our neighborhood; barely able to make it through some of the turns what with all the cars parked on the street from customers. They stopped right in front of our house at one point and several retirees got off and rummaged through our old rummagables. They then bought some lemonade from Erin's little stand on the sidewalk and off they went; having bought a grand total of 35 cents worth of crap. I love this country!

So after the accounting, Evan discovered he was over the top on his financial goals. He had been slavering over an Epiphone Les Paul Standard at the Guitar Center and the moment he had it all, the money started to burn a hole in his pocket. Off we went. He came home with a beautiful shiny new Les Paul and immediately retreated to his room to whale away at it for the next several hours. He's happy.

Erin took some of her money and wanted to buy some music software by the good folks at CakeWalk. I hope those people take the slow boat to heaven when their time comes – I know they meant well but we had an awful time figuring out how to make it work with her keyboard. We finally did it only minutes ago and I'm not too impressed with its useability. But at least it works.

I also snuck away to the Computer Show this morning and came back with a shiny new hard drive upon which to store my video projects. Score!

We capped off the day with an early father's day trip to Ollie's Station restaurant – one of my favorites. They have trains everywhere rolling around on tracks hung from the ceiling. It's a constant cacophony of whistles and chug-chugs. Perfect for us middle-aged kids.

Now Evan has gone off to the late-night session of glow-bowling; allegedly there may be a certain special someone there as well but he ain't talking. No matter – we have our ways of surmising what's in the wind.

Tomorrow he takes off for scout camp where they have a no cell phone rule. He will go through withdrawal but he will survive.

I downloaded a trial version of Pinnacle Studio and liked it so much I wanted to buy it. So I clicked on the clickable that said “buy”.

Well, it was to activate the trial version to permanent status but it failed at some point along the way with an error that disappeared before I could read it. I heard the sound of $99 swirling down the toilet so I immediately went to their website to request a refund.

They quickly responded in the affirmative and said they would refund me.

Now today, I got in the mail a full-up version on CD from them. Part of the terms of the refund was that I would “destroy all intellectual properties” which I took to mean I should uninstall the trial – which I did.

Now what? These crazy people have now sent me the full-blown thing. It wasn't clear to me that was ever part of the deal.

Geez. No more activation for me – I'm going for shrinkwrap stuff all the way in the future.

Guess I'd better return it or shred it.

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