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Endin’ ’07

January 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Happy New Year!

(Heh...it's getting harder and harder to come up with clever titles =P)

[EDIT (2008/01/01, 12:10 AM): Not even ten seconds passed after the ball dropped and our power quickly went out a few times - it lasted only a few seconds at most, and everything seems OK now. Either someone pulled some kind of stunt - with great timing - or this was a really eerie coincidence...perhaps it's the Y2K8 bug? ;P]

I've been really busy lately, which is why I haven't posted here in so long...and that rant I mentioned in my last post will have to wait.

I got quite a few gifts this time, and can also be a little more specific about some things as well:

  • On December 21, at work:
    • Two scratch-off lottery tickets: $6 total (one $1 and one $5). I have yet to scratch them off ;P
    • A hand-crank LED flashlight: my Dad got one of these awhile back, but now I've got one of my own! The only real differences between them are that mine is blue (his is silver, which I think is the standard color for them) and has a little "crest" (for show) near the front. There is nothing on the flashlight to identify its brand, but from what I have read, Apex Technologies is the only one that puts that kind of "crest" on their models.
    • A cup that looks like Santa's head. It can be used for candy, and was full of Reeses when I got it =)
  • On December 23, at my one aunt's house:
    • $40 cash (in a card)
    • Body Wash
    • Staples Gift Card ($25)
    • Bathroom Book of Cartoons
  • And that night, at Granny's house:
    • A thin - yet plush-feeling - blanket for my bed, to replace (or sit on top of) one that doesn't stay in place because it's too short for this type of bed.
    • Pants
    • Planter's Pistachio Lover's Mix
    • Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader
    • Uncle John's Presents The Ultimate Challenge Trivia Quiz
  • I didn't get anything on the 24th - we went to the Christmas Eve service and then dropped off a few presents at Granny's.
  • On December 25, we invited some of my Dad's relatives over for breakfast - in particular, Grandma and my aunt (who lives with her), another aunt and uncle, and their children. My parents served eggnog pancakes, bacon, eggs and toast, and the meal was pretty good. The families talked with each other for a while and before they left, I opened the presents I got from them:
    • From my Grandma and Aunt:
      • A card with $70 ($20 from my aunt, $50 from Grandma)
      • "How Come?": Every Kid's Science Question Explained
      • Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader Page-A-Day Calendar
    • And from my parents:
      • $50 in cash
      • Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: Wonderful World of Odd
      • Candy (some of which was of the chocolate-coated variety)
      • Clothes (some of which, as usual, had to be exchanged =P)
      • Aftershave
    • And finally, the gifts I said I wanted for Christmas:
      • External Hard Drive (Maxtor OneTouch 4, 250 GB) - now I have something to back up my data onto, that actually has enough room for it =D Also, this came with not one, but two iPod Shuffle USB Travel Docks (Marware, a $39.98 value - $19.99 apiece)...but I don't have an iPod Shuffle. I'll see if I can find anyone that wants them, as they are of no use to me.
      • Flexible Keyboard (GrandTec, GlowType) - the keys on my laptop are a bit cramped, and I don't have a separate number pad (which makes it tricky to operate certain programs). This takes care of both of those problems: it provides a layout just like a standard keyboard and has a separate number pad. Not only that, but it has an "On/Off" switch for lighting (you'd think it'd naturally be glow-in-the-dark because of the name and its appearance - it isn't - but it sure looks like it when that's turned on and the lights are off) and is flexible - I can roll it up to take it with me in my laptop case =D It will take some time to get used to, due to the nature of the keyboard (the silicone-enclosed keys shift slightly when typing and, to allow it to be rolled up, some keys were split up into multiple keys), but I feel it'll come in very handy in the future =)
      • USB Hub (Belkin, 4-Port USB 2.0 Plus Hub) - my laptop only has three USB ports, and the mouse plus keyboard take up two. With this hub, however, I can have six devices plugged in (actually seven, but the net total is six: three ports on the laptop, minus one for the hub, plus the four it provides), and currently have four to spare (the mouse and keyboard take up two of those six ports).
    • After the gifts were opened, we went to Grandma's for dinner and I got a present that was accidentally forgotten about earlier:
      • A tie clasp: it was silver-colored, with a chain-link piece connecting the sides. This is like one I already have, but the links in the chain-link piece for that one are long and somewhat oval-shaped - the links for the one I got were small and circular.
  • On the 28th, I got two more presents:
    • $40 in a little tuxedo-shaped card / money holder, from another aunt (not one of the ones that came over, though).
    • A Craftsman offset screwdriver, from my Dad. He got it for me as a result of the issues I had when taking the hard drive out of my one Aunt's computer, as some of the screws holding it in place could only be taken out with a Phillips-head screwdriver, bent at 90°...and that is exactly what that tool is for (which also has a slotted head) =)

That should cover everything...and that's a lot of stuff!

The hard drive will be shared between my three computers (old desktop, new desktop and the laptop - the total combined capacity of their drives is less than the capacity of this one), which will finally give me a reliable method (relative to what I used in the past...) for backing things up. Not only that, but I'll eventually be formatting all three (once I back stuff up, of course ;P) so I can do a clean install on all of them (and get the old desktop running again). This time around, I'll take better care of them so they won't have the problems that developed from my past inexperience.

The keyboard and hub are exclusively for my laptop, so I'll have what I need to finally break away from my desktop...and be able to take my work with me, instead of being bound to a single room in the house...

2007 was just...busy - I really fell behind on a lot. Hopefully 2008 will be better - I have some resolutions in mind, though I'm only going to post a basic outline of them right now, as it'll take some time to specify them in detail (they're all interconnected, to an extent):

  • Becoming a little more independent. Due to my Asperger's, I'll never be fully independent, but every little bit helps...
  • Get out of certain jobs I've been stuck with, that also seem to be consuming my parents' lives as well...
  • Find some type of work where I can be paid per-task, rather than per-hour.

That's all for now - and like I said, hopefully this year will be better than the last =)


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