Brought Mom down here late last week to be here for Brian's last pre-Iraq visit. We had him and Kristin (his fiance) and Mark & Gretchen for dinner Sunday -- Kevin and Adriene came over later and hung out.
Got Mom a new computer to replace the P-II laptop I steered her wrong with a year or two ago. It did... OK with XP and MSN and almost OK with the firewall and antivirus on top of that, but the more the software updated itself, the slower the thing got. It got absolutely ridiculously "let's go make the bed and get a cup of coffee" slow.
So I got her a Compaq P-III 733 sans OS and monitor for $80. Not bad. Picked up 15" a flat panel monitor for her (with speakers built in) and moved the install of XP from the laptop to the new box. Part of the old box's problem was the limit of 160 MB of memory. This one has 384. It screams, relatively.
Getting Brian's IPOD all fixed up with playlists before he goes. Put a new battery in it. Got him hooked up with all the power adaptors he'll need. He got a digital camera a couple of weeks ago -- so I got him an NIMH rechargable battery kit, too. And I gave him my Ambico mini tripod -- I've had one for years --- it's been up and down mountains with me. It's smaller (important for soldiers on the go) and much sturdier than those cheesey "Digital" brand ones you can pick up at Walmart for $5. They're getting harder to find, though, I think. Our Target store doesn't have them in stock anymore, but you can get them via Target Online or Amazon (which amounts to about the same thing I think). I ordered a replacement.
Put an older OS on the P-II laptop ... I can use it for a digital picture dumping/viewing machine on the road and an MP3 Library player at home. Cool. Now all I need is a 160GB USB hard drive to hook up to it. I have a big music collection :-) like... 700 CD's.
Got a K&N air filter for the Escort... bumped the gas mileage up by about 1.5 mpg both city and highway. So I'm getting one for the Taurus, too. Sure, it'll take a while to make up the cost, but it'll FEEL better. Plus I get extra power out of it when I need it.
Then I took my car in for an oil change -- $16.95, right? Nope. Broken rear coil spring. Replace those... might as well replace the struts, too, at 65,000 miles, right? $430 (with the oil change, labor, and tax -- hell, the tax was almost as much as the labor).
We'll be going out to dinner the next couple of nights for Brian's send-off -- he wanted to go to the 63 Diner again, and to the Outback.
Have to take Mom back to Fort Wayne after Brian leaves, then we have Renfest coming up, Tom wants to take us sailing, and before you know it October will be here and it'll be time for the Haunted Float, and then on top of that -- there's mom and dad's 50th coming up. So ... we'll be busy.
Well, that's about it for now.