Under the heat lamp

Happy 2010, everyone!

The past few weeks have been filled with adventure and mayhem. I surprised my parents by visiting them on their vacation in Sanibel Island, Florida. Elizabeth came with, and we spent eight days in the sun, six of which were the coldest on record for that region in decades. Which is to say that we spent most of the vacation in 50-degree weather rather than the 80-degree we were expecting, barely any warmer than it was in Seattle.

That had me bummed out considerably as it was an expensive trip (I’d even dropped a little bit extra to rent a convertible that saw almost no top-down use), but it was still nice to get away and relax, as well as see my family. The first two days were quite nice and we still managed to get in a respectable amount of biking and swimming, and at least it was sunny so I could get my vitamin D from somewhere other than an oral supplement.

On the list of curiosities was the Captiva Crab Races, where a few dozen people gambled on their hermit crabs to see which would reach the outer edge of the table first:

Crab Races

I named mine Humphrey and I’m pretty sure he died under the heat lamp on the table before the first race even began.

I’ve had a week or so to adjust back to home life. The construction workers have finally reached my building, and they have demolished the siding with zeal and gusto, and made working from home a challenging prospect. I had prepared for the opportunity to run more cables outside once they removed the siding, but after speaking to the construction manager I now know how to enter the crawl space beneath my condo from the storage locker… it seems the cable company will be rewiring my existing DIY-job for me in the next couple of weeks, so if I tag along when the contractor comes through I should be able to figure out the best way to run both my Ethernet and HDMI cables under the condo from the den to the living room.

I’ve also gone ahead and purchased the new television I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of: the Vizio VF552XVT. I was originally going to wait and see if I could pick one up at Costco, but at the last minute I found out about a “VIP” program that Vizio was running where in exchange for 6 weeks of filling out brief surveys on their new Internet-TV features I was able to receive a significant discount, free shipping, and a free sound system and Blu-Ray player at the end of the 6 weeks. It should arrive in the next week or so… I managed to squeeze in the day before the program ended, so I feel I was somewhat fortunate in being able to jump on that opportunity.

In much sadder news, my remaining grandmother (on my father’s side) fell terribly ill this past weekend, and had to go into the intensive-care unit. The entire family is currently in hurry-up-and-wait mode, and I’m preparing to have to hop on a plane to Toronto at a moment’s notice if her condition declines any further. At the moment the antibiotics appear to be slowly kicking in and she is improving gradually, though, and may even leave the ICU in the next couple of days if she continues to improve, although it will take her weeks to recover.

It’s definitely had me on edge these past couple of days, and was compounded today when I checked my mail and found a birthday card she sent me, presumably back in December. (I was glad the post office was able to successfully deliver it at all; there were a number of little mistakes she’d made in the addressing of it.) I haven’t opened it yet… I’m not a superstitious person by any stretch of the imagination, but the timing of it makes me anxious. Everyone in the family is stressed, of course, and Izzy’s recent passing is still fresh in our memories. I really hope she gets through this.

Dan.

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