Well I'm home in one piece again. Thanksgiving was fun, even if I was extremely run down when I got home... (I left Fargo for Bismarck immediately after work, and we ate as soon as I got home, so I was up for 24 plus hours.) Spent some time with Mom, and some time with Dad, ate too much, and came home again (with some minor, but annoying drama in between). Spent another 25 plus hours up the day I came home since I had to be at work Sunday morning at midnight like usual.
Which of course meant I was *ripe* to pick up a doozy of a cold. And I did. Started with just minor stuffyness, and moved upwards and onwards from there. Now I've got a full blown head cold, with wonderful sinus pressure, and a real humdinger of a sore throat.
Life is such a joy some times. With luck this won't last more then a week... but I guess we'll see.
On another note - I mentioned I'd be taking my mother to the range.
Well I apparently wasn't quite explict enough when I explained to her what size of handgun I owned, because the indoor range in Bismarck (that is currently open, apparently they're opening yet another one. Damn it - Fargo needs an indoor range....) is only for rifles and pistols ranging from BB to .22
She got it when I pulled an old .22 shell I found in my truck out, and held it up next to a .45 ACP round. The "Oh Gee" amused me.
So - no range time. We did do some dry drills, and I can see that the 5 inch XD .45 might be a bit big for her hands. The first issue is weight, but that can be adjusted for and practiced with - the second and more difficult issue is that the double stacked mag means the pistol grip is a big thicker then she finds comfortable. She'd probably handle a single stack mag a bit easier. But part of this issue is also probably a general unfamiliarity with pistols. I think once she gets a chance to see it fired she'll catch on. I might look at picking up a .22 plinker (first because .22s are a hell of a lot cheaper) that she could also fire - to get a feel for things.
Apparently gun ownership is yet another on her list of things she 'wants to do' - for example, as I found out - my mother has a motorcycle license - which she apparently aquired last year. She doesn't own a motorcycle, and while I knew she liked them - this was news to me.
So, we're waiting to hear about the new range in Bismarck - our plans postponed, but not canceled.
On the subject of Mothers... mine apparently decided to finally bite the bullet on a new computer purchase. She has a rather tight budget - but its not horribly tight - and I've been leaning hard on the Mac angle. I'm not much of a Mac user myself - though I've pondered picking up a Macbook or similar when I get around to buying a Laptop again (I probably won't, but I've pondered it) - but for my mother, who considers IE her 'email' (hotmail is her homepage, and she seldom goes farther then that) who wants to do some light photo editing and has to write something in a word processor about once ever six to seven months - a Mac (specifically a MacMini) will probably serve her better then a PC.
My primary angle on this is the fact that my mother picks up an astounding amount of malware, spyware and virii. This is partly from her internet browsing habits (she is apt to randomly click on things most experienced web heads wouldn't touch with a twenty foot pole and a foolproof firewall) and partly from her insistance on opening every single attachement to every single forward she gets (which is most of her email - her friends and family like passing around random crap they find on the internet, which is usually infected, or picks things up along the way)
This of course has a seriously negative effect on the performance of her computer - and while I'll admit her PC is probably well past its prime (I built it almost 7 years ago, and even then on a shoestring budget) I spend as much time on her PC at home when I'm there cleaning up various problems that have cropped up as I do trying to keep up with my various net ramblings.
And its never very long after I've given her PC a clean bill of health that it starts all over again.
With luck, a MacMini will solve *many* of these problems - and the somewhat simplified user interface (Mac Owners will probably shoot me for calling OSX simple - but it can be) and one button mouse will finally give my mother what she wants from her computer. Something simple that she can use to keep up with email, do light word processing, and image modification - without the pesky need to have good net habits to keep computer performance in the green- since she seems to be absolutely resistant to learning them.
My brother doesn't think I should "dumb it down for Mom" like that - but then, Bro doesn't live in the same state anymore or have to field tech support calls from family, so his opinion is less then valid. The Mini also fits Mom's want of having a reduced footprint for her computer - though she's also all for reducing cabling - which, no matter what route she takes, isn't really going to happen. I've finally gotten her to understand that part - so in the next week or so I'll be ordering a Mini for her. With luck she'll find it to her liking :)
(And not just because my rep is on the line)
And thats really all I have to report. I've had some random thoughts about the recent upswing of actual ocean going piracy (ARR MATEY!) I might turn into a post somewhere down the line, and an impending review of the latest Codex of Alera book once I finish reading it (of course first I have to recieve it... last time I pre-order a book online :P).
Jim Butcher is definately my favorite 'currently writing' author. I'll even throw in a shameless plug and say if you have any interest in either classic fantasy or 'urban' fantasy (think Anita Blake, with a hell of a lot less sex and more action) I really do recommend you take a look. He's got a pretty decent sized backlog now, and while none of the books are mindblowing in length - Butcher does tell a good story. Insert shameless web link - Now
There I go rambling again. I should probably get back to my worklist, it looks like theres a case in there I should be fixing... and then I need to do some writing for my Simms... and I'm out of Green Tea again, time for a trip to the break room.