Dickieville, November / December 2006

Well, as you might guess, the last couple of months have all been about the holidays... getting ready for them, celebrating them, or cleaning up after them.  But we did squeeze in a few other things!  You can see the annual Xmas letter here, or visit the photo gallery for the entire set of photos!  You can also leave comments on our blog.

Brie gets her first comic published in the school newspaper. 


Tasha in her "rub my furry tummy" pose looks like a miniature, frozen explosion of fur...

While the traditional pumpkin throw off the hill in the back wood just looks like an explosion

Will and I do one day on our season passes at Wachusetts Mountain. Unfortunately, between warm weather, rain, and tennis, there hasn't been a lot of opportunity to ski.

Christmas... it's not just about the presents. It's about Kate's amazing wrapping job, too.

Xmas was the typical orgy of present opening, but I think the kids are getting beyond the completely materialistic stage because they didn’t get us up at 5:00.  They are in the “sleep in then get materialistic on your ass” stage.  That’s kind of the same but lazier and with attitude.

Will received a lot of Radio Control vehicles this year.  Anne and Nick gave him a double-truck RV set.  Will and I had a great time chasing Tasha around with them Xmas day.  She enjoyed it too… I think.  She was excited at least. Will also received a kind of boat-plane-hovercraft that is pretty cool.  I won’t let him chase Tasha with it though, ‘cause it’s very fast and has propellers.  He’s hit me with it twice, but I’m probably not scarred for life. 

Brie's gifts were either clothes, accessories, things to store clothes and accessories, or things to draw clothes and accessories.  Well, that last bit is a tablet for doing artwork on the PC, but I was trying to figure out a way to make it fit in.

Our other Xmas excitement has been taking care of Trevor, a neighbors dog, which has Patric a little out of sorts (at least when Trevor comes over to visit).  He got in a fight with Tasha and bit Kate’s hand when she tried to break it up.  No doggie treats for him that day!  Kate’s hand is OK but it’s taking a while for it to stop hurting when she picks things up.

Brie snuggles with Tasha.  Will with his very soft, geeky looking hat and his ... floating flying skimming thing, which was a rotten Xmas present, since Will won't let me try it, and it's amazingly cool.

To the right, Trevor, Patric and Tasha are all waiting on dinner.  Below and to the right, first snowfall... exciting for Tasha, old hat for Patric

And, jumping back in time to early November, so the geeky stuff is at the bottom of the page and people can skip over it if they want.  Below, my new super computer (geek speak under the picture if you want the details). It was a complex build, as you can see from wiring between my old computer and the new one (necessary because I didn't get the DVD burner in time and had to share between the two systems, and I didn't even order a floppy drive, and I had to have one to install RAID drivers to get XP to load on the system). And, next to that, our final launch of the season... maybe (December has been so warm we almost went out again; we will see about January!)

Real Geek Speak warning!  Well, OK, pretty good computer... an Athlon 64 4600+ processor on a 939 SLI motherboard, 2 gig of DDR 400 RAM, 320 Gig hard SATA II hard drives in Raid 0 configuration (both drives are used at the same time, doubling the disk write speed), a 500 watt power supply, a mini-tower ATX case with fans, and a Radeon X1900 XTX graphics card for $700.  The graphics card was more than half the cost of the system.  The funny thing is that it was the fastest card on the planet (well, along with it's marginally faster brother the X1950 XTX), but it took a while to get the CPU and motherboard (a long story) and, by the time I got the system together, the Nvidia 8800s had come out, crushing the X1900 XTX.   The Athlon dual core 4600+ CPU was definitely not top of the line against the new Intel duo's, but the E6700, marginally better, was almost $500 and a motherboard was $200... I got the AMD CPU and motherboard for less than a third that.

Above, the Hawk takes off... below, Will tries to retrieve a smaller rocket that drifted into the trees (colored red in the first photo so you can see it ... maybe, look really closely) using the traditional "rock" method.