October 22, 2006: Lots of Shopping

I slept in until half past seven this morning. You know that you are getting old when that is considered to be sleeping in! Dominica slept in for another two hours after I got up. Oreo was actually surprisingly awake this morning and came out and spent the morning in the living room with me while I did some work. One of my favourite things about living in Newark is being able to watch the sun rise over Manhattan in the mornings. It is just beautiful. I love city life and mornings are probably the best time in the city.

I did some serious eBay shopping today and managed to win two more Nintendo games for our handhelds. I won Lunar for the DS which I have been really interested to get after I started playing the GBA version, Lunar Legend, two days ago. The old game is really gorgeous and well done and I want to see what they have done in the years since that one released. Lunar for the Nintendo DS is still expensive in stores but I got a great deal on eBay. I also finally won a copy of the original NES Zelda II: The Adventuer of Link that was re-released on the GBA a few years ago. I never played the original two Zelda games from the NES but games of that era intrigue me because so much of my childhood happened when the NES was such a phenominon but I was always an outsider looking into the weird world of Nintendo games back then. So now I want to play a lot of them to relive pieces of my childhood that I always wanted to have. I have bid on probably no less than fifteen or twenty copies of Zelda II before I managed to win one inexpensively enough to make it worth it to me.

At this point I pretty much have the definitive collection of jRPG and Adventure games for the Game Boy Advance and DS. I don’t quite yet but I am getting close. The biggest title that I need yet is The Minish Cap which was the only Zelda game designed exclusively for the GBA. Not that I have ever played a Zelda game that I actually liked but this one is supposed to be one of the best if not THE best Zelda game ever made.

I tried taking a picture of Oreo this morning and Dominica noted that the flash was very sickly and that something was wrong with the camera. I looked closely at the flash and discovered that it was burned out – literally charred on the inside of the flash enclosure. So we decided that it was time to get a new camera to replace it. This is just our cheap “everyday” digital camera. We get cheap ones specifically so that we can feel comfortable carrying them around all of the time and if they get damaged then we can just replace them. So far the theory has worked great. It really helps us to use the cameras in situations where we would never want to lug around or wouldn’t feel safe with my good Nikon. So we had dad order us a refurbished Kodak digital today that is the same model as the one that died but the newer version which is basically identical exept that the case is smaller and more fashionable. Smaller is good since it always goes in a pocket.

Dominica was in a mood to get out and go somewhere for breakfast so we ordered the car and drove up the hill and ate at the IHOP up by the medical center in Newark. The IHOP was totally packed and it was a ten or fifteen minute wait to get a table for breakfast. After breakfast we decided to drive up to Nutley since we were all ready out and about and do some shopping at Target. We needed some basic supplies like a mop and cleaning materials and while we were there we checked out the movie selection. I discovered last night that Dominica had never seen The Usual Suspects which was unbelievable so we set out looking for that on DVD (to replace the LD that we all ready owned) but had no luck finding it. Probably the Lord telling us that we need to wait and get it either on HD-DVD or BlueRay. It is all ready a replacement for a format that we own so we probably shouldn’t buy it in an old format.

While we did not find the movie that we were originally looking for we did manage to find a number of good deal including That 70’s Show Season Five, Big Trouble in Little China, Stargate the second extended cut, Smoke Signals and Swimming with Sharks with Kevin Spacey which I have been wanting to see for years. Everything was really cheap (or else I would never get Stargate.) Now that we live in New Jersey we watch a ton less than we used to and our DVD spending has declined dramatically. Sorry to all of you that live off of our collection (you know who you are.) 😉 We also found some cheap CD collections of Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole and Ricky Nelson. Not a cheap trip to Target but we made out well.

We also ran to Barnes & Nobles while we were in the shopping plaza and I was able to grab the new O’Reilly Bind and DNS book that just released that I have been wanting. I know, not very exciting.

The afternoon was dedicated to Dominica’s JAVA. She had some independent learning that she worked on for a while first from the book that she bought a few weeks ago and then with me tutoring her directly. The big mistake, in my opinion, that her class and all of the books seem to be making these days is that they completely skip the step of having the learner actually do any programming. She has been in her class for almost six weeks now and they still haven’t written the most incredibly basic stand alone program yet. She is several chapters into her own book and they haven’t had her make a program yet. Everything that she is learning is so completely abstract that none of it is sinking in and being helpful. So I made her sit down and write a couple of basic programs and do some enhancements to them and look at the the how and why and reality of programming and I think that it was really helpful. We will see but I think that it was a pretty decent breakthrough today.

After a bit of programming we watched some of That 70’s Show and ordered in some Domino’s thin crust pizza for dinner. We watched two episodes and then Dominica had to set about doing her actually JAVA homework which isn’t nearly as much fun as my programming examples. Min’s homework ended up being significantly longer and more difficult than she had anticipated and ended up requiring her to work much later than she had intended so she was unable to finish up tonight and has to turn in her homework late.

I did manage to finish reading my book “Pragmatic AJAX: A Web 2.0 Primer” today. Now I am ready to move onto that brute of a DNS book that I picked up at the store today.

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