January 3, 2009: Ralstons Leaving

No work for me today so I was able to get right up and visit with the Ralstons this morning.  First thing, Art and I headed down to the basement to get more work done on the cabling.  Progress was going well but a little bit of additional parts were needed so another trip to Home Depot was necessary.

We all went to Pastel’s at the Beach Shopping Center for a late breakfast (it was after noon.)  It was really busy and we had to wait maybe more than fifteen minutes to get a table.  Having five people and an infant makes it tough to get a seat in a busy restaurant.  This is Liesl’s third time going to a restaurant.  Her second was going to New City Diner last night.  She did better today.  She slept through all of dinner.  Last night she was awake and unhappy and I needed to feed her a bottle during dinner.

After our breakfast/lunch we made a pitstop by GameStop since it is right next door practically.  Very convenient.  Everyone had some video game shopping to do and I even had a GameStop gift card from Christmas to spend so I was looking for some deals.  I hunted around and found some used PS2 games for which I have been looking: Final Fantasy X-2, Dark Cloud (the original) and Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus.  That pretty much wraps up my attempt at the definitively awesome PS2 RPG collection.  There are a few stragglers which I might be interested in someday like Radiata Stories but if I never get another PS2 title then I will still be happy.  Now to just get a chance to play them.  Dominica picked up Escape from Monkey Island for the PS2 – a serious adventure game classic that we also own on the PC, I think.  Dominica got herself Blue Dragon for the 360 which I have really been wanting to play.  It was the first game that I really wanted to get the 360 to be able to play.  She got it used very inexpensively.  She also got Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for the Wii.  And finally I picked up Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for the PSP.  Lots of great games for us to play!  I am looking forward to getting a chance to really play them.

After GameStop, Art, Michael and I went back to Home Depot for a quick run just to get a few small items.  That didn’t take too long.

Once we got back to the house it was back to the basement where Art worked for several hours getting the new electrical outlet in place next to the cable outlet that he had rewired last night.  Then he added the first four runs of CAT6 so that Dominica’s desk, including our Vonage phone, were back online.  Now we are functional again after the new wiring has been put in place.  There was not nearly enough time to do any more work beyond that or else the Ralstons would not be able to get back home to York tonight.  I will be doing the next block of CAT6 wiring on my own.  The next task is getting the wires run that will go to my desk.  Right now I am just using dangling patch cables.

I forgot to mention several things yesterday.  One was that Art fixed the constantly flowing toilet in the guest bathroom upstairs and taught me how to fix them myself.  I then fixed the toilet in the master bath upstairs.  That is going to save us a fortune on our water bill!  Those things were just pouring water every moment that they we have lived in this house.  Also, the new Onkyo receiver for the living room arrived although I did not get a chance to get it set up yesterday.  I also got another Ruby on Rails book from Amazon.

The Ralstons took off at five in the evening to head for home.  Their trip should take less than six hours if all goes well.

After the Ralstons left I hooked up the Onkyo receiver in the living room.  Now that we have the receiver in place we are able to hook up the XBOX 360, PS3 and the AppleTV all via HDMI and once I find all of the cables the Wii will be hooked up as well and upconverted to the HDMI digital output.

Dominica spent the evening playing Blue Dragon on the XBOX 360.  That meant that Liesl was my responsibility for the evening.  Blue Dragon is very cool.  It is from the creators of CronoTrigger, one of my all time favourite games.  The graphics and sound are very good and the storyline is engaging and extremely reminiscent to the Final Fantasy series.  I am enjoying watching the game for a chance rather than being the person playing.  Dominica gets to play all of the grinding and character advancement portions and then I get to watch the plot portions like a long movie.  A very long movie when you consider that it takes three DVDs to hold this game!

I have had to start wearing earplugs because of the eardrum damage to my left ear.  My ear drum ruptured two years ago on a flight to Florida and it has never healed.  It improved for a long time but then I get into situations where there is so much noise that it sets it back to quite some degree.  Now with Liesl I have to be very careful as she will often scream right in my ear and do real damage to my ear.  Tonight she really got me and left me barely able to hear out of that ear and with pain down into my jaw.  I have had to just accept the fact that I cannot leave my ear unprotected much of the time and I have to keep an ear plug in most of the time.  There is no getting around it.

We have no plans tomorrow and will be sleeping in as much as possible.  We are doing nothing but relaxing around the house.

The Ralstons got home at twenty until eleven.  Not bad for such a long trip.  They are very good about taking really fast rest stops.  Each rest stop for us takes twenty minutes at best and easily can go way over an hour.

The mailbox keys have still not been found.  We are pretty sure that we are just going to have to have the mailbox lock replaced by the post office.  🙁

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