Holiday letter

The following is the text of our annual holiday letter that we sent out.

It is that time of the year when we wish everyone cheerful greetings of the Season. We always hope that we will be extending them for the Christmas/Hanukkah/ Solstice/Hogswatch/New Years/Twelfth Night/Ferengi High Holy Days or whatever.
(LEGAL NOTICE: In the event that said greetings are not received by the party of the first part from the party of the second part in time for one of the aforementioned holidays, it will be understood that the greeting applies to whatever holiday is closest to the actual receipt and includes, but is not limited to, Valentines, St. Patrick’s, Flag, Arbor, Independence, Labor, Take your Dog to Work, and/or D-Day.)

From our House to Yours - Happy Holidays

The first big event of the year was finally going on our Honeymoon to the Minnesota Twins Spring Training in Florida in March (when you live in Minnesota, any place warm is a good place.) We were trying to decide whether to drive (only 1700 miles each way) or fly (luggage constraints, airport security, uncomfortable seats). Dave checked out the route and discovered that driving would take us through a couple of the ultimate Sci-Fi geek destinations, Riverside Iowa and Metropolis Illinois. (We Drove)

Riverside Iowa is the future birth place of Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. (It even shows up in the latest Star Trek Movie.) There is a museum, a monument, and a bar that claims to have the pool table under which Kirk was (will be?) conceived. Unfortunately the bar was closed when we got there, but we found the monument, and had a nice long chat with the museum curator. Pictures were taken, t-shirts were bought, displays were oohed and aawed over. Mary was in geek heaven.

Metropolis, Illinois is a tiny town that houses the Superman Museum and has statues, signs, and stores with Superman tie-ins. It was awesome. Once again we checked out all of the displays, played name that reference with the more obscure items, took more pictures, bought more t-shirts (and blankets, and coffee mugs, kryptonite candy and salsa, and lots of other stuff). Afterward, we went to the Dippin’ Dots store and had Superman Ice Cream (Red, Blue, and Yellow colors). Dave was in Geek Heaven.

In Florida, we stayed with Dave’s cousin Larry and his wife Rita for a few days. We went to a Twins spring training game against Toronto in Dunedin, visited the Universal Studios attraction in Orlando, and went to the Kennedy Space Center. We then went to see the Florida Keys. From there, we went to Fort Myers, where we saw the Twins play two more games. We went swimming at Sanibel Island, and Dave lost his cell phone in the Gulf of Mexico (Mary thinks it was intentional, Dave is pleading the Fifth), so now he has a fancy new smart phone. We bought even more t-shirts, etc. Mary’s favorite place was the Key Lime shop in Key Largo where we got Key Lime cookies, salsa, pepper, pie (Yum, Pie!) and pretty much anything they had found a way in which to add Key Limes.

September was a terrible month for Mary. Her dear brother, Woody, died from a blood clot/heart attack and then her beloved niece, Teresa, died from a brain tumor. The world seems so much smaller now and a whole lot colder. The one good thing was getting to spend time Woody’s family in Washington and Teresa’s in Las Vegas. They were very much loved and will be missed.

We are sad that we now have only two cats. In September, Magellan finally succumbed at the age of 21. When Magellan was born, she was the ugly duckling that nobody else wanted, so Mary chose her over the kitten that she preferred. We will miss her service as a kitty alarm clock. Gimli and Watson are still doing well.

Hope your new year is filled with love and laughter and enough silliness to keep it interesting.
Beware of Dragons and Zombies and Aliens (Oh my).
Mary and Dave
  • Current Mood
    busy busy

Restoring iTunes library

I finally got around to reinstalling iTunes after the last time that I reinstalled Windows XP. I couldn't find an easy way to reinstall my old music files from the backup folder that was created when I reinstalled, so I just copied the library files from the backup to the new iTunes folder.

I then copied the music files from the old iTunes folders to the new one. The backup folder had iTunes folders in both the Administrator and Owner accounts, so I copied all of them to one iTunes folder in my new account.

There were still some files that iTunes was unable to find, because they were not in the iTunes folder. These songs were indicated by an exclamation point inside a circle. When I clicked on one of these songs in iTunes, I was prompted to locate the files. After selecting the right folder, all of the other files in the same folder were also found. Doing this also worked for files which were in my iTunes folder but had been renamed from the original generic track numbers. Checking the XML file, I was able to find the correct location, and all of the other renamed files in the folder were found.

I think that I have located all of the music files. I have my old playlists and seem to be able to find everything.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished

Gathering of American Gods

Last weekend, kditzy and I went to the Gathering of American Gods at the House on the Rock near Spring Green, Wisconsin. On Friday night, Neil Gaiman read from the section of American Gods which takes place at the House on the Rock. There was also a Q&A session, where he said that there are plans for a television series based on the book.

On Saturday, I had him sign my copy of Good Omens, which was signed by coauthor Terry Pratchett at Minicon a few years ago, with the message "To Dave, burn this book!" Neil said, "Oh good, I get to finish one! I hardly ever get to finish one!" He wrote "Dave, apply holy match here" and drew an arrow pointing to the corner of the page. That evening, there was a costume contest, and I dressed as Wednesday/Odin.
  • Current Mood
    happy happy

Bizarro World logic

At the Twins game tonight, I overheard the people behind me talking about the BP oil spill. One of them said that Obama is responsible, because he campaigned on the slogan "Yes We Can", which of course means that since he said that the government can help in some ways, then government can help everything. Since the government cannot stop the oil spill, it's Obama's fault.
  • Current Mood
    confused confused


I managed to reinstall Windows XP on the Gateway desktop computer using the option to move the hard drive files to a backup folder. The Windows XP disc from Gateway did not have an option to use Recovery Console to go to the command prompt. I was concerned about losing the files, because I tried to recover using a separate Windows XP and was able to go to a command prompt but unable to list files on the C drive.

After reinstalling, I backed up some files to a flash drive and am currently running Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware program. I will also download some Anti-virus software and scan the hard drive and flash drive. Today, I will buy an external hard drive to back up the hard drive so that if there are any future problems, I can reinstall without worrying about losing everything.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased