Happy Birthday, Dad! May your years get better and better!
I’ve been having some issues with the left tires on the Corolla recently, and this culminated yesterday when one of them went entirely flat while I was at work. Luckily, I had a compact spare tire, so I was able to get home. Today I drove over to [Town Fair Tire](http://www.townfair.com/) in Danvers on the recommendation of a co-worker. They checked the flat tire in front, as well as the tire in back that had been slowly leaking air for a while. Turns out that the front tire had a bad valve, which they fixed, and the rear tire had … a NAIL stuck in it. They removed the nail and patched the tire. I’d say they spent about a half hour or 45 minutes working on my car. How much did all of this cost me? Not one cent. I was incredulous when they told me I was “all set”, but it’s true. I had seen on their website and store signs that they did free flat repairs, but I assumed that was for existing customers. Nope! They’ll do it for anyone. I guess the idea is that you’ll be impressed by their service level and come back when you actually need to purchase new tires. Well, it certainly worked for me! I’ll definitely be heading back to [Town Fair Tire](http://www.townfair.com/) for my next tire purchase. Their tire prices are very good, and they offer some very nice services.
Kudos to Town Fair Tire! Highly recommended!
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the glaring similarities between American speed skater, Shani Davis and “Incredibles” character Frozone?
Davis is a fine skater, but all I can think about when he skates is Samuel Jackson’s voice yelling “where’s MY super suit?!?” Teehee.
Frozone Image Â© Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar Animation Studios. Shani Davis Photo Copyright Â© Meijco van Velzen.
Car Seat and Stroller
we can now legally bring our baby home from the hospital. Once it’s born, that is.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of an acquaintance of mine, we now have an infant car seat and the fancy stroller that it snaps into. Her youngest, and last, of three kids has grown out of it and it was looking for a good home. We will treat it right.
The car seat had only been used for 5 months (bought new for her youngest last summer) and the stroller is a few years old. They are both in fantastic condition.
More pictures can be found here.
On Saturday, I attended the opening of the seventh [Apple Store](http://www.apple.com/retail/) in the Greater Boston area. The first six were [Northshore](http://www.apple.com/retail/northshore/) (our “home” store), [CambridgeSide](http://www.apple.com/retail/cambridgeside/), [Chestnut Hill](http://www.apple.com/retail/chestnuthill/), [Rockingham Park](http://www.apple.com/retail/rockinghampark/), [South Shore](http://www.apple.com/retail/southshore/), and [Burlington](http://www.apple.com/retail/burlington/). Saturday’s grand opening was the [Derby Street](http://www.apple.com/retail/derbystreet/) Apple Store, at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, MA.
The Derby Street Shoppes is a ‘lifestyle center’, a new and growing breed of shopping establishment. This is an arrangement with various stores of the type you’d find in a mall, only the store fronts are outside. I call it an overgrown strip mall. In any case, the Apple Store is located in between The Children’s Place and Burton’s Grill. It’s an average size Apple Store, with all of the features one would expect – lots of Apple and third party hardware and software, plenty of things to play with, and technical help at the Genius Bar.
I arrived at about 8:30 a.m., and at that point nobody was in line. A bunch of people were waiting around in their cars – a wise move, considering how cold it was. At about 9 a.m., the management came out and set up the velvet ropes. After that, people started getting in line. I ended up being about #20 in line after taking some photos. Once I was in line, I shot some more photos from my spot, and shot some video as well.
Since I’ve already been to many other Apple Stores, I wasn’t entralled as much by the store and its contents, but rather by the grand opening event, and all of the hoopla and crowds surrounding it. To that effect, you can check out my [photo gallery](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/geekiness/apple_store_derby_street/) of the event, as well as a [movie](http://prwdot.org/movies/apple-store-derby-street/) that I shot with our new camcorder and edited in iMovie.
Here’s some other coverage from around the Interweb.
– [Cape Cod Cyclist made a day of it](http://www.capecodcyclist.8k.com/weblog/archives/2006/02/apple_store_der.html)
– [V1Beta showed up to get a t-shirt](http://www.v1beta.com/social-experiment/the-kentucky-derby/136/)
– [Jishman goes to see yet another Apple Store](http://www.riddlemethisjishman.com/?p=258)
– [TUAW has their call out for reports](http://www.tuaw.com/2006/02/18/apple-store-derby-street-your-reports/)
– [IFOAppleStore noted V1Beta’s photos of the grey-stone facade](http://www.ifoapplestore.com/2006/02/18/derby-street-shoppes-photos/)
Yeah, yeah. It’s been a while. I know!Â Here’s a post that catches you up on what I’ve had on my mind lately.
My very, very dear friend Jennifer is engaged!Â WooHoo! Mosey on over to her site and wish her well!
Don’t you think the Olympics are awesome?Â I’ve been watching as much as my little eyes can handle. Personal favorites at the moment include Curling and the new Snowboard-cross event. I wish that NBC would do more coverage of some of the ‘lesser known’ American athletes as well as features on athletes from other countries. For me the Olympics are as much a learning experience as they are sporting events.
BabyWood is doing quite well. I had a check-up this past Monday and the doctor is happy with our progress.Â Monday was also the day of the famous ‘Glucose Tolerance Test’; wherin you drink an orange soda-y drink and then they test your blood.Â We passed with flying colors, which means that I’m not in danger of gestational diabetes. phew!Â This morning I was treated to a large and painful needle administering the first of two rhogam shots. Thank you very much RH- blood!Â I know it is for a good cause, though, so it is easier to bear.
I’ve been doing some good reading lately.Â I don’t think I’ll do big reviews for you, but let me know what you thought (if you’ve read them)!Â Empire Falls by Richard Russo, The World According to Garp by John Irving and Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.Â As always, feel free to pass on any recommendations. I’m always on the lookout for something good to read!
Tonight, Becky and I had a Valentine’s dinner, sharing some foods that we love. I made Becky a plate o’ cheese, with five kinds of cheese (gouda, gruyere, muenster, monterey jack, and cheddar) and cheese-flavored Ritz crackers. There are few things in this world that Becky loves more than cheese. Luckily, I’m one of them. 🙂 Becky made me tater tot casserole, one of our favorite dishes. She also made some cute Valentine’s decorations, and I got *two* cards – one from Becky, and one from the baby! I’m not quite sure how the baby was able to write a card… maybe it was dictated to Becky telepathically?
Anyway, it was all good. Hope everyone out there had a great Valentine’s Day!
Out the front window
So we’re having a bit of a snow storm today. It’s not going to compare with any of the really huge storms we’ve had in the past few years, but it’s certainly more than we’ve had this season so far. We might take a step outside later today, but for now, we just have a few shots from inside the apartment. 🙂
Update @ 6:38 p.m.
We did venture out a bit this afternoon for a walk down Cabot Street. We took some photos for [Michelle](http://mikao.blogspot.com/)’s [Hometown Six](http://mikao.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_mikao_archive.html#113926251616343914) project, and we also shot some video using our [new camcorder](http://prwdot.org/2006/02/12/video-killed-the-photography-star/). The streets were pretty quiet, though we did greet a few adventurous walkers and snowplow drivers. Dunkin Donuts was open, and quite busy. Bell Market and Family Dollar were open as well.
I added a photo of Cabot Street to today’s [photo album](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/events/2006/snowstorm_february_12/), but the video will have to wait – we had to order a FireWire cable so that we could transfer digital video from the camcorder to our Mac. It should be arriving in the next day or so, and we’ll upload the video as soon as we have a chance. We did play back the video on our television, and although I can’t say much for my videography skills, the audio and video produced by the camcorder were quite good.
Thanks to some closeout pricing, funding from various sources, and a hefty amount of research, we have purchased our first camcorder. We decided on the [Panasonic PV-GS150](http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-PV-GS150-Camcorder-Review.htm), a compact [MiniDV](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minidv)-format camcorder. It uses [3CCD](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3CCD) technology to capture excellent video, and it fits in the palm of your hand. We have yet to take it out for any serious testing, but I think that you can expect to see some new movies on our site within the next few months, and definitely plenty of them after the baby is born. (I know, not everybody on the web wants to see every delightful moment of our baby’s life. We will do our best not to go crazy with it.)
The only trick for me now is going to be trying to balance my existing interest in photography with my new interest in videography. The PV-GS150 does have the capability to take still photos, but it’s not anywhere near as capable as its cousin, Panasonic’s [DMC-FZ20](http://prwdot.org/gallery2/v/geekiness/panasonic_lumix_dmc_fz20/). We’ll probably end up carting both of them around, and maybe Becky and I will do a bit of cross-training to split up the photo and video tasks. Hopefully the quantity and quality of my photography won’t suffer.
Italian Flag Pizza
Yes, the Wood household is passionate about the Olympics. We have thrown several parties for the Opening Ceremonies of various games, most recently for the [Athens 2004](http://prwdot.org/2004/08/14/a-holiday/) summer games. On Friday night, we threw a party for the Opening Ceremonies of the [Torino 2006](http://www.torino2006.org/ENG/OlympicGames/home/index.html) winter games. (Warning: that site has up-to-the-minute scores, so if you’re waiting to watch a taped broadcast, don’t look!)