Archive for November, 2008

23 Nov 2008

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Alyssa’s Birthday

The little princess had her birthday the other day – it was quite the event.  Alyssa turned 6 on the 21st of November and a few weeks ahead of the day, we asked her what she’d like to do to celebrate.  Her answer?  Alyssa wanted to drive to Banff, buy some fudge, build a stuffed animal, have lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory and then have a swim at the Upper Hot Springs!  She was very definite about it all.

Fortunately, the weather cooperated and Alyssa’s birthday was a fine, sunny day.  The roads were bare and dry and the temperature reasonable for the time of year.  We picked up Gram and Gramps and were in Banff just at mid-day.  We got started right in on Alyssa’s to-do list and, once fueled with some candy from the fudge shop, got busy with the shopping.

There were only two flaws in the day, the first was the van devouring its own front brakes while driving about town (Alyssa managed to soldier on, but I had a stabbing pain in the wallet for the rest of the day!).  The second was that the Old Spaghetti Factory was closed for renovations and we had to substitute Chili’s instead.  After we had our late lunch, we headed for the hot springs and had a nice soak in the mineral waters before heading back home.

Interestingly enough, it turns out to be possible to go from the last traffic light in Banff, through Calgary and on to Chestermere and use the brakes just half-a-dozen times!  Hooray for downshifting and the emergency brake!

No Comments »

19 Nov 2008

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family,Geekstuff

Hello, I’m a Mac…

Hello, I'm a Mac...

Well, after much angst we’ve taken the plunge and bought ourselves a MacBook Pro.

The kids computer tanked about 6 weeks ago and we’ve been nursing it along trying to decide whether to buy bits and pieces to fix their computer or to buy ourselves a new computer and hand down our old one.  The never-ending cycle of building and rebuilding and repairing our PCs has become quite wearing.  It always seems to be one of those time and money pits scenarios that is just annoying after a while.

So, while we were looking at the various options we considered buying an Apple of some sort.  However the desktops, with the integrated screen, just seem impractical (or gutless, for the miniMac).  The decent Macs are the notebooks, but they are quite expensive – particularly compared to, say, a Dell notebook with similar specs.  During October or November each year, though you can sometimes find last year’s Macs on clearance for prices approaching that of a Windoze notebook.

In the end we found a good deal on one of last year’s MacBook Pro notebooks and picked it up yesterday.  The kids will get our old Windows PC (and finally be able to run the games they want!).  We are hoping that the great reviews of the MacBook, the more stable operating system and the ability to run Windows in a virtual machine, when required,  will have made this a good choice.  If this machine can be run for 2 or 3 years without me feeling compelled to do a rebuild, it will have been worth the extra few hundred dollars.

… I hope.