Happy Holidays 2002

These notes record the events of the period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. 

Wednesday, November 27

I awoke at 6:00 AM . I found that the weather forecast was not as bad as it was last night. We finished packing and hit the road by 9:15 AM . I had the GPS set for the Hampton Inn in Middletown , NY . We found the weather fair and the traffic light and decided to take a side trip to Spring Lake . We got off the Parkway at exit 98 and traveled the few miles to the ocean. Spring Lake was very posh and noncommercial. We ate lunch at Ray’s Café in neighboring Sea Girt. The place was filled with locals. I had pancakes as it was around 11:30 AM when we ordered. I discovered that we were only a couple of blocks from Manasquan Inlet, so after lunch we drove to the inlet where I took a couple of photos (pics 1,2). When we were finished with our side trip, we continued to drive to Middletown . As we entered NY, the hills and their trees were covered with snow - very beautiful. The traffic and the weather cooperated and we arrived at the hotel at 3:30 PM. Bill and Stacey arrived 5 minutes later. We checked-in and cleaned up. Then we went to a mall where I got a latte and Cathy went with Stacey to do some shopping. We went back to the motel to change and then met Stacey’s father Tom and stepmother MaryBeth for dinner at Casa Mia, a local Italian restaurant. I had a white pizza for dinner. We had a nice chat with Tom and MaryBeth. After dinner, the four of us went to a bookstore so that Bill could buy a book and an audio book. We finally got back to the motel and to bed around 11:00 PM.


I awoke at 5:50 AM .  The weather was clear, but the temperature was about 20 degrees when I arose. I went down to breakfast and ate lightly. After changing into running togs, I left for the Turkey Trot 5 miler around 6:50 AM . I arrived at Rockland Lake State Park at about 7:45 AM . It was cold as I picked up my packet and chip. A large crowd was on hand. About 1000 runners started the race at 8:35 AM . It was hard to get away from the packed group to pick up my pace. Due to the cold air and 3 hills, my pace was pretty slow, but each mile I ran a bit faster. I finished at around 45 minutes. From a look at the posted results, it appeared that I finished in 4th place in my age group, but I didn’t wait around to verify it. I called Bill on the cell phone to say that I was on my way back to the hotel. I arrived back before 11:00 AM . I took a shower and was just done when Cathy came back to the room. Bill, Stacey, and Cathy tried to take a walk near a closed outlet mall, but the security guards wouldn’t let them walk there. We ate lunch at the Goshen Plaza Diner where I ate pancakes with blueberry preserves. After lunch we went over to Tom and MaryBeth’s home in Warwick, NY. There was a crowd of 14 for dinner. There was lots of food and lots of variety. After dinner, Bill and Stacey exchanged presents with everybody. Then several other people joined us for dessert. There were 11 pies available! We left at around 8:30 PM . We headed back to the motel. I was pretty tired and turned in at 10:30 PM.

Friday, November 29

I awoke at 6:00 AM .  I took my laptop down to the Hampton business center and hooked into their network. It worked seamlessly. I was online immediately. I got rid of all of my junk mail. I found out that I was 5/12 in my age group for the race yesterday. I also printed out some info for Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. I ate breakfast and then was joined by Cathy, Bill, and Stacey who then ate theirs. Beth Kincaid came in when we were just finishing. We checked out and headed for Ray’s Bridal Shop. Bill and I browsed Staples for a while and then went into the bridal shop to watch bridesmaid's dresses being tried on by Beth. I think that they decided on the Apple color, but we took lots of pictures of different styles. Finally we were through, said our goodbyes and hit the road, Bill and Stacey leading in their car. We headed into Red Bank, NJ for lunch and to buy “Buddy Christ” statuettes for me and Bill and Tom. We finally arrived here around 4:00 PM. We viewed “Super Troopers” after I got a shower – very sophomoric, but funny, and just my style. We ate dinner at the Blue Pig Tavern – everyone enjoyed the meal. We all turned in early.

Saturday, November 30

I awoke at 6:00 AM . It was windy and 46 degrees when I arose. I drove to Avalon Coffee at 7:45 AM . I got a latte and then drove to the county park. I registered for the Habitat for Humanity 5K and then tried to stay warm. Just before the start of the race, I stripped off my blue jeans and sweatshirt. I ran in a tank top and running shorts. The course was mainly on the leaf-covered trails. I did pretty well with a time of 25:30 and beat Jerry by a minute. Bill Mullin, who I met on Labor Day, beat me handily. As I returned, Cathy, Bill, and Stacey were heading to Wildwood Crest to visit a florist. I showered and then took the recycling to the Lower Township recycling center. After I dropped the cans at home, I drove into Cape May . I parked near Avalon Coffee and enjoyed another latte while I waited for the others. We ate at Louie’s Pizza. Afterward we went to Congress Hall for another wedding discussion. We visited Corey’s shop and then I headed home. Bill and I chatted about the “hand-off” on RightPriceWireless.com. I cut a CD with the bridesmaid dresses on it for Stacey. I worked on my end of the month accounting. We went to dinner at Daniels and enjoyed excellent meals. We viewed “Dazed and Confused” when we got home – silly fun.

Sunday, December 1

I awoke at 5:30 AM . The W wind was howling and the temperature was 36 degrees as I arose. Bill was showering. He departed at 6:00 AM for the long drive back to Indianapolis . Stacey and I said goodbye to him as he left in the blowing wind. I got back to my accounting work after breakfast. Cathy, Stacey, and I left in the cold wind at 9:30 AM to travel to Alex’s house. We stopped for gas and then for lunch at Panera Bread. We arrived at Alex’s at 12:00 PM. Erin was on good behavior, although Bridget was fussy (here is a great photo of both). I drove Stacey to the airport at 2:30 PM. Evidently the domestic fliers left early in the day as the airport traffic was very light. I played with Erin and watched a Mickey Mouse DVD with her when I returned. Cathy and I picked up Chinese for dinner. After dinner I gave Erin a bath and then read a few books to her before bedtime. We watched “The Sopranos” as Bridget fussed. I went to bed at 10:30 PM.

Monday, December 2

I awoke at 6:00 AM . I heard Bridget a couple of times overnight. It was 31 degrees when I arose. I got on DCWUSAonline afer breakfast. Cathy and I took Erin to school. Erin cried the whole way with, “I want my mommy.” It wasn’t fun. I got back to DCWUSAonline. I found problems with PHP on Dandy where I had to add more “addslashes”. I started to work on the EBI stuff. Cathy and Alex went to pick up Erin and take her swimming. I went for a 5 mile run on the usual course. It was 42 degrees but I was sweating in no time. I showered on my return. The girls returned as I finished my shower. Erin and I told each other stories and drew pictures for a while. Then we watched the beginning of “Wizard of Oz” on a DVD using my computer. We had ravioli for dinner. After dinner, I read some books to Erin . Then I calmed Bridget and let her sleep on my shoulder for a couple of hours while we watched “Primary Colors.” I turned in around 10:30 PM .

Tuesday, December 3

I awoke at 6:00 AM . The temperature was 20 degrees as I arose. I got an email message from someone that couldn’t get to a link to a Cape May calendar. I checked “TidesofTime” and found it “forbidden”. I sent a priority email to Hypermart, asking them to unlock the account so I could put in my credit card number to pay the bill. I called Nancy and scheduled a visit to Wildwood Linen for early Thursday to look at the email problem. I decided to work on the Rio Motel changes. I finished the changes for Rio Motel and cut a CD. After lunch, Cathy and I went to Genardi’s where I had a latte. I worked on the Rolodex program. We had frajitas for dinner – mine were black bean. Bridget cried through dinner and into the evening. She seems to have gas pains or a voracious appetite. Poor Alex is having a hard time getting any rest. Overall, Erin has been on her best behavior. She is trying to be more help than hindrance. I shaved and showered and hit the sack at 10:30 PM.

Wednesday, December 4

I awoke at 6:13 AM . The temperature was 17 degrees as I arose. Alex and Bridget had a long night again. I decided to work on the Rolodex program again. I have everything done except for the major printing. I’m going to try to use the old printing programs for these. I cut a CD for the Rolodex program so far. Cathy and I took a very reluctant Erin to her school. We left Alex’s house at 10:00 AM , heading back home. I stopped at Panera for a latte on the way. We ate lunch in the solarium. The temperature was 31 degrees with a pretty good breeze and whitecaps on the Bay. I got back to work on the Rolodex program. I also finally paid the hosting for TidesofTime.com. I finished the Rolodex program!!!!!! Cathy had GED testing tonight. I went to Becky’s 6:00 PM step class. It was great to be back in the gym. I picked up hoagies before the class. I ate dinner in front of the fireplace. Cathy came home around 9:30 PM.

Thursday, December 5

I awoke at 5:30 AM . It was snowing hard, so I slept until 6:30 AM . There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature was 30 degrees as I walked out for the papers. I called Nancy at around 7:45 AM and rescheduled for tomorrow morning. I did the Armada proposal and emailed it to Steve. I asked Bill if I could check-out “view_cart.php” from RPW and started working on adding a “Checkout” button. I ate lunch in front of the fireplace; Cathy was at the hairdressers. I got onto the conference call at 1:00 PM with a group of computer novices. It was pretty chaotic trying to get them to do a “first” login. Finally, everybody got on and we looked at several things until the phone conference dissolved into some buzzing sounds. I tried to get back in, but the conference never linked up again. I deleted dealer 810 from the logs and made it so that they can do a first login. I worked on RightPriceWireless a bit more. Steve Tecco emailed me with some changes for the proposal. I revised it and sent it back to him. I worked on RightPriceWireless some more. We ate dinner in front of the fireplace. After dinner I just vegged out.

Friday, December 6

I awoke at 5:30 AM . There was still snow on the driveway and ice on the steps with a temperature of 31 degrees as I arose. I got an email message from Ann Oswald saying that she couldn’t make it today. I got another change from Steve Tecco. I went to Wildwood Linen and helped Nancy with a couple of issues. I saw Bob and he said that the email is working. I installed the new Rolodex and discovered that the Customer Item form is not working. I came home and worked on the form. I discovered that the indexing for printing had screwed it up, so I reverted to the 12/4 copy and worked on it. We ate lunch in the solarium with the cold wind whipping around. After lunch I completed the fix to the Rolodex program. I did some weird coding, but it seems to work. I simplified the temporary passwords on DCWUSAonline to use digits only. We drove to Atlantic City to walk on the Boardwalk. We parked at Caesars as usual. The air temperature seemed to be in the 20s as we walked. I got a latte at Starbucks as we were nearing the conclusion of the 5 mile walk. We gambled $1.25 at Caesars. Next we drove to Consumer Square and traded our huge suitcase for a smaller one at Target. We saved $20 in the transactions. We went to Michaels to buy some pink spray paint to mark our baggage. Then we called Katie to find out about her computer backpack. She got it on eBags. We ate dinner at the Crab Trap after a 20 minute wait. When we got home I ordered a leather computer backpack on eBags for $140.

Saturday, December 7

I awoke at 6:30 AM . It was 25 degrees with a light breeze as I arose. I processed email, packed up the laptop, and shaved and showered. We drove to the Ferry terminal to ride the MV New Jersey to Delaware . I brought the laptop to work on the trip. I worked on the Armada changes. Don and Bern picked us up at the terminal in Lewes and took us to their house for a latte. We walked to The Buttery for lunch. Then we walked around Lewes. We went back to their house for a short while and then they dropped us at the ferry terminal for the 5:00 PM ferry. I worked on the Armada stuff again on the way back. When we got home, I continued to work on the Armada stuff and finished it. I cut a CD. We went to dinner at Pasta Bella.

Sunday, December 8

I awoke at 6:10 AM . It was 38 degrees and sunny as I arose. I processed email. Then I went out for a paddle down to the Canal. It was 38 degrees with a light SW wind. I was happy to be out again after a long absence. When I got back I took a hot shower, got dressed, and went to church with Cathy. I got my reward at Uncle Bill’s afterward. We reserved a room in NYC for  12/20 and 12/21. Then we went to Jenn Agostini’s house for a Christmas dinner with Cathy’s former English Department colleagues. It was an enjoyable event. Jenn made me a special fish dish which was excellent. The party went from 2:00 PM to 6:30 PM. We watched the last episode of “The Sopranos” – most loose ends were cleaned up and the stage was set for next year. We talked with Alex and Phil and Bill during the day and evening.

Monday, December 9

I awoke at 6:00 AM . It was 25 degrees and slightly breezy as I arose. I worked on RPW for a while. Then I called Shore Memorial Hospital and set up appointments on 12/16 for the two tests I’m supposed to get for Dr. Strup. I drove to Angel Point for a 3 mile run along the Bay. The 30 degree air and strong N breeze made it tough for 1.5 miles. I showered and went to Jim’s to help him share printers on his network. Then Cathy and I ate lunch in the Solarium. I got back to RPW. I sent Bill all of the files I added and changed and also sent him a change log. We drove separately to Becky’s 6:00 PM step class. I left at 6:45 PM to attend a meeting at the Rec. Center concerning the Coombs/Douglass Memorial Bay Run. Scott Wahl was in attendance along with the usual suspects. Cathy and I ate dinner after the meeting. I copied last year’s listing on Active.com and updated it. I registered for the August 2 event.

Tuesday, December 10

I awoke at 5:00 AM . It was 28 degrees as I arose. I updated the CapeMayBeach.com listing for the Coombs/Douglass race. I shaved and showered and got ready to go. Cathy awoke at 6:00 AM . We drove to Alex and Phil’s, leaving at 7:00 AM and arriving at 9:00 AM . Phil and I discussed and revised his handout for the meeting at DCW. I left at around 10:45 AM and arrived at DCW at 11:30 AM . I had to wait in an office area where I watched clerks working on commissions. Finally, Stuart, Donna, Jeremy Gies and I met in Stuart’s office for about an hour. At 12:30 PM we walked across the street to meet with about 12 telemarketing dealers. There were some good ideas and I learned a lot from Jeremy. He promised to send me an example of an eBI credit transaction in XML. The meeting was over around 3:50 PM. Donna and Stuart gave me a couple of checks to bring to Phil as I left. I talked to Phil the whole way back (42 minutes). We all ate pizza for dinner and then Cathy and I drove back home. Long day!

Wednesday, December 11

I awoke at 6:00 AM . It was raining as I arose. I did some email and made a change on Active.com for the Coombs/Douglass race. Then I went to a 8:00 AM dentist appointment. I came home following that and talked with Bill (he called) about RPW until Cathy told me it was time to go to the gym. Becky gave an excellent step class at 9:30 AM . When we returned home I called Joe Monzo back – he asked for help in loading Excel spreadsheets from a computer with Excel to a new computer with Works. He called back twice and realized that Works won’t run the macros properly, so he’ll load Excel on the computer. Cathy called for Cathy at Sunset Beach . She’ll be back tomorrow. I updated the TrainingDocuments table again for Phil. We ate lunch in the solarium with the NE wind and rain. I got on Ann Oswald’s changes. When I finished, I emailed Ann. I explained our schedule since she wants some more changes. It rained hard all afternoon. I started to work on the Coombs/Douglass brochure. We drove to Becky’s 6:00 PM step class as the rain continued. After dinner, I worked until 10:30 PM on the brochure and sent it out to the committee.

Thursday, December 12

I awoke at 6:14 AM . The rain had finally stopped, but the NW wind was howling and it was 38 degrees as I arose. I made a change to the Rio Motel program and cut a new CD. I went for a 3 mile run, staying behind the tree line. After a shave and shower, I relit the pilot light on the water heater which had blown out yesterday and drove to the Rio Motel. I met with Corey and installed the new program and modified their database for the new fields. Everything seemed to go OK. I drove to Steve Tecco’s house and installed the new program and modified his database. Again, everything went OK. I was back home at 1:00 PM . I didn’t know that I’d be back before my doctor’s appointment. I called WWS about the “final notice” that they sent. I explained again that I won’t pay the bill since I think that they used fraudulent techniques for billing me. I went to Steve Sheftz’s house to fix his email connection. He was loaded with over a month’s worth of spam (email, not my family dinners from the 40s). He also is having problems with his SMTP server. I went to Dr. Tenenbaum’s office for an appointment. After waiting for an hour, the doctor told me that I had another basal cell to remove. He removed the 3 skin tags and scheduled me back for 12/27 for the basal cell removal. I stopped for gas on the way home. The temperature fell steadily all afternoon. I drove to the Pollution Control meeting which was at 6:30 PM. This was the night for the dinner, but Cathy had to work GED testing makeup because of the snow cancellation last week, so we missed the dinner. Linda Keech called at 6:30 PM to bum a ride with Cathy to Carol’s party tomorrow night and to tell me that Jamie and friends were going on the Starlight tomorrow – would I like to join them?

Friday, December 13

I awoke at 6:03 AM . The wind was light and the temperature was 33 degrees as I arose. Cathy got up earlier than usual, at 6:20 AM, because she has been unable to sleep. I made a couple of revisions to the Coombs/Douglass brochure and put the race on several running websites. I called Zack and then went over to bring him the originals for the brochure. I asked him to make me some for Sunday. I went for a fishing paddle to the rips. There were a few boats there. I got into a rip and fished with a crippled herring, but caught nothing. I heard on the radio that it was a slower day today, but people were catching fish. I paddle about 12 miles. I was out for four hours and my feet were really cold when I returned. I took a long hot shower and then ate lunch in front of a fire. I talked with Phil. Then I organized my email for the first time in a while. I did some QuickBooks work as well. Cathy left for Carol’s Chinese Pollyanna at 6:40 PM . I ate dinner in front of the fire. Katie called around 9:00 PM . I finished reading “Prey” – good book which will make a good movie.

Saturday, December 14

I awoke at 6:15 AM . The SW wind was howling as I arose. The temperature was in the 40s. I looked in the mailbox to see if Zack had dropped off the brochures, but he hadn’t. The copier in his office was out of toner, so I had said that it wasn’t any big deal. Phil sent a few emails out last night. I signed up for a developer account on SkipJack. Cathy and I drove to the gym. Cathy did Kathy’s class and I lifted weights and rode the stationary bike. Afterward, I took a shower and we drove to Louie’s Pizza for lunch. Then we gassed up and drove to Hamilton Mall. Cathy took notes while I discussed the Administrative Handbook for DCWUSAonline.com. It is really complicated! We shopped and then discussed some more on the way home. When we got home we talked with Alex and Phil. I sent RPW logos to a guy who’s doing signs. Cathy started typing in the Administrative Handbook. I ordered a new keyboard and mouse from Gateway. We went to Alfe’s for dinner. We had a great meal, but our waitress had a lot to be desired. She screwed up several things.

Sunday, December 15

I awoke at 6:00 AM . The SW wind was still howling and it was 40 degrees as I arose. I drove to Margate for the Santa Scamper, but no one was there. I headed home and stopped at Avalon Coffee for a latte on the way home. Cathy drove to the gym while I ran there. When I arrived I talked with Charlie the runner for a while. Then I rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes. When we got home, I took a shower. Then I deleted the Peaches account on Hypermart when I discovered that it expired on 1/8/03 . We ate lunch in the solarium. Then we drove to Atlantic City . We worked on the Administrative Handbook for DCWUSAonline on both legs of the trip. We walked on the Boardwalk. It was milder than last time. When we got home, I ran a disk check on the laptop. It was OK, but the check took a long time. We went to Pasta Bella for dinner.

Monday, December 16

I awoke at 5:00 AM . The temperature was in the low 40s with a light wind as I arose. I drove to Wildwood Linen and arrived around 7:00 AM . Nancy let me in. I had to convert the existing tables with 3 programs that I wrote. My notes explain what I had to do. When I got home, I sent the RPW logos in Illustrator 7.0 format to the signs guy. Then I fixed an error discovered at WWL in the Rolodex program. I made the changes for Ann Oswald and emailed her. I called AT&T Customer Service. The guy told me that our plan would continue on a month-by-month basis and that we could suspend it for up to 180 days on the website. I couldn’t find the suspension part on the website, so I’ll have to call again in January. I ate lunch in the solarium as the west wind howled. I left for Shore Memorial about 12:20 PM . I stopped for gas on the Parkway and arrived at the hospital at around 1:25 PM . I registered and got the ultrasound test right away. Then I went to Nuclear Medicine for the Renal Scan. I was given an IV for 15 minutes or so before entering the scanning room. Then I was given the tracer stuff through the IV and later given a “lasix ” diuretic. I had to stay still for 15 minutes for the scan. At the end of that time, I really had to pee. I also peed on the way out. By the time I got home, I was ready to burst. I peed 36 ounces in a jar under the house because I couldn’t wait to go inside. I hope I don’t get dehydrated. I peed a lot more as the late afternoon wore on.  I put on lentils and rice for dinner. Cathy came home at 5:15 PM. The wind got stronger and colder. I took out a carload of trash and then we drove to Becky’s 6:00 PM step class. I took out another load of trash after class. Afterward I took the Peaches link out of my link pages, but left the postings there in case it gets reactivated. I also thanked Jack via email for the Colorado calendar he had sent for Christmas.


Tuesday, December 17

I awoke at 6:00 AM . The temperature was 28 with a lighter wind as I arose. I discovered that the DCWUSAonline mySQL database was down at 7:20 AM . I emailed Selena. Phil sent me a Word document to convert to PDF. I couldn’t do it on my PC so I used the Adobe online service. It worked wonderfully. I’m going to suggest that  Phil to sign up. I called Dandy technical support at 9:05 AM . The mySQL server was still down. The tech rep said she would call back. Cathy called Diane Ranalli to schedule me coming over there on Thursday at 1:00 PM . I had a couple of changes to make on DCWUSAonline. I talked with Phil and Jimmy. I called Dandy technical support at 10:00 AM – the database was still down, they’re supposed to call me. I talked with Bill about RPW. Dandy called at around 10:45 AM to say that the database was back up. I worked on various things and helped Cathy somewhat with the Administrative manual. We ate lunch in the solarium; it was sunny and somewhat breezy, but we were inside. I went out for a 4 mile run at around 2:15 PM. The wind had lightened and there was plenty of sun, although the temperature was 35 degrees. It felt good to run.  I called Selena at Dandy when I returned. She didn’t know exactly why the server went down and said that nobody is there overnight. We had our conference call with Bill, Phil, Eileen, and Donna. Phil, Bill, and I decided to cancel Dandy. I spent a long evening until about 10:40 PM copying files and restoring tables. I also setup the directory structure called for in the Administrative Manual.

Wednesday, December 18

I awoke at 5:00 AM . The temperature was 24 with a light wind as I arose. I did a bit more testing on the Hypermart production site for DCWUSAonline and then set it up for the domain transfer. I set up a development site on Hypermart as “dcwusaoffline” with the domain name DCWUSAoffline.com. I bought the domain name on Stargate. I set up the development website and populated it. Cathy and I drove to North Beach to Becky’s 9:30 AM step class. Afterward, I shaved and showered and packed. I discovered that someone sent out an alert on DCWUSAonline using the Hypermart website, while I was only able to access the Dandy website. I guess Cape May is in the hinterlands of the Internet as well. We left at about 1:00 PM and drove to Avalon Coffee for lunch. I ate 3 bagels. We drove to Shore Memorial where I picked up my reports from the tests; the reports looked OK to me. Cathy drove as far as the NS Freeway where she started to get panicked by the aggressive drivers. She got off on the I295 North exit when we wanted to go South. I had been using the laptop but was uncomfortable with the automobile environment, especially with the mouse. I took over driving. We jumped on the NJ Turnpike and went south to route 322; then we took our normal route to Katie and Tom’s. We were carrying lots of presents and plants and a few hanging clothes for Christmas. Katie and Tom came home about an hour after we arrived. We ate dinner at Domani Star Cucina Italian Restaurant in Doylestown to celebrate Katie’s 29th birthday tomorrow.

Thursday, December 19

I awoke at 6:00 AM . We all went to Starbucks for breakfast. I used my card which now has $50 left on it. We hung out at Katie and Tom's for an hour after Katie and Tom left for work to avoid the worst traffic. I worked on the Administrative document for an hour, then we left at about 9:15 AM . Traffic was light and we arrived at about 11:15 AM after a futile stop at our bank and a nonworking ATM. I checked email and sent a few: asking Katie for directions and canceling the Dandy account. Cathy and I ate a quick lunch in the solarium. The surveyors were out working next door, checking things out for our new neighbors. I went to Water’s Edge Motel for my 1:00 PM appointment. At 1:10 PM when no-one was in sight, I left a voice message for Diane. At 1:20 PM , I duct-taped a Computing Doc card to the door and left. I was very pissed! When I got back I replace 4 spotlights. Cathy then went to work at GED testing. I went for a paddle down to the Canal. It was 52 degrees and calm. Very beautiful. When I got back, I worked on the Administrative document some more. I completed the first draft (17 pages) at 7:30 PM. Katie called to give directions from NYC to their house. Cathy came home early ( 8:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM ). I went to WaWa to buy hoagies for dinner and get cash for NYC. Then I tried to copy files from the laptop to the Windows desktop, but the “Handbook” zip file refused to be copied, maybe because of passwords. I finally gave up for the night and went down to eat dinner. I packed for a while and went to bed around 10:30 PM.

Friday, December 20

I awoke at 6:00 AM . I checked email, backed up the data folder on doc450 and then backed up doc450 on tape. I packed up my equipment. The rain and wind increased as we packed the RAV. We left at around 9:00 AM . We stopped for gas at GSP milepost 41. It rained the whole drive up the Parkway. We stopped at Cheesequake for a pit stop. We only made one wrong turn as we headed for the parking lot at the Point Imperial Ferry terminal. It really poured as we transferred our bags to Jim and Chris’ car. We drove in their car through the Lincoln Tunnel and headed downtown to Ground Zero. The major thing that struck me was the normalcy of the scene. We walked through the World Financial Center to Battery Park and the riverfront. The Hudson was flowing very fast. The rain continued to fall, but it was lightening. We ate lunch at Moran’s Pub right near Ground Zero. Then we drove to our hotel, Marriott Eastside. We met with Jack and Sue in the lobby lounge after we had a chance to go up to our rooms and freshen up a bit. I changed pants and shoes and then we all walked to dinner at the Sans Coulottes (no pants) restaurant. It was pretty cheap, but the food was pretty ordinary. We walked through Rockefeller Center and saw an ugly Christmas tree (it was very big, though). Cathy and I sat with Jack and Sue in the lounge for a while before heading upstairs for bed.

Saturday, December 21

I awoke at 6:15 AM . I dressed and headed out at 6:30 AM for a run. I headed for the East River and then worked South around the U.N. and heading toward the Brooklyn Bridge . I finally found a decent jogging path at the water’s edge. It was a beautiful morning. There was an amazing amount of traffic on the N-S roads for this early on a Saturday. I ran for an hour. When I returned to the room, Cathy was still asleep. I showered and then Cathy and I went to Starbucks for breakfast. We brought the food back to the room. We went down to the lobby at 9:00 AM to meet with the other guys. Cathy and I went down the street to get some cash while waiting for Sue and Jack to make an appearance. We all headed to Times Square to buy tickets for a show. While the others waited in line, I shopped around for an external tape drive – no luck at all. The other guys bought tickets for “I love you, you’re perfect, now change.” We walked to Starbucks to get some coffee and then went to the Peninsula Hotel to go to the bathroom. It is a posh hotel that reminded me of the Grand Palace in Rome . We headed to Langdon’s on 47th for lunch. We had a spirited Irish lass for a waitress. Then we went to the Westside Theater at 43rd and 9th. It is a small theater. The show had 4 actors and 2 musicians. It was very funny and the cast were very talented. It was fun being in a theater with about 200 people in the audience. We stopped in at Grand Central Station and then stopped at Starbucks as we headed back to the room. I worked on the computer and then shaved and showered. We headed down to the lobby lounge at 7:00 PM. We met with Jim and Chris and later with Jack and Sue for some drinks. Then, as we were hailing a cab, we caught a gypsy limo uptown to our restaurant, Tony at Napoli , on 84th street.The guy charged us $30 plus tip which was about double what two cabs would have cost, but it was a fun ride. The restaurant was boisterous and had great food served family style. Afterward, we walked to GTUC for coffee and dessert. I had the best latte I’ve ever had! Then we walked another block to Kim and Karen’s apartment. Their building is nice, clean, and secure. The apartment is tiny and costs $2600 per month. We took two cabs back down to the Plaza Hotel where we walked around for a while and waited for several minutes in a line for the Oak Room Bar until we gave up and walked back to our hotel. We got back at midnight . It was an eventful and enjoyable day in New York.

Sunday, December 22

I awoke at 6:30 AM . The first thing that happened was that the toilet overflowed. It wasn’t due to me since I’m somewhat constipated. I used a towel as a makeshift plunger and managed to get the level down. I put all of the towels except one on the floor and dried off the front end of the bathroom. I took a shower. I worked on putting all of the photos in PhotoAlbum. Cathy and I packed our stuff and headed to the lobby at 7:45 AM . I had noticed that we were charged $40 on the minibar – we never use the minibar! I told the desk and they removed the charges although the clerk didn’t believe me. We went to Starbucks to buy breakfast stuff and returned to the lobby lounge. Cathy bought coffee in the lounge. We met with Jim and Chris and Jack and Sue in the lounge. Then Cathy and I went up to the room and each left a little surprise in the toilet for the maid. I wrote a note and put it on the toilet. We brought our stuff down to the curb. Jim and Chris had just gotten the car out so we loaded up. I gave Jim $30 to help pay for parking at the hotel. We stopped at our car, lonely in the parking lot, dropped off our luggage, and went to the ticket office to pay $22 for parking. Then they dropped us at the car again. We said goodbyes and heading south on the turnpike. We then headed west on I78. We left the parking lot at 9:30 AM . When we got to Frenchtown, Cathy called Katie on the cell phone to warn her that we were near. We arrived at their home at 11:08 AM and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas tree. After settling in and after I signed up for an ATTWORLD account, we went to Nat’s for pizza. Then we went back to their house for a short time. We went to view “Lord of the Rings” – we were not disappointed. A sign that it was a good movie was that the 3 hours went fast. We headed to Roman Delight after the movie and then to Starbucks. Tom and I viewed “The Score” while the women baked cookies – just like the old days! We went off to bed at around 10:30 PM .

Monday, December 23

I awoke at 6:00 AM . I got online and discovered that I wasn’t sending mail. I set up an account for WORLDNET and used it to send from the Outbox. I spent some time looking for a tape backup unit on the Internet and then looking for a DVD burner. We all went to Starbucks for breakfast. Then we split up for some shopping. Tom and I went to a number of stores: liquor store, kitchen store, Training Zone (for running shoes and socks), Best Buy (for a DVD burner), BlockBuster, NAPA (for a new side fisheye mirror), and an antique store. We didn’t get back until almost 1:00 PM . After lunch, I set up the DVD burner and discovered that I needed USB 2.0 and only had USB 1.1. I chatted with a Gateway representative and found that I needed a PCMCIA card. He had trouble with the billing address of my credit card, so I couldn’t finalize the sale. I’ll pick one up tomorrow. Tom and I went to the lake to run for 4 miles. It was pretty at the lake, but the hills were a challenge. When we returned, I showered and we ate a good pasta dinner. After dinner we viewed part of “Royal Tennenbaum’s”. Bill and Stacey arrived around 9:30 PM. They drove a rental car from the airport. We all talked for a while and then everyone headed for bed. Cathy and I slept on the floor of the living room on the pullout mattress.

Tuesday, December 24

I awoke at 6:30 AM . I got online and did some email. It was 32 degrees. I checked the weather forecast online – it looks as if there will be sleet and snow tonight and snow tomorrow. I hope the roads stay passable. We all went to Starbucks for breakfast. Then, Bill, Stacey, and I went to Best Buy where I bought a USB 2.0 card and headphones for my laptop. When we got home I successfully wrote a DVD with my new USB card and DVD writer. I shaved and showered and then ate lunch with the crew. Cathy and I drove Bill and Stacey to Springfield after lunch. Soon after we arrived, Bill and I went to ACME to buy some bread and get some bread (cash). We also stopped at the liquor store so that Bill could buy some wine and champagne. We all dressed for church and then Katie and Tom arrived. We headed to the 5:15 PM children’s mass at about 4:30 PM . We occupied a complete pew. The mass was festive and lasted exactly one hour. We headed home and began a flurry of activity leading to a Christmas Eve banquet. Cathy, Katie , and I did the dishes after dinner. Bridget cried most of the evening. Bill and Stacey and Tom and Katie headed back to Doylestown in a light snow. Cathy and I headed to bed at about 11:00 PM with Bridget still crying.


I awoke at 6:20 AM . The snow of last night had turned to rain and the temperature was 35 degrees as I arose. Alex was already up feeding Bridget. Alex went back to bed as I read the paper and ate Kashi cereal for breakfast. Cathy went to take an early shower, so I was alone when Erin came down looking to open some presents. Phil came out and allowed Erin to begin with her stocking. Then she did Bridget’s stocking and then Phil’s stocking. Before long everybody had eaten breakfast and congregated to watch Erin open gifts. Once done with that, we packed the car and headed in the rain to Doylestown. There had been snow on the ground in Springfield , but when we got to Bucks County , there was much more snow, sleet, ice, and slush on the trees, ground, and roads. We arrived at Katie and Tom’s at 12:30 PM. We ate lunch and then opened presents until shortly after 3:00 PM . I rewrote the schedule and handled the potato peeling and boiling. I did the sweet potatoes and Bill did the mashed potatoes. The dinner was great! I had my usual lentils and rice in an acorn squash half. I dried while Cathy washed after dinner. Then I ate two pieces of pie! I dried again after dessert. By now, the snow was about 5 inches deep. I brushed off the car while the others packed it. We left at around 9:00 PM. When we were out of Bucks County , it was snowing lightly, but the roads were good. We got back at about 10:00 PM . A half hour later I was in bed reading. I heard the baby throughout the night.

Thursday, December 26

I awoke at 6:00 AM . The snow didn’t accumulate any more overnight, but the wind was howling and it was 33 degrees. I moved the car into the driveway and packed it. We were gone by 6:30 AM . We ate breakfast in Panera Bread. We were back on the road at 7:00 AM and home by 9:00 AM . Most people must have been skipping work because the traffic was very light. We unpacked in the high wind when we got home. Cathy drove off to work at the bookstore. I worked on DCWUSAonline for a while. I called Diane at Water’s Edge. She called back and then I went over at about 11:30 AM and installed the changes in the 2003 and 2004 directories. I printed tests, marked them up, and left them and the CD for Diane. I stopped at Avalon Coffee for a latte and 3 bagels on the way back. Then I worked on DCWUSAonline for a while. I struggled with posting data for a while until I finally figured out what I need to do. I actually already had the right technique back in October, but I studied it pretty hard today to make sure. I will be posting in PHP to eBI and receiving back in Perl from eBI. When I receive back from eBI, I’ll send the response back via the URL line. Bill and Stacey arrived at about 5:00 PM. Cathy arrived shortly thereafter. When I tried to shave, I discovered that the pilot light was out in the hot water heater. I relit it and waited about 20 minutes; then I shaved and showered. We stopped at the bank for cash and Villas Liquors on our way to dinner at Karen and Rei’s. We had a wonderful meal and made reservations for 1/10/03 with Katie and Tom. When we returned from dinner, we were all exhausted and headed for bed.

Friday, December 27

I awoke at 6:20 AM . The wind was lighter and it was 34 degrees as I arose. I worked on DCWUSAonline for a while. Then I went for a 3 mile run along the Bay. When I got back, I showered. Bill, Stacey, Cathy, and I went to Louie’s Pizza for lunch. It was bitterly cold. After lunch, we walked to Rick’s for some hot drinks. Then we walked back to the cars and headed home. Cathy and the others went to the Lobster House on the way. Stacey bought the swordfish for our dinner. I went to Doctor Tennenbaum’s to get the basal cell on my back removed. By the time I got home, Alex, Phil, Erin , and Bridget had arrived. I grilled the swordfish and we all enjoyed a great meal. After dinner, we played "Hungry Hippos" and viewed “Ice Age” – very funny. Cathy read to Erin before she went to bed. I headed to bed at 10:30 PM.

Saturday, December 28

I awoke at 6:40 AM . The wind was still blowing and it was 33 degrees as I arose. I had moved my laptop downstairs last night, so I was able to work on a couple of documents for this morning’s company meeting. We had the company meeting until noon . Then we all went into Cape May because Bill and Stacey had an appointment at Congress Hall. We ate brunch in the Blue Pig Tavern. The food was good but the service was poor. We headed back home around 3:00 PM and stopped at the cleaners to pick up Bill’s suit on the way. I discovered that the address on my MBNA credit card had been changed to an address in Trenton . I called MBNA and tried to straighten it out, but I kept getting errors for online transactions. I called MBNA again and the representative told me that Mastercard had the wrong address. I’ll have to be wary for double charges on the next bill. I signed up for a domain and webhosting account for RPWtest. I paid for the hosting with the Cybernetic Planet credit card. Phil, Alex, and family left around 6:00 PM. The rest of us went to Pasta Bella for dinner. Bill and Stacey liked our little local spot in the Villas.

Sunday, December 29

I awoke at 6:20 AM . It seemed a bit calmer and warmer as I arose. I sent out emails and pictures to a bunch of people. I shaved and showered and we took off in two cars at 9:00 AM heading for Springfield . We met with Bill and Stacey at our usual gas stop and then I stopped at Commodore Coffee for a latte. We arrived in Springfield at a bit before 11:00 AM . Bill and Stacey were already there and Tom and Katie arrived shortly thereafter. Bridget got dressed in her baptismal gown and then we all headed for church. We occupied a full pew again with Pete and Amy in the pew in front of us. After mass we moved up and Olive and Don Stoops and Me-maw joined us. The priest was very informative during the Christening. Bridget was the only baby being baptized. Afterward, we had food, drink, cake, and conversation at Alex and Phil’s. Bridget was on her best behavior as was Erin . I took four great photos. Cathy and I left at about 4:00 PM. We stopped at WaWa on the way home to get hoagies for dinner. As soon as we got home, I put the photos in my album and sent out emails. We viewed “ Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” as we ate. I felt lightheaded when I went upstairs to go to the bathroom, but the feeling quickly left me. I went to bed early. Cathy coughed a good bit of the night.

Monday, December 30

I awoke at 6:15 AM . It was cold (31) and calm as I arose. I backed up DCWUSAonline. I worked on RPW. I sent the Christening photos to Don and Bern and Joe Landue (all on request). It warmed up to 43 degrees by 10:15 AM , so I went out for a paddle down to the Canal. It was beautifully smooth on the Bay. I felt good while paddling. I worked on RPW for a while more. I ran to the gym and we did Melissa’s 6:00 PM step class (subbing for Becky). After dinner, I updated the phones table as per Phil’s request. Then I worked on bills. I finally got to bed at about 10:30 PM .

New Year's Eve

I awoke at 6:40 AM . It was overcast and 48 degrees as I arose. I emailed Dandy to cancel my dialup account. I also successfully ordered Norton Antivirus subscription with my credit card. I got back to work on RPW. I had some success with interfacing with SkipJack. I ran into one problem and emailed SkipJack support about it. Cathy and I ate lunch in the Solarium. The day was becoming beautiful: sunny with temperature in the 50s. We drove to Cape May to walk to the lighthouse and walk the Mall. We stopped into Congress Hall for a cappuccino and a glass of wine before heading home. We watched the sun set for the last time in 2002 (pics 1,2,3,4). We picked up a pizza at Louie’s for dinner. Then we went to the Bayshore 8 to view “Gangs of New York ” – great movie with spectacular sets. We were awake at midnight for a change and watched the ball drop in Times Square . Good-bye 2002...

William G. McArthur