Happy Birthday

My parents visited this weekend to celebrate by birthday (which was on Wednesday), which means not only do I get to hang out with my super-rad folks, but I get PRESENTS!!!!!!!!! :)

Thanks to my sisters for a new pair of Samba Classics, which is awesome because my old pair was starting to look pretty beat (although I am still going to wear them into the ground… :)… My parents, in a crazy display of prestidigitation got me a replacement stereo for my car! They got me an Aiwa CDC-X504MP, which supports MP3 CDs, but more importantly it has Aux In so I can once again use my iPod!

My dad had the brilliant idea that we should drive to a mall parking garage to do the installation so we didn’t have to do it on the side of the street here in Boston. So all 4 of us got into Hawkeye and we went to the Galleria… First we went to the food court for lunch, and then we split up and Dad and I went to Radio Shack for butt connectors while the girls shopped. The real trick was getting the dashboard molding off, which was huge (it is one big piece, surrounding all the accessories and the instrument panel). But it came off with a little encouraging. They got me the installation kit too, so I had the harness for my car, which we just had to hook up the stereo’s harness to, which meant we didn’t have to do any wiring inside the dash, which is good. We hooked everything up and tested it and it worked like a champ, so we finished the install and reassembled the dash. We took off and did some more errand running, but later that day, when I was parking the car back here near the apartment, I noticed that the entire left side was dead…

I didn’t want to neglect my family or girlfriend anymore that day and so I figured I would take care of it today and went back up to the apartment. Before dinner, I wanted to set up the TiVo, which my parents had also brought up for me, so I hooked it up to the TV, and plugged the ethernet cable directly into the cable modem (since I didn’t have a router). The short version of the story is that the TiVo was unable to connect to their servers, so I assumed that the cable modem service was tied to the MAC address of my Mac. So I figured that was another failed project for the day, but my mom said I should go out with my dad to get a router (that does MAC spoofing), so we went to Micro Center and got a Belkin home router with 802.11b and 4 100Mb Ethernet jacks too. It was $40 with a $20 mail-in rebate, so it was a pretty good deal! We came back to the apartment, and and were watching Strictly Ballroom and there was about 30 minutes left… I set up the router, and waited until the movie was over to test out the new config, but while the movie was ending I noticed the TiVo wasn’t grabbing an IP. I figured something was really wrong, but didn’t confirm that until the movie was over. My dad suggested that perhaps the NIC came loose in transit, so I took the case off, and lo and behold that was the problem! So problem one of two.5 was solved (problem 2 was the left channels of my car stereo, and 2.5 is the CD stuck in my old car stereo).

We went out to dinner at the Stockyard which was awesome, some of the tastiest, tenderest steak I have ever had. And the garlic mashers rocked socks. Everyone seemed to really enjoy their meal, and I recommend the place for sure. It was getting real late (past 10pm), so my parents headed back to the hotel to pack it in, and Corinna and I headed back to the apartment. I cut out to catch the end of the Squarepusher show at the Paradise with Adam and Rory (who were already there). I wasn’t planning on going, but when my parents packed it in so early (for me, late for them… :P) I decided I could probably catch the main-attraction, and I’m glad I went. I caught the tail-end of the last opening act and the entire Squarepusher set, which was just unbelievable. He is one of the most amazing bass guitarists I’ve heard (or seen).

This morning my dad and I got together to fix the car stereo… We took everything apart and one of the connections fell apart and must have shorted the left channels, so we fixed it up and now everything works like a champ. We went to IHOP for breakfast, which was good, and they had to head back to NJ, which sucks…. Corinna and I headed back to the apartment, and I tore my old CD player apart, freeing my Squarepusher CD from its evil clutches, which escaped its prison camp with only a mild scratch. I have since made a copy to listen to in the car.

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