Homer's Travels: Was Santa Good To You?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Was Santa Good To You?

With the in-Law's Christmas get together yesterday the Homer's Travels' Christmas celebrations are at an end.  It always feels good to get together with family and enjoy food, stories, and fun in general.  With the Christmas holiday there is also the added benefit of gifts.

I ended up buying myself my first gift.  On Black Friday weekend I purchased an Osprey Aether 60 Backpack.  I got a really good price.  This will be the pack for my Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) camp as well as my Appalachian trail hike.  It will go on other hikes in between too I hope.  I will provide my first take on the backpack in a future post.

On Christmas Eve the Wife and I celebrated Christmas at my Mom's house.  There I received my traditional bag of Pull-n-Peal Twizzlers (they were all gone withing twenty-four hours), a plant moisture meter (it has already told me that I'm over watering one of my plants), and some spending money that will go towards other camping/hiking gear.  I gave Mom a wooden carving I bought in Zanzibar and a gift card at one of her favorite restaurants.

After the celebration at Mom's, the Wife and I exchanged gifts which consisted mainly in gift cards to our favorite places (I got a card to Backwoods which will get me even more camping/hiking gear).  I bought the Wife a solar pope she was asking for (he gives a pageant wave when in the sun - a video may have to follow) and she gave me some lottery scratchers.

I received another gift on Christmas Day: A sunny, blue sky day which felt awesome!  Can't remember the last time we had a sunny day here - been awhile.

Yesterday we finished the festivities at the In-Laws.  We had pork loin and every form of potato you can think of - this is also a family tradition of sorts.  Before and after dinner I consumed enough sugary goodies to kill a herd of elephants.

After dinner we exchanged gifts.  The In-Laws passed out envelopes of money for Christmas and everyone's upcoming birthdays and anniversaries.  My share will go towards my RAGBRAI registration fee, more camping/hiking gear, and hotel rooms in Estes Park, CO (where I'll stay before and after my RMNP camp).

The Wife and I, along with my Brother-in Law and his Wife, gave the In-Laws a year of Netflix and two Roku boxes to allow them to stream movies.  I set up the Roku boxes at home so that all I needed to do is connect them up to their TVs and power and change the network setting to the In-Law's network and they would be ready to go.  Simply ... NOT.  Sure enough I could not get the Roku boxes to connect up to their network.  It took two simultaneous tech support phone calls to straighten it out.  I have to admit I didn't handle it well.  The stress of it not working right away, the waiting while listening to crappy repetitive music loops while on hold, and the high frequency buzz I had going from all the sugar did not go for a smooth tech support experience.  The tech support people were great - I was not.  In the end the Roku support guy walked me through a procedure (using a "secret screen") to get things up and running.  Turns out the In-Law's cable service has their wireless router security locked down pretty hard.

As soon as everything was up and running I said my goodbyes and drove home (The Wife is staying with her parents for a week to help them with the medical issues they are going through).  After a three hour drive I realized I was still buzzing at a few gigahertz and the adrenalin was still do-si-doing with the sugar in my bloodstream so I went to the basement and road my trainer for a couple hours.  While I road I watched "Particle Fever" ... a very interesting documentary about the discovery, by the Large Hadron Collider, of the Higgs Boson.  A good movie.

I finished my ride, rinsed off  the sweat, and went to bed a few minutes before midnight.  The biking worked and I fell asleep quickly.  Staying up til midnight also served as a successful dry run for New Years Eve coming up in a few days.

Hope everyone else had a good Christmas too!  Now onward to the next year.


  1. We did have a few nice days, eh? :) I'm glad it sounds like you had a nice holiday with your family. Those dang boxes are such a pain to set up. Nice once they're working, but such a pain! You've got some major hiking planned!

    1. Autumn: I do have a lot of hiking planned. Hope you had a good Cristmas. The weather is turning cold here for the last few days of 2014. Stay warm!