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Detours off Britta Blvd

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catching up on Christmas
snow, shovel
Christmas Eve morning we woke up to even more snow, which was great fun for Elsie, especially visiting the horse when he'd venture out of the barn, but required us to dig out the driveway enough so my dad could drive to get some last-minute groceries, let alone for our relatives to arrive later for dinner & presents. The driveway is probably 150ft long up a hill, and the snow was about 8" deep, so with a little help from my mom, my dad & I spent about an hour shoveling two tracks for tires, then more on the flat by the carport for turnaround and parking for more vehicles later. After my dad tested by getting the van down the hill in the tracks, I was already so overheated I was shoveling in my t-shirt & still sweating, but I kept going for another hour thinking that it would be better if it was clearer where everyone needed to park. I was also hoping the exertion might sweat my cold out of me, but my nose just kept dripping! At least it was a valiant pre-emptive attack against dinner calories, right?

Shoveling snow in Woodway, WA

My uncle & his family didn't drive from Bend as planned due to the dangerous weather, which was disappointing, but Christmas Eve was still fun since my cousin's sons were there to spice things up, two young boys instead of all four...but the funniest part was that their uncle, my newly-engaged & super-rich 45-yr-old cousin who repeated his infamous atomic wedgie to my little cousins around the tree, finally got his comeuppance...the best part of which was my little 9-yr-old cousin afterward yelling directly into my camcorder "YEAH, WE FINALLY GOT HIM! THIS TOTALLY HAS TO GO ON YOUTUBE!" ...LOL! He had already told me at dinner he has his own YouTube channel for an animation he did, and now he so wants to post "wedgie revenge" on his own channel. I don't have enough free space on my laptop to edit now, so I've promised to do it as soon as I get home, plus then I can re-edit the original atomic wedgie video from 4 years ago so we have a whole storyline! Even funnier was Christmas Day my grandma answered the phone, and it was my little cousin in Bend asking to speak with Britta...he wanted to know what the YouTube link was for the wedgie video! Hahaha...we had told his father earlier in the day about the story, so news had already gotten around! ;)

Clouston Christmas Eve

Christmas Day it was still snowing again, large clumps of flakes! I'm glad I shoveled as much as I did the day before! While I was still sneezing & sniffling, we braved unplowed icy roads to Ballard to visit the Peterson cousins (my grandma is my mom's side), which was ironic since we had given their gifts to their parents in Newport since we all thought for sure they would make it to Seattle even if we couldn't, and here they were the ones who decided it was too dangerous to we were there without our gifts for them! Ah well, best laid plans & all that...we still had a delicious brunch and had a nice visit with my three cousins & their kids, one of which I had not yet met and he's already 3 years old! It was great to see them all, even though it was a bit touchy on the drive there & back. I'm very glad my dad knows how to drive in ice & snow & can keep his cool!

We were supposed to have my grandma's neighbor over for a casual Christmas Day dinner of enhanced leftovers, since even if the roads were bad they thought they could walk through the trees and the back pasture instead, but the snow was so deep & still coming down they cancelled, so it was just my parents, grandma & me for Christmas Day anomaly for sure, but probably safer in this weather anyway.

Britta holding little Solveig

My main present for my mom was to install a new 250GB hard drive in her 12" PowerBook, a nice upgrade from her original 60GB. She loves the small size that Apple no longer makes, so is clinging to it as long as possible, and a new drive is cheaper than a new laptop anyway. It was supposed to be a relatively easy project, but after multiple attempts I couldn't make a bootable backup of her entire laptop to save my life the entire weekend, let alone get her user directory data to copy separately, so suspected bad blocks meant probably a good thing to replace the drive anyway, but we still needed to get the important data off. I could not get Disk Utility to repair her drive when booted as a target from my laptop since mine said it was all ok. My email call for help prompted a cell call while we were in Medford getting gas at Costco, so I performed my first single user mode fsck -yf to repair her drive enough so I could copy her user directory! I finally was able to make a bootable backup of my laptop instead, which upgraded her to Leopard & gave her a ton of new apps, then finally copied her user directory too, which since I couldn't have the external drive plugged in while driving, only at night, took two separate days....then when I thought all was well to start the physical work, my Torx bits weren't quite small enough...*sigh* So after we acquired the last necessary tool at Fred Meyer Christmas Eve morning, on Christmas Day evening I took over the kitchen table to dismantle. I had studied the guide on already, so it was only a little scary, and of course I had to take a photo of it all apart! It went back together fine, booted the empty drive off the external okay, cloned all night, and was fine this morning...hooray! My mom joked the drive itself was cheap but sounded like a couple thousand dollars worth of my time with all this hassle...probably true! haha...

Merry Christmas Mom! Dismantled 12" PowerBook, ready for new 250GB internal drive!

Today was a lazy day taking down my grandma's tree & trying to help her put away all her decorations since we're trying to wait out another day of snow before we try to get back on the road home. It was snowing several times today with large clumps again, but it's obviously getting warmer since the snow is more slippery & crunchy instead of the nice powder when we arrived. The dogs like the powder much better than this icy stuff. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Wish us luck getting home through more snow!


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