A few things have changed since then:
No kids to 2 wonderful little people hanging around.
Baby face to badly needing a trim of my goatee.
I owned three pair of slacks to a rack of pants.
I used a PowerMac 5200 desktop to a sleek new MacBook Pro.
Renting a little house with no A/C to owning a project house.
SPEAKING of project house:
My wife wanted to finish up our Christmas shopping last night and so I decided to accompany her and the kids to Wal-Mart. I am not a fan of Wal-Mart (for various reasons, but mostly personal). Wal-Mart at Christmas times scares the heck out of me. So, please understand that I did not make the decision to go there lightly.
We spent nearly an hour and a half buying mostly things we could live without. Then back home for a relaxing evening playing a game with the boy and catching up on the computer (and writing this blog).
After the kids went to bed, I sat down on the couch and watched some Star Trek while working with the laptop. My wife complained about being cold, so I got up to turn up the heater.
Now, we have a lot of fun with the static created by the combination of the dry air, the carpet and fabric couch. I like to shock Joshua on the ear or Alea on the top of the head. My wife grabs my arm to ground herself every time I approach her. For some reason, the cat avoids me like the plague.
I went over to the thermostat and hit the up button to turn up the heat. Instantly a spark jumped nearly an inch between me and the thermostat. The digital display blinked out and wouldn't come back on. Nothing I did could revive it. I could turn on the fan, but not the heater. I replaced the batteries in the unit and hit the reset half a dozen times. I went to the company website and called the 1-800 number. Nothing. It was already getting cold, but it kept getting colder.
The choice was sleep on the living room floor in front of the gas fireplace or go get a new thermostat. Since nothing is open in Pratt at 10:30 except for Wal-Mart, I had to head back. I have not stepped in Wal-Mart since this summer. Twice in one day was just oddly improbable. Even so, I saw a Skyline patron there that had been there during my earlier trip as well. He too had a funny story. His wife was baking and since he was excited about the baking being done, he had to go after supplies for her. The things we do for our wives!
I finally got the new thermostat installed with a little help from the instruction manual and my wife. She was loyal though and I was really excited when I tested it out and it worked -first time. Surprised even. I finally crawled into bed about 1:30. I was very empathetic of the college kids pulling all-nighters before their finals. I sleep-walked through the morning routine and made it to work okay, but the day wasn't too bad. It sure seemed long though.