My in-laws, Grant and Marina, arrived from Ontario last night to spend the holidays with us, so this morning’s regular Saturday morning outing around Charlottetown had a special guest-star: Papa.
The market was as bustling as a midsummer’s day, and we saw lots of people we know: along with our “regular stops” with Kim Dormaar and Karin LaRonde, we saw Nils Ling, Darren Peters, Hope Paterson (down from Toronto) later her father Rob Paterson, Catherine Hennessey and her sister Betty Maurice (over from Vancouver). Jim Lea and Jeannie Lea were there too (I kind of wish someone had turned me on to the fact that they were married; I suppose everyone assumed I knew). If we’d stayed a little longer, I figure we would have seen everyone pass through; at the very least we would have run into Mac Campbell and Tim Banks (who, if you think about it, are quite unalike). Oliver enjoyed showing off his grandfather to all present, and especially enjoyed the gift of Christmas cookies from Karin.
Next stop was Indigo. I gotta admit that our local branch has improved a lot from back in 2001 when it first opened. My last several visits I’ve been overwhelmed by the friendliness and professionalism of the staff; last night in particular I received some of the best bookstore service I’ve ever received (making a purchase that, for now, must dare not speak its name). I finally relented, after all these years, and upped for the special $25 discount card; the same salesperson that tried to sell me on the benefits last year went at it again this year, and I found myself unable to say no. I just know that I’ll forget to use it as the year wears on, but my purchase seemed to make her so happy that it was a worthwhile investment.
From Indigo we drove up to Staples to return a pair of Linksys WRT54G wireless routers. I’ve been intrigued by the possibility of running Linux on Linksys units for a while, and an opportunity to install a wireless bridge at a friend’s house finally presented a good reason to purchase one, while a need to move from WEP to WPA (two different methods for securing wireless networks; WEP, the old way, having been shown to be, well, not all that secure after all) here at the office presented an opportunity to purchase another. So last night I bought two WRT54G’s, and this morning I returned them because I discovered, to my chagrin, that they sported “v5” firmware, which no longer uses Linux at all, and thus doesn’t support things like OpenWRT and DD-WRT (two open source projects that let you replace the “brains” of your wireless access point with a more capable set of code). Fortunately, Staples also sells the WRT54GS, which is still Linux-based, so I ended up swapping the 54G’s for two 54GS’s.
At the checkout at Staples I ran into my old friend Cam Beck. I first met Cam when he was working for Scott Linkletter at COWS back in the mid-1990s. He’s since joined the forces of the dark lord and Cam and I had a good chat about all that.
From Staples we drove down through the rabbit warren of streets that lead from University Ave., past Charlottetown Rural High School and out to North River Road so we could make a stop at Sporting Intentions to pick up a newly outfitted set of skis for Oliver. Oliver, if you suddenly gain the ability to read before Christmas morning, please ignore this paragraph. Darren Peters was at Sporting Intentions too (proving that he really is ubiquitous).
Our final stop of the morning was at the Ellen’s Creek Plaza Formosa Tea House, which has become a regular stop on our Saturday morning journey. Oliver got to introduce Papa to his friends there, we had a refreshing iced tea and sushi, Oliver received a kind gift of orange slices and some cookies, and we had a good chance to have a pre-Christmas chat.
Our morning at an end, we piled back into the car and headed back down North River Rd. to home. Later in the afternoon we’ll head over to Ann and David’s for our annual Christmas Eve lunch (we’re all very excited — especially Jodi — about a secret present I found last night for Ann). Then quickly home to bed so that visions of sugarplums might dance in our heads. Or at least in Oliver’s.
Best wishes to all for a good holiday.
Which Ann absolutely loves.
It’s a treasure tove of all things Coronation Street, including Betty’s hot pot recipe and Chesney’s lost dog poster. I could not be happier.