Sunday, November 30, 2008

'Tis the (shopping) season

I went out this evening and did my first Christmas shopping. I wouldn't have bothered, but I had a 40% off coupon for Barnes & Noble and it was only good for this weekend. Hey, the Christmas budget is tight this year. Plus I have to ship all my gifts instead of hauling them with me on the plane. I'll take whatever discounts I can get.

Most of the last three days have been consumed with trying to get my wireless router working properly. I wanted to watch some things on my computer through Netflix, but the old desk top just isn't up to the task. Too old, too slow. Not enough memory. The laptop can handle it, but it didn't want to work plugged directly into the modem. It was time to haul out the router I bought over a year ago with the laptop and get it set up. It gave me a few fits, but it finally seems to be working. First it kept quitting on me. Then there was a problem with the software. Eventually I discovered that the update on the software was bad. And I only had to system restore and re-download the software twice to figure it out. I'm still not sure why it craps out on me every couple of hours, but I now know to just unplug the modem and router, give them a minute, and plug them back in again. Whatever's happening, that seems to reboot everything. Not a great solution, but it's a two minute fix instead of a two hour ordeal. See, I can learn. Eventually.

Now that I've got the wireless working, sort of, I'm exploring the instant play options on Netflix. So far I've watched about half of Dr Who season one and one episode of Ballykissangel. My dad loves British comedies, and I thought Ballykissangel might be a good Christmas present. I'm not sure about that, although I enjoyed it and plan to watch more. Dad's got a bit of a Thing about Catholics, and I'm not sure if that would prevent him from enjoying the show or not. We come from a line of Protestant ministers (although I frequently wonder if there's not a Goddess worshiping milk man somewhere in my background), and it seems to me that no matter what the religion, you run into the same kinds of people and politics at any church. There is, unfortunately, no logic or sense when Dad decides to develop a Thing, though, so whether he'd see the universality of it is hard to say. Amazon has season one available for $25, which is just a skosh over the $20 budget I set, so more thought is needed.

He's been very unhelpful with the Christmas list this year. When I asked him yesterday he said, "I don't know, maybe a DVD." But when I asked which DVD he'd like, he didn't know. I warned him if he couldn't give me a title or two he was going to get a pack of blank DVDs. And a lump of coal for his stocking. He seemed perfectly OK with the lump of coal idea. At the cost of heating fuel this year it would be a valuable gift.

His favorites are As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances, The Vicar of Dibley, and Are You Being Served. If anyone has suggestions about other shows he might enjoy, I'd be happy to hear them. I don't get BBC America on my basic cable package and the last time I checked the local PBS station wasn't playing much in the way of Britcom.

1 comment:

  1. Father Ted. It came before The Vicar of Dibley, only it's Catholic (I think) and set in Ireland. Such memorable characters. Lots of laughs. Though the actor who played Father Ted has since died.

    Here's hoping you can find it (don't know how many seasons there were), and have a lovely day! :-)