Snow is just unavoidable when you live in upstate New York. So the fact that I had to use my snow blower on my driveway isn't news, but that it took until almost the end of January for that to happen is! It snowed very lightly a few times before this but it was gone by the end of the day. This week was the first time using a machine to clear the driveway was necessary.
Yesterday we took the kids to see Disney on Ice at Blue Cross Arena. Rachelle found some crazy deal on the tickets which ended up being around $10 a seat. I expected to be up in the nose-bleed section, but was delighted to find that we had fabulous seats!
Of course Claire had a great time, but Nolan also had a great time and was plastered to his seat the whole time. He kept giving the dude in the next seat the stink-eye, but he eventually got over that.
Nothing says New Year's Day like getting rid of your Christmas tree! We didn't have snow for Christmas, but we seem to be getting a little now.
Resolutions? I don't really have much in mind. I'll probably just try to be more productive at work. Although my current output level is not for lack of effort; I've been at work for 6 days of my Christmas break so far. Boooo.
Many years ago we got rid of our home phone service. We both had cell phones, nobody knew the number, we never used it; it was just a waste of $30+ every month. Once Claire arrived I knew at some point we'd need to get some kind of phone service in the house, at least for emergencies.
What I ended up doing was getting VOIP service over our broadband. I have an account with voip.ms and registered a DID number in my area code with them. Since you can pick your own number, you can pick one that either means something to you or is just easy to remember. I got a killer number with a bunch of repeating digits, very easy to remember. Then I just had to buy an analog phone adapter to bridge my analog phone with the VOIP provider.
Once you own the ATA the cost for the service is basically nothing. Sure it depends on your internet, but ours is pretty stable. I don't use this phone often, but when I do it's never not worked. Rachelle actually called me this morning using this phone and it worked great. It sounded like any other phone from my end.
I've been using IPv6 at work for a few years now. Fibertech gave us a /48 with our service and it's worked perfectly since it was setup. I had to do quite a lot of setup on my switches/routers to get it working, but once that was done I haven't had to touch it since. Currently only servers have IPv6 addresses. I'm currently thinking about letting workstations use it, once I overcome a few implementation hurdles.
For a while I've been wondering if I can get IPv6 connectivity at home, but knowing Time Warner Cable I wasn't holding my breath. Regardless of whether TWC supported it, I knew the router I was using didn't support IPv6. It was an old Linksys WRT54GL flashed with DD-WRT. I've been using it for years and it's been great. After a bunch of research I found that a different variation of DD-WRT did support IPv6. So I flashed my router with that firmware and could see the options for IPv6, but they didn't work. A ton of wasted time later, I decided to retire this router.
I got a $19 TP-Link WR841N on Amazon because it was cheap as hell and supports 300Mbps 802.11n wireless. Sadly, it didn't support IPv6 out of the box or with an upgraded official firmware. The only version of DD-WRT that would actually boot on this router also didn't support it. But I found out that OpenWRT does! So I downloaded the latest version of OpenWRT for my router, flash it and rebooted. To my amazement, the router not only picked up a /128 IPv6 address on the WAN port but it picked up a separate /64 subnet and started handing them out to all my LAN clients that supported it!
So far this has been pretty painless. I'm happy this only cost me $19 and that upgraded my hardware to support 5x faster wireless speeds too.
Nolan is sleeping in our room in a pack-n-play and I thought we'd be getting up at god-awful o'clock because he'd wake up and see us. But I hung a sheet up so he couldn't really see us, and so far he's been sleeping until 8ish every morning.
Claire has been loving the beach and the ocean. She got clobbered a few times by waves in the surf but it didn't seem to bother her too much. Nolan on the other hand wanted nothing to do with the ocean at all. He seemed to like playing in the sand a bit but he wouldn't go anywhere near the water. He loved the hottub though. Unfortunately the way it worked out it's basically high-tide the whole day when the kids could be at the beach, so Claire hasn't gotten too far into the water.
We cooked dinner on the grill these two days. Even though by dad and brother-in-law both brought small gas grills, which I'm used to cooking on, we had to cook for so many people I used the larger charcoal grill on the property. The first day we used new charcoals that already had the lighter fluid added. This worked great, it started right up and was ready to cook in like 10 minutes. The second day I used the rest of an existing bag of charcoal I found at the house. I had a very hard time getting this to burn and finally get hot enough to cook on. It worked out in the end though.
Today was the first day of our vacation in the Outer Banks. My alarm went off at 3:20am (!) in order for us to get out the door at 4:10am and to the airport at 4:30am for our 5:50am flight. The kids got up surprisingly easily and seemed to be ok with the early hour. In the car Rachelle asked Nolan if he was okay and he said, "No, Sleep!" That pretty much summed it up.
Even at 4:30 in the morning, Rochester International Airport was very busy. The line to get through security was huge. But it moved quickly and our flight took off without a problem. We were actually early landing at BWI and had to sit there and wait for a gate to open up. That was the worst of the air travel.
When I picked up the rental car in Norfolk, they upgraded me from a full-sized sedan to a Ford Expedition at no additional cost! I was super excited about having the extra room. I guess they had a bunch of big cars available and were offering to upgrade everyone. The poor kids finally got to take a nap in the car on the 90 minute drive to Nags Head. It wasn't long enough, but I guess better than nothing.
Since we were the first to arrive in town we stopped by the rental office to pick up the keys. We were a few hours early, but the house was ready and they had no problem with the timing. The house was rented by my dad who has the same name, so I assumed I could get away with checking in for him, but they never asked for identification.
Aside from the ludicrisly early start to today, it was a great travel day. Hopefully the rest of the vacation goes as smoothly.