But first, due to my last semester of fun and madness, I had to drop the newspaper route I'd been delivering, which put the crunch on my Christmas present spending this year. (so it was not
related to the economy, however, I did
benefit from it due to some dropped prices)
At my earliest convenience I called the newspaper back and told them I was available to deliver or substitute for any route in my area, and found out that there were no available routes in my area, but there was a substitute position available from Dec. 10-17 (a four-day stretch, the paper coming out on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays), which I accepted and delivered with my usual quality of service.
Apparently, the carrier quit afterwards, and the circulation department asked if I would like to substitute for it again until they find another carrier for it. I, forgetting that I was interested in another route for myself, accepted it again, then called my zone supervisor back asking to have the route myself.
(I haven't heard from them yet, but I'm not worried, after all, I'd just been called on the 23rd about substituting again, and I'm sure that the office has been closed...
So, I might have a route again, and I might not, but one thing I know for certain is that when you haven't delivered a paper route for four months, then suddenly start delivering heavy holiday editions in two feet of white powder, you're bound to be sore for a couple of days afterwards.
(I've been sore for two or three days now, but am feeling much better now. It hurt even to laugh or get up from lying on the floor (something I like doing on occasion as it helps with posture and is usually a good resting spot). I also hadn't given myself much time to rest, what with all the snow needing to get shovelled off the driveways and pathways and vehicles and all... >.< )
There were only two things I found lacking on Christmas Day, the presents I gave (my budget was even smaller this year due to dropping the paper route I'd had because of my semester schedule) and my sister's impatience with my parents' lack of preparation.
As my Dad enjoys Wallace & Grommitt, I gave him a 2009 calendar (and some chocolate from the Art Knapps' Plantland display of candy imported from England).
To my Mom I gave a copy of "Dog Eat Doug" (a comic about a baby and a puppy with many of their antics and troublemaking).
My sister received the soundtrack for the recent musical "Mama Mia", some chocolate from the above-mentioned candy display, and a clip-on light for reading books or using a laptop by.
For the older of my two younger brothers (the one with the Nintendo DS), I found a copy of the "New Super Mario Brothers" game, and some licorice and chocolate, also from the above-mentioned candy display.
For my youngest brother (who is currently three years old), I found the Dinco helicopter, Sarge and a cammo McQueen from the movie Cars, along with a Cars-themed lunchbox that my sister didn't need to give to him.
It really makes me wish I could get a higher-paying job than a newspaper carrier so I can give better gifts to people...
Of all the gifts I received this year, the most notable are the ultra-bright LED flashlight my brother gave me (it even has a warning on it about looking into the lense when on!), a copy of the game Blokus (which I have yet to play a second time. The first was at a games night on campus, when I really enjoyed it), a five-button laser mouse (which I'll need to test more thoroughly, as I can't use the drivers on the disk that came with it, as it completely screwed up Windows' control of the mouse cursor, which included running the cursor off the screen and randomly opening context menus, meaning that I had to boot into safe mode to uninstall its drivers).
Add to the above the three different gift cards I was given (by different people) this year (one for London Drugs, another for Tim Hortons, and the last a pre-paid VISA card with $60CAN on it. Considering the fact that never before have I ever received more than one gift card per gift-event (Christmas, birthday) before, I've been rather blessed this year.
(I'm considering using the VISA card to buy an LCD display
to connect to the Arduino that I'm going to buy so I can build a computer-controlled external display/input device to play around with, but I haven't decided yet. After all, no fees means no hurry...)
Overall a pretty good holiday this year, I think.
Unlike past Boxing Days (which we Canadians usually spend in the malls buying what we didn't get on our lists, though my family's usually better than buying things up that quickly afterwards) where I would visit almost a dozen stores to see what kind of bargains I could find, this year I knew of one thing in particular that I wanted to get, and which would not quite qualify as something someone would get me for Christmas or birthday (January 2nd, so I have to be very careful when shopping after Christmas).
Today I purchased only three items, the first was the above-mentioned item, a Black&Decker Pocket Power supply (with both a small inverter in it to power a simple device and a USB slot to plug a USB-charged device into.
As it was only ten dollars, I figure I should buy another one for the classmate I gave my other laptop to so he can use it without a wall outlet for an hour or so.
The other two items I bought today were the Battlefield 1942 collection (a total of two full games and two expansion packs) and a wireless presentation device with Wi-fi detector (it emulates a keyboard for full cross-platform compatibility and has an LED light as well as a red laser pointer. The other amazing thing about this one was the fact that it runs off only one
(both of the above items were only ten dollars each, with the game collection usually costing about thirty when it first came out, and the second usually going for forty dollars at the regular price, so I'd like to think I'll get my money's worth out of them)