The trip home
After prepping the car (packed full stem to stern, and also with the rooftop box filled, too), I drove half way home, to my friend John’s house in Rochester NY. The huge predicted winter storm was nice to 1) scare EVERYONE else off the roads and 2) not actually occur on Saturday.
The roads within 20 miles of Rochester were really nasty, and all sorts of cars were spun out. Thankfully I made it, and got to spend time with my old friend John, from board games and sub sammiches, to seeing his research lab whereat he does research for his PhD in neurology. A great time, and also gave me the chance to rest before the remainder of the drive home on Sunday… which had extremely bad weather and dangerous roads for the remainder of NY and the entirety of PA. Luckily, I got home safely and was thusly able to enjoy Christmas with my family:
Working while relaxing
Large chunks of each week spent at home have been used to work my job, managing all the other Research Assistants working to study individual events of the French Resistance during WWII.
Without a doubt, the work gets boring… but it is often fascinating, to bear in mind the big picture (namely, that I am the first person in 60+ years to know or care about these instances).
The money has enabled me to start to pay down credit cards more quickly, and also to buy certain upgrade parts for my car!
The MFALCON is official; engine computer and fuel injector upgrades
So, the fact is, my car struggles up hills. Several actions taken this Christmas vacation to remedy that include:
1) finally getting the MF4LCON vanity plates (she’ll hold together)
2) upgraded fuel injector nozzles, and having the fuel injectors refurbished and rebuilt, through kermaTDI (and a BIG thank you to Paul there for helping me out)
3) engine computer chip tuning, also from kermaTDI
(photo coming soon!)
4) headlights replaced; foglights in place
(photo coming soon!)
5) spring shoes for the car, with a GREAT deal on Hankook tires
All of these facts were enabled by my good friend, the Wallet Destroyer, often called Tom.
The biggest part of my vacation is (as it always seems to be) is spending quality time with my brother and old friends, over the course of a wide variety of board games.
From 7 Wonders
to Cosmic Encounter,
The fun didn’t seem likely to stop. I seriously played 14 hours of board games with my brother on New Years, with several friends. Which. Was. AWESOME. Just another component of my getting the rest I so deeply need while at home.
All told, then, probably the best Christmas and New Years I have yet had in my life. Productive in the important ways, quality time with friends and family. What more could I ask for?
One possible answer is: a great Saturday spent hanging out with my old friend Jeff at his place in Pittsburgh, involving delicious foodstuffs and gaming. A delightful ending to a much-needed, much-enjoyed Christmas vacation.