Thursday, December 27, 2007

Summing up Christmas 2007

The Family and friends have been thoroughly briefed and updated, delicious feasts that have not been seen in months have been consumed, Presents and cookies that were wrapped and prepared with care have all been opened and consumed.

Even though the Economy and Media would tell us differently, The Wambach family (like most American Families) enjoyed a very bountiful Christmas and received a majority of the gifts that were on their lists.

Franky J got his new 80 GB Ipod, a major upgrade from his second generation Ipod; my mother received a new Ipod Nano as well as a Digital Camera of her own: The Canon Powershot SD870IS. She will have fun mastering it and taking pictures while on-campus. And my grandmother Marie, joined the 21st Century by receiving a cell-phone. It will take her a little bit to get used to it, but she will get the hang of it. Franky J’s present to all the Family Members was quite impressive, a photo calendar from Flickr of the Frank’s adventure in Glacier. I got my father the new Senseo one touch coffee maker, simply because I will more than likely use it as much as he does. A major gift of the Holiday this year was coffee. My brother gave my folks coffee from Tilly’s Bean in S. Minneapolis, while I gave my Aunt Andrea and her Husband Andrew three of Peace Coffee’s most popular blends (MPR, Twin Cities, and Medium Sumatran). Our house has been enjoying the Peace Coffee as well this winter.

I too received a majority of the items on my list. An item a look forward to diving into was the AIA Guide to the Twin Cities by Larry Millet ; one of my favorite urban historians, that I got from my Aunt Andrea while her Husband Andrew gave me Battlestar Galactica: Razor on DVD. I also gave a gift to myself this year with the first component of the new computer I am building (after the Beast decided to knock my graphics card out of commission): The Antec Sonata III Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply.

I found a great deal @ and had the fortune of having it delivered on Christmas Eve. Now I must watch the deal sites for prices to drop on the other crucial components: Processor, Motherboard, Memory, Graphics Card, Hard Drive, and possibly a new DVD-R drive. Franky J gave me The Orange Box: Half Life – 2, Episode 1, and Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2; I look forward to playing this and other killer apps once the project is complete.

But the most surprising present was from my folks, they gave me money: Money to put towards a new camera, computer, GPS device, or whatever else I need. For a long time I have thought about breaking into the DSLR market with either a Canon Digital Rebel XTI or the Nikon D40X; both are similarly equipped and priced starting now in the low $600 range. However, I am hesitant to make that plunge when a camera that is a step below the DSLR’s such as the Canon S3IS or the Canon S5IS both very well equipped but would be a much improvement over my existing point and shoot.

So, now comes the hard part of researching, reading reviews, and venturing out into the world of consumer electronics to find what I am seeking. Wish me luck, and I hope everyone in the blogosphere had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to a great 08.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Holiday's are upon us once again!

Funny how I always intend to update this blog, yet I never find enough time. I can't count the sheer number of times that I have started a blog post with that sentence. Hmmm. Anyway, thanksgiving has come and passed and now we are in the full on rush towards Christmas. What I find really amazing is that it has been a years since my return from my study abroad in Norway, and 6-months since I graduated from the University of Minnesota.
Onto the topic of this days post:

Andrew's Christmas List for 2007
  • Timex Men's Ironman Triathlon 42 Lap Combo Dual Tech Watch #T56371. Available at Great for work, casual, and dress up
  • Antec Sonata III Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply. Look for deals on this case as Christmas approaches on or
  • Socks – Casual, Dress, and Work
  • Work Clothes – Carhart etc. for working in the truck and outdoors
  • Wood Splitting Axe or Maul with a Friberglass handle for the Lake
  • Red Wing Boots or steel toed
  • Pajama Bottoms – Nice ones
  • Gift Cards: Target, Amazon, Express, REI
  • Thundercats DVD’s: Season 1 Volume 2, Season 2 Volumes 1 & 2
  • Animaniacs Volume 3 DVD
  • Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens or The Nixon D40X, Your choice based on price.
  • Wood-working lessons with Dad
Updated Items Decmber 7th, 2007
  • Accesories for IPod Nano: Griffin Technologies Tune Buds in Silver or Black, and the Griffin technologies Itrip for Nano or Ipod Road Trip (this includes the Itrip as well as car charger w/dock connection for Ipod and Ipod Nano's). Both of these products can be found on my Amazon list as well, but prices may differ at major electronic retailers.
  • Coffee. Ground or whole bean. Would like Coffee from Espresso Royale in Dinkytown either their Hennepin Blend or if they have a good holiday blend would be nice for all of us to enjoy over the holidays.
  • REI Tree Print Beanie

Other items as well as these listed above can be viewed at my Amazon Wishlist
My Wish List

My Brother's list can be seen here: Franky J's Christmas List

Kristen (the GF) is getting set for the Holidays as well, seeking things for her new apartment in South Minneapolis as well as work clothing for her new job as an HR rep at Metro Dental Care. She has the best list so far this holiday season.

I know I talked about this last year, more and more it is becoming harder to know what to ask for, when the gifts bcome more expensive and less "needs" and more wants. However, this year I "need" a lot of things, but also have a good mix of wants. We'll see how the holidays unroll, and hopefully I can get my brother to write a post about Friends Thanksgiving that happened a couple weeks ago.

I close this post on a important note, the Twin Cities and Minnesota recieved its firts signifigant snow fall of the year, not bad right? Well for a lot of motorists the mix of icy roads with blowing snow lead to cars in the ditch, and minor accidents. My Dad and I were on our way home today from spending 2 nights and a day at the Cabin; we were 12 miles from home when the 96 Explorer hit a rough patch of ice and spun-out on East bound Highway 10; smashing us into the Concrete Median. Thankfully, niether my Father nor myself was seriously injured or did we hit another vehicle. We think the Explorer is totaled. It was quite an innconvenience, and now the folks have to start car-shopping for a replacement vehicle. (UPDATE) We've been looking at the car listings, and my Dad has test drove several already; the folks have liked the Ford Escape and the Ford Fusion.