We had an uneventful but fun Thanksgiving weekend.

My brother flew in from Boston for the long weekend, and my parents came, too. My mother-in-law was also in attendance. We ate Cornish Hens instead of Turkey – because Malin was our chef du jour and she would rather both cook and eat the wee chicks vs. a large turkey. All of the other fair was fairly standard Turkey-day fare: ham, macaroni & cheese, stuffing, deviled eggs, biscuits, and sweet potato casserole. We had some other less traditional menu items as well: broccoli & craisin salad and brussel sprouts.

My mom brought Wall-E on DVD for Will. He has now watched the movie three times already since Thanksgiving.

On Friday, all the men (including Will) went out to shop for Black Friday deals. We had four places to visit. None of the things on our lists were critical, so we let ourselves sleep in. Due to our late departure, we struck out on all but the last.

  • Staples did not have the 24″ widescreen LCD monitor on sale in Peachtree City (it was ~$100 off in Greenville, SC per an ad that my dad brought with him).
  • Wolf Camera had long since run out of the free 4GB x 3 memory cards. Yes, that’s right – buy three 4GB memory cards (SD or CompactFlash – and good memory, too: SanDisk Extreme III) for $20 each and get $60 back via mail-in rebate. No wonder they went quickly.
  • K-Mart had run out of $179 Sony Blu-Ray players ($120 off) by the time we arrived.

The one deal we were able to take advantage of: $7.99 for a 50-pack of DVD-Rs at Best Buy. Only three packs were left; I bought two of them. I also snagged a copy of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels on DVD as it was on sale for only $3.

While at Best Buy, Will and I introduced my brother Jake to Rock Band. Will and I had first played this at my friend Desmond’s in North Carolina last month. They had the full ensemble set up on their demo Xbox 360 system. We let Jake warm up with a simple tune first: Eye of the Tiger. We then decided to play one last one before heading out: Peace Sells But Who’s Buying. It was an entertaining moment at the PTC Best Buy…

Luckily, online stores were participating in Black Friday sales this year which means I got nearly of the deals I originally was hoping to score – just not from a retail, brick’n’mortar store. Gotta love Frys.com and Amazon.com!

On Saturday, out in the soaking rain, I again attempted to brew a batch of holiday beer (I tried cooking up a batch last weekend but failed miserably). The weather was less than stellar. I will not be brewing beer in the rain again anytime soon. Despite the foul precipitation and several aggravating missteps (including the depressing breakage of my thermometer calibrator), brew day went admittedly more smoothly than last week’s attempt.

Tonight, I’ve finally removed some nasty spyware from my computer. One of the guests here for Thanksgiving was browsing/surfing and apparently inadvertently installed a nasty one onto my machine: go.google redirects, security sites blocked, and Windows Firewall automatically disabling itself. And the whole canniving thing secured itself from removal via a TDSS rootkit. I may have to create a Virtual Machine specifically for guest internet browsing to prevent this sort of “innocent” infestation again…

I’m still compiling some photos from our trip to LA. I know, I know – it’s been nearly two months since we got back, and nary an image or paragraph detailing the trip on this blog. I’m also working on pictures from Halloween (the whole family dressed up to go trick-or-treating!). Stay tuned…