Sandpaper hands -- 12/12/09

If you have just wandered in from Holidailies and wonder who's who, there's a brief introduction to various characters at the end of this entry...

I've got my winter hands.

The same thing happens every winter: the skin on my hands is replaced by sandpaper...

This happens every year sometime shortly past Thanksgiving, when winter weather arrives and the air inside becomes dry. Putting lotion on them at night helps a little bit, but I wake up with dry, cracked, rough skin. Ah well, in a few months spring will be here and my hands will return to normal.

We have a Netflix subscription but the other day I received a coupon at a supermarket checkout as a reward for purchasing a certain amount of some brand of product. I almost tossed it away, thinking it was just an advertisement because it didn't say something like "Get a dollar off your next purchase of ...." until I realized that it was an offer for five free movie rentals from Red Box. (For those outside the U.S. or who don't have a Red Box near them, they are a chain of movie vending machines placed in supermarkets, etc. that dispense DVDs of popular movies for one dollar per night.)

So I decided to try it out... I knew there was a Red Box in a local Stop & Shop supermarket, so I stopped there. Pick a movie. Hmmmm, they have a big display next to their vending machine that shows mini posters for around thirty or so movies. The trouble is, they had title after title that I had no desire to watch.... Hmmm, The Taking of Pelham 123. I had read the novel back when it first came out and thought it was a decent thriller, but I don't recall seeing the first movie based on it. Did I want to see a remake? Not particularly. Oh, wait, they have the new Star Trek. Okay, let me get that one. I have it in my Netflix queue so when I get home I will have to remember to go online and delete it. Get home, remember to log into Netflix... Oops... Star Trek had been higher in the queue than I had thought. It shipped today (and so it should arrive on Monday). Ah well, we could still watch it tonight and it was a free rental...

And yes, you may have noticed that although this is a Saturday entry, it wasn't posted until Sunday morning. Had a nice fire going in the fireplace, watched Star Trek (it was sort of "okay" -- not the best from that franchise but not the worst either -- the best part was having Leonard Nemoy in the cast). Before dinner I had written this entry up to the middle of the previous paragraph. After the movie -- and cleaning up the kitchen -- I was too tired to get on the computer -- so I shut it down and am now posting this entry on Sunday morning.

A brief introduction for those of you wandering in here from Holidailies for the first time: I'm just a middle-aged guy (but somehow I hit 66 on my last birthday) who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 27 yr old college student and baker), son Jeremy (24 yr old restaurant cook and part-time college student), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandsons Sam and Milo. I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got involved with software training and instructional design. For the past several years I have been working from home (you can't beat the short commute!) doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses for a very big computer company. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

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