Christmas Eve activities

While the women of the family went off to the spa to have massages and their nails done, the boys went off to see the UW Huskies play the University of Houston in basketball.  The Dawgs continue to impress.  They had another 100+ point game as they killed Houston.  From almost the start of the game all Houston’s coach could do was complain.  He ended up getting a techical in the second half and I think the refs had plenty of chances to give him one early on in the game.  The Cougars were just out matched and honestly I thought the foul calling was fairly consistent. 

Friday night after a great family tradition of a humble dinner of soup (although I would say with the choice of a chowdar with lots of seafood and a chicken/veg soup it was not all that humble) we were off to the "midnight" mass that actually starts at 10 pm.  It seems more and more it is hard to find a true midnight mass in Catholic churches in this area.  With the lack of priests it is really hard to have the priest do three masses on Christmas eve and another two or three on Christmas Day.  Unless there is a second priest they just get worn out.  They get better rest if they do the midnight mass at 10 pm.  This year we did not go to Holy Family but to a church a bit of a drive away.  My mom was looking for a fairly more inspirational sermon than what we get at home.  It was a good mass overall and the church itself had a nice vibe to it.

By the time we got home it was close to midnight.  Out came the traditional meat pie — not a mince meat pie but a pie that is ground beef & pork.  Trust me in that it is much better than perhaps I can describe unless you would not eat something like a hamburger.  Once the parents went to bed I went down and installed a second video card in my fathers computer since that is what he wanted for Christmas.  He had an All-in-Wonder Radeon ATI card that does TV stuff in an AGP port on a new computer he got a few moths ago.  He was a bit bummed that he could not use the integrated on board video along with that card to do dual support.  I got him a great 256 meg PCI card (no second AGP or PCI-E on the motherboard) and since it was also an ATI Radeon I did not even have to change or add drivers.  On Win XP it worked fine out of the box or so I thought.  I went to run the TV program since I knew that this would be the firs thing my dad would try and of course it did not work.  The troubleshooting program then crashed every time I tried to run it.  I banged my head against the wall for a bit as I tried to swap the monitors from primary to secondary from the Display pannel.  Looking around on ATI’s site I found something that said that the TV card needed to be the primary monitor in the BIOS.  Rebooting and entering the BIOS I saw that the current option was if there was both a PCI and AGP part that by default (the automatic) setting it was to use the PCI as the primary.  This seem a bit backwards to me because you would think that AGP would be the video card slot of choice.  Making AGP the primary monitor default solved the TV program.  By this point it was about 2:15 am and I was beat.  The family plan was to be up before 9 am to open presents since my brother and his wife needed to be on the road before noon so they could head down to her family in the middle of Oregon.  As an asside while things mostly are running fine my dad quickly found a problem with how things are now set up.  The goal of the new computer config was to run the TV program full time on a second monitor while everthing else ran off of the first (including the start menu).  If you minimize the TV program and the window would close and show up on the other monitor on the windows task bar it would freeze up.  Everything is fine if you close the TV app, only minimize.  Seems like ATI has a bug or two (in addition to the fact that their program just crashes if you do not have things set up on the BIOS correctly).


About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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