I got my birthday present early.
A month and a bit early (my birthday is July 11th, hint hint hint).
My Pa has been bugging me for the past month for my decision on what I wanted for my birthday. Typically, I don't get many birthday presents (my relatives seem to consistently forget that I have one) so my parents have made it a point to always get me something big (read: expensive) for my birthday.
For the past few months, I've been eyeing the purchase of a graphics tablet. For the uninitiated, a graphics tablet is a substitute for a mouse. Instead of a large clunky mouse that you have to manipulate, you get the equivalent of an electronic pen that you apply to a tablet. I've wanted one to start trying my hand at digital art. Some of the inexpensive models run around $200 or so and I had planned on purchasing one as soon as I move to our new digs (more on that later).
Well, after Pa discovered that I'm planning on getting a tablet, he has been commenting how he would buy the tablet for me for my birthday.
"Hey, when are you going to buy your tablet?"
"Soon. Someday. Maybe after we move."
"I'll buy it for you. Birthday present. Birthday present."
"Ehh... I was thinking of holding out for something big."
"Birthday present. Birthday present. How much do they cost?"
I would then direct him to CNet which has a price listing guide for various computer products. It's the place that I did part of my digital camera research and I loved their price lists, so I decided to go back there. Originally, I was thinking of purchasing an 6x8 tablet for myself since it was in my price range. But then if my father was going to buy something, I hoped that I might upgrade to one higher. So, I checked out the 9x12.
It was being sold on buy.com for in the mid $300 range.
Buy.com seems to be the place to get computers and DVDs. I haven't compared their book prices to amazon.com but they are consistently the lowest priced when it comes to computer peripherals. I got my digital camera at buy.com. My father was eager to purchase the tablet and, over the holiday weekend, he decided to order it. He's either an extremely early bird... or an extremely late one. He'd buy a Christmas gift several months before or he'll wait until after Christmas to get it.
The tablet came today. I intended to keep it in the box and wait until I moved to my new digs to open it. But my pa, king of all nifty electronic gadgets (he recently bought a DVD player and he was one of the first people I know to buy a laserdisk player), kept asking me to plug it in. So, I did.
It's very sweet! Installation was a snap and I didn't have to do too much rearranging of the machines in the computer room to accomodate it. The 9x12 describes the active area, so the entire tablet actually much larger than that. I managed to coax just the right amount of area for it on my desk. It would be inconvenient to keep the tablet on my desk while I'm working because of the awkward orientation of the keyboard and monitor, but I've found the tablet is perfect for my lap.
Here's my first attempt at anything artistic. It feels like digital colored pencils, except I don't have to root around for where I left them. I'll probably start doing botanical sketches for Genera Plantarum soon. It'll be great because the pad allows you to trace stuff as well. Mike seems enthusiastic about it because of that tracing feature. All round new goodie. Whoopie!
Speaking of goodie, I'm not exactly sure how much of a "goodie" this next bit of news is.
I'm going to the Mets/Yankees game tomorrow.
I'm not a baseball fan. Not even a sports fan. But as Christine points out, "It'll be good stuff for your journal." I've only been to one baseball game before, when I was at college. I was with Josh and Brian (Martin) and we went to see... a Red's game? Reds versus the Cubs. The stadium wasn't packed. Josh pointed out all the rules to me and we had malts towards the end of the game. It was great and I enjoyed myself, even though I didn't understand much of what was going on. There was enough other stuff happening to keep me interested.
This situation is a bit different. It's going to be packed. We're sitting in the bleachers, but the non-alcoholic side, away from the "bleacher creatures" that are supposedly very scary to sit next to. This is a Mets/Yankees game and due to the in-town rivalry, it should be a pretty intense game. (It's at Yankee's stadium, by the way. And Christine is a Yankee's fan.)
It seems that the information that I'm going to the Mets/Yankee's game is fairly important to many of my coworkers. It seems that the information spread through the company and I had a number of people say that I was very lucky to get tickets to the game. They seemed to be shocked when I mention that I have bleacher seats. If I don't make it out alive, I'll make sure Mike will let you know.