Category: 365 Adventures
We went to Toys R Us two days after Christmas, and I emphasize two days after Christmas, to return/exchange a few items and just inside the entrance was a display of Valentine’s Day items. I seem to remember Valentine’s Day being on February 14, not December 27. They couldn’t at least wait until 2012?Tweet
My favorite present of the year was a surprise from Michelle: an oversized LEGO Darth Vader store display from Target. There were only 200 of these produced and they were not for sale, intended only as displays to be destroyed/discarded after a certain amount of time. But some weren’t destroyed and ended up on eBay instead, where Michelle nabbed one for me after I had told her repeatedly that I wish I could have one, every time we saw one in the store. And now I do!
It arrived with two red/black pairs of wires hanging out of the back. In the store, it was part of a larger display with lots of LED lights, a plexiglass front, and a battery pack holding 16 D batteries. So I had to figure out on my own how to power this thing. After wire cutting, splicing, electrical taping, and testing, I determined only 4 D batteries were truly needed to make it work.
So off to Radio Shack I went, the day after Christmas, in search of a solution. I came home with a project enclosure box, battery pack designed to hold 4 D batteries, and a toggle switch. After a couple hours of cutting, drilling, twisting, splicing, twisting (and scraping my hand with a drill bit meant for concrete), I assembled a perfect little battery box with a handy switch on top that turns on both the red light saber as well as the head/arm movement. But that wasn’t enough.
I also grabbed a Darth Vader breathing sound effect box I had previously purchased at Party City a couple months earlier, rewired its switch to allow it to toggle the sound loop on and off, and placed the whole thing in the back of the display. And in the end, it moves, it breaths, it lights up, and it’s awesome.Tweet
Merry Christmas! Michelle and I always go overboard – WAY overboard – with giving each other gifts for Christmas. Of course, we essentially stop buying things for ourselves throughout the months of November and December, instead handing desired items in stores to “Santa” for later enjoyment. It works out well, as we often forget what we wanted weeks prior and are surprised/reminded when opening them on Christmas day. And then there are lots of other toys, games, and other goodies too. We are both, at heart, perpetually kids and most of the presents we give each other are intended for ages 6 and up.
This year, I received bunches of action figures, a couple video games, K’NEX Mario Kit building/racing kits, some artwork, electronics, plushes, LEGO stuff, Disney stuff, and more. I gave Michelle lots of Harry Potter stuff, Monster High stuff, lots of Disney artwork and collectibles, and a bunch more. We both came out happy – and puzzled as to exactly where we’re going to put all this stuff. But that’s an adventure for 2012.
Oh, and the mystery present from the FedEx adventure was Tiana’s Palace artwork from The Princess and The Frog, printed and stretched on canvas. Love it.Tweet
We had Michelle’s parents and my mom over to our house for dinner and present-exchanging on Christmas Eve. Michelle’s parents, with the aid of my mom’s SUV, brought me something I’ve been wanting ever since we moved into this house around 7 years ago: a fire pit! Sure we live in Florida where it’s rarely cold, but even on a tropical day (like Christmas Eve ended up being), it’s still quite cozy to sit outside by a fire… and some palm trees… and our pool with a small waterfall. I plan to use this a LOT. Great present!Tweet
Two days before Christmas and I went on a spy adventure through the neighborhoods of Winter Garden trying to track down a rogue FedEx truck. Michelle had been waiting all day for a package containing an important Christmas present for me. Finally, at around 5:30pm, I saw the FedEx truck go whizzing past our house without stopping. I immediately let her know, but it was too late. When she hurried outside, she only caught a glimpse of it turning a corner before disappearing.
I thought I could catch up to it if I hopped on my Segway, but by the time I got it out the door and zipped down the street, it was already gone. Michelle frantically called FedEx to try to alert the driver, but they told her the next delivery attempt would not be made until Tuesday, two days after Christmas. But hope was not lost. I jumped in the car and sped away, promising her I would track the truck down.
My first instinct was to turn left out of our neighborhood, as there are many other subdivisions nearby in which FedEx could have been delivering to next. But just after entering a nearby community, I realized my mistake. FedEx surely wouldn’t have planned a route involving left turns. They take far too long.
I backtracked and ventured toward the other housing communities as if I had taken a right out of mine. But I quickly discovered that every other community nearby was gated, like mine, and I had no access. After passing four separately-gated areas, I turned back down the road and drove slowly, hoping to find a car to follow inside. But what I found was even better.
Not far down the street, a FedEx truck pulled out of a community in the distance in front of me. I quickly accelerated until I was on his tail. I was not going to let this truck out of my sight. I followed it into another housing development, matching its every turn until it finally came to a stop in front of a house. I waited for the driver to open the door – and then I pounced.
Flinging open my car door, I rushed over to him to let him know he, or one of his fellow delivery colleagues, had missed our house. And as luck would have it, was indeed the very driver who frequented our home, so much so that he instantly recognized me. He was at first puzzled by the notion that he missed a delivery, saying he had left a note on a house down the street from mine where no one was home. But then his error dawned on him.
He exclaimed a mild expletive as he checked a rather large package in the back of his truck, after which he told me that he had inadvertently tried to deliver our package – Michelle’s glorious Christmas present – to another house, not only on this day, but the day before as well! Fortunately, the occupants of the other house were not home either time and he still had it in his possession.
The package was far too large to fit into my own car, so he assured me he would return to our house after making a few more stops. I believed him, but didn’t trust him, so I continued to tail him, stop by stop, house to house, until together we reached my street. He pulled over to first pull off the note he had left on the wrong house before arriving at mine.
In the meantime, I had called Michelle to let her know my mission was a success. Upon stepping foot inside our house, she hugged me and thanked me for tracking it down. She greeted the FedEx driver at the door, accepting both the package and his many apologies. They exchanged holiday pleasantries and parted ways, allowing Michelle to finally secure my precious present. I was thrilled to have been able to succeed in my quest, but was left wondering just what was inside the extra large box.
To be continued…Tweet