Glorious Bigscreen TV Goodness!

In November we finally got a new TV. The object of our desire: Hitachi 50″ LCD rear projection, widescreen, digital input, 1080i resolution, great picture quality. Of course research was done beforehand to ensure a educated decision was made. With the actual purchase we waited until Sears had a special Friends & Family sale. It happens only once a year right before Thanksgiving, a Sunday evening from 6 to 10pm. After lots of haggling and rebates and what not we got the TV and stand 20% under regular price.

We also bought a matching component rack. Lastly we replaced our old DVD player which was technologically inferior with a Samsung DVD player with DVI output, 1080i resolution, support for many different media formats, and great picture quality. We also bought a LiteOn that supports region switching as well as PAL to NTSC conversion.

In other words: I can now watch movies from other regions and countries.

Only 16″ deep. Takes up less space than expected. No cable mess on the floor. Good German attention to detail pays off.

A Day Full of Surprises

November 10th was our 10th wedding anniversary. I had been planning a few surprises for Sandy months in advance. First I convinced her boss to let her take off Monday and Tuesday (November 10th/11th) – of course without taking it off her vacation time balance. I made it clear that he owes me that much since she works so much.

Next I booked a great room with ocean view at the Pebble Beach Lodge. That’s where we got married 10 years ago, but at the time couldn’t afford to stay there since we were pretty poor. This time we will do it right. Not cheap, but worth it.

Then I tracked down over the Internet Sherilyn Russo, the woman who married us 10 years ago. Remember – Google is your friend. I arranged for her to join us at the Lodge Monday evening.

Sandy of couse was not stupid and had not forgotten the occasion. She constantly asked what we should do that day to celebrate, whether I had planned something, should she plan something, etc. I played stupid (wasn’t very difficult) and totally played it down, pretended it was no big deal, just another day, and I had just a little something planned. She didn’t like that at all and was very disappointed when the weekend before the 10th passed without any event whatsoever.

Monday morning came. She thought it was time to go to work. Hehehe – nope, think again. She couldn’t believe it when I told her that she had the next two days off and that we’re going to Carmel. So we packed a few things and hit the road. We arrived at the Lodge around 4pm. Our room was awesome. Turns out they upgraded us to a nice suite, compliments of the house, and also had a cold bottle of champagne waiting for us and a nice card.

We changed clothes and got dressed up. Sandy thought we had reservations for dinner. Hehehehe – nope, think again. She was quite surprised when it knocked at the door and Sherilyn entered. The surprise was even bigger when I explained why Sherilyn was here and asked Sandy whether she was willing to spend another 10 years with me. The happiness and tears didn’t end. The answer was thankfully “Yes”, so we had a little renewal ceremony on the patio, overlooking the 18th hole where we got married 10 years ago. We opened the Champagne and celebrated accordingly.

We then had a great dinner and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Tuesday morning we took it easy, had a nice breakfast, cruised around the coast, enjoyed the sunshine, and eventually drove back to Fremont.

Everything worked out perfectly, down to the last detail. A memorable anniversary.