I drove to just this side of Greensboro to the Replacements Unlimited store to get some pieces of Vivian and Jeff's patterns (china and crystal) for Christmas. That place is phenomenal. I knew it was gay-owned, in fact have met the owner and his partner. I did not know it was the second largest gay-owned company in America, though. There is a wall down a corridor in the store with all kinds of newspaper and magazine articles about the owner and about the store. In one of the articles, I'm guessing an older one, though I didn't notice the date, it said, "We have over 69,000 patterns." Walking around the store, I saw a little sign on one of the display cases that said, "If you don't see something in your pattern, ask us. We have over 106,000 patterns." There was also another little sign on one of the silver display cases that said, "We can make these pieces in any pattern. As us about yours."
They have one little area that's called the "Overstock Section," which is really just one aisle of all kinds of pieces, but it opens out to their "factory floor," which is simply amazing. The have rows and rows and rows of shelves that are stacked as high as my two-story townhouse, and the rows are probably a half of a football field long. Floor to ceiling with china in different patterns.
The customer service there was excellent, and Verlinda, hooked me up. I was very impressed with the place.
I filled up my tank with gas before leaving Greensboro, and my head just kept spinning in disbelief when I saw the price of the gas: $1.67 per gallon. I'm sure it was $1.91 in Raleigh when I left.
I stopped at a KFC for lunch, and while I was eating, a customer asked one of the people behind the counter, "Could you add a little gravy to these mashed potatoes for me?"
"Sure," the worker said. As he was giving it back to him, they realized they knew each other, and each other's families, and caught up just a little with the usual stuff. As the customer was leaving, the worker said, "Tell your mamma you saw me." I thought this was just a beautiful example of how with each of us, it really is all about us. Though, I'm sure I would have said, "Tell your mamma I said hello."
On the ride back, at one place on the highway, there was one of those long trucks carrying new cars on it to my right, which I was slowly passing. At the same time, coming toward us in the lane on the other side of the median strip, there was the same kind of truck carrying "smashed" cars all stacked up, presumably on their way to some junkyard. It was an interesting juxtaposition.
At the place where I-85 and I-40 split, I thought of Marilyn Curran's daughter, and looked around for some flowers that might be on the side of the road. Nothing.
Back home, I checked the three websites that Chris S. told me about that sell discounts on software to students to see how the Pro-Cite and EndNotes prices compared with those I had noted at the campus bookstore. The Pro-Cite was about the same, well $10.00 cheaper online. EndNotes was almost $100 cheaper online, though. I stopped short of buying one or the other though, as I'm trying to find out if you can select the style (APA, MLA, or Chicago) and none of the descriptions of the product address that. I ended up downloading a demo version of EndNotes, which I'll play with a little to see what I can determine. I hope to buy one of them before Christmas with the $100 that mom and dad gave me for my present.
I took a 2-3 hour nap.
I addressed 80 Christmas cards, and ended up with just a couple to verify addresses on this weekend. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to run to the post office to get some holiday stamps. I like those ones with the ornaments on them. Tomorrow, I hope to write my holiday letter, and I have a goal to pare it down to four pages this year, from last year's eight. And, yes, that's typed, single-spaced. :-)
Robert came over, wrapped the gifts for the EAGLE party tomorrow night, and was a dear, dear, dear man in doing repair work on my upstairs guest bathroom sink faucet and drain. Sweet! (the repair work AND the man) :-)
We got to bed around midnight.