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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Good morning crew,

I forgot to tell you about my Christmas haul! I did pretty well this year, considering I hardly bought anything for anybody else.

Let's see; I got a few gift cards, a couple gas cards, a very nice sweater, a box of cookies, a 12 amp, 200 mph leaf blower (from my father-in-law, which is just about the most 'father-in-law' kind of gift you can give), some workout clothes, and then the biggie: an Xbox One from the wife.

I remember buying the original Xbox when it first came out around 2001 or 2002. It was a pretty cool system with some pretty cool games. Anybody remember Halo, Outlaw Golf, or Hunter: The Reckoning?

And then I got the Xbox 360 when that came out a few years later (in fact, I think the wife (or girlfriend at the time) bought that one for me too, as a birthday present). But the Xbox One I hesitated at.

When it first came out a couple years ago it was prohibitively expensive, plus there was that controversy about the original version having to be constantly connected to the Internet in order to play it.

So, I just never bought one. There were too many other things to spend money on, like a mortgage. But I guess the wife finally decided to have pity on me and took the buying decision out of my hands.

I have to admit, when I unwrapped the box the very first thing I felt was guilt. If there is one thing we don't NEED it is a gaming system. But, I quickly swallowed that guilt and plugged the sucker in.

Now, anybody who has used gaming systems before knows that the way it used to work was; you plug the system into the TV, insert the game into the system, and five minutes later you are blasting aliens or fighting zombies.

It's not like that anymore.

The first thing the Xbox One did after I plugged it in was ask for my Wifi password. That was kind of personal, I thought.

But after getting the password from the wife the machine next asked me to create an account. But in order to create an account I had to first create an email address. The phone company doesn't even ask for this much information.

So after 15 minutes of coming up with user names, screen names, passwords, and a few twinges of carpal tunnel, the system finally started doing something. It said 'updating' and gave me a progress bar.

Call me silly, call me a noob, but I kind of thought that, you know, a brand new system bought two weeks ago wouldn't already be obsolete. But, the machine wouldn't do anything else. So I let it update.

For 50 minutes.

I have to admit, I never got so many chores done with the old systems. The wife and I made breakfast, ate it, cleaned up the dishes, and I started a load of laundry before the Xbox was finally ready.

That is when I encountered the next hurdle.

You see gaming systems always come with a game when you buy them. In the really old days they were cartridges. Later they were discs. The Xbox One doesn't come with either. It comes with a redemption code.

That means going back online and entering the code to download a game onto the system's hard drive. The game the Xbox One came bundled with is called Battlefield, and the file size is 43 gigabytes.

Let me give you an idea of how big that file is. I started downloading it around noon on December 25, and yesterday, 8 days later, it was about 87 percent complete.

That hardly seems like progress over the old system.

Laugh it up,


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"Yale University's being pushed to modify a poetry course because students have complained that the content is too white. Students objected specifically to a poem called 'Ode to a Lost Prius in the Whole Foods Parking Lot.'" -Conan O'Brien


"The post office just can't get its act together. They announced today they want to raise the price of stamps so they can make an extra $2 billion. That is still better than their original plan - uninvent the Internet." -Jimmy Fallon


"A new study found that American workers lack the problem-solving skills that workers in other countries have. When American workers heard about the study they said, 'So? What can we do about it?'" -Jimmy Kimmel


Choosing a movie? Try these extremely abbreviated plot explanations:

- The Shining: A family's first Airbnb experience goes very wrong.

- The Lord of the Rings: Group spends nine hours returning jewelry.

- Titanic: Everyone tries the ice-bucket challenge.

- Beauty and the Beast: Stockholm syndrome works.

- The Chronicles of Narnia: Kid comes out of the closet.

*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

A man and his friend were exiting a drugstore and at the front door there was a scale.

"Look, a scale," the man said to his friend. "Let's see how my new diet is working out."

He stepped on the scale.

"I can't believe it!" he said as he read the result. "I've been on this diet for two weeks but the scale says I'm heaver than I was before! How can that be?"

He pondered this as he stepped off the scale, then had a thought. He took off his jacket and handed it to his friend. "Here, hold my jacket," he said.

The friend took the jacket as the man stepped back on the scale.

Not much change.

"Here," he said as he handed his purchase from the drugstore to his friend. "Hold my Twinkies too."

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