Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back in the saddle....

My husband and I decided that for the first time in our marriage (or either of our lives) we would join the crazies (no offense - it's just that choosing to wake up before the sun on a day I don't have to goes down as crazy in my book) on Black Friday. The kids spent the night at my mother-in-laws and we set our alarm for THREE FRICKING THIRTY. I was not amused when it went off. But we were after one of Wal-Mart's big limited deals, so we got up and drove ourselves over there. I do NOT go places before the sun is up, so this is major (and probably the only time it will ever happen).

Once we'd made the decision about two weeks earlier, I'd been scouring the internet leaks of all the ads to make my list. I knew I wanted the laptop from Wal-Mart (pretty much all three of our computers are/were on their last legs and I'm of the belief that once your computer starts giving you the "I'm in trouble" signals, you need to get a new one and get anything important off the old one). I added to my wish list the TomTom GPS and Kodak digital camera at Wal-Mart, a certain tall, busty fashion doll for my girlies (that ended up not being on sale, but still had to be purchased) and Adobe Photoshop Elements, which was on sale for $49.99 at Staples.

We got everything on the wish list and then some. I've been campaigning for a GPS for months. I get lost very easily, even in towns I've driven in for years. I'll think I know the way somewhere, but somehow have it totally wrong in my head. Happens every time I overthink. If I just drive and don't worry about it, I do fine.

The best end result of our Black Friday craziness is my new laptop. We bought the computer for Tom, but he's being a baby about it not being a Dell (and it's not like it's Brand X - it's an HP). So I said, what if I keep this one and we buy you a Dell later. He was actually cool with that. So I immediately began taking this laptop over. First of all, the fact that it's a laptop (I've always been a desktop kind of girl) was weird. I'm still getting used to it, but I've set up a sort of docking station at my magic desk (which is apparently not magic, since it's a total mess) and that works for me. I have the desktop like atmosphere I wanted and I can pick it up and eat lunch in the kitchen with the girls and surf the internet while we eat.

Do you know which Black Friday purchase I currently like the best , though? It's Adobe Photoshop Elements. We got it on sale at Staples (I was only mildly annoyed to learn that it was only that cheap due to a rebate). Once the computer was for sure mine, I installed it. I played a little the first day, but it had a minor learning curve and I wasn't into it. But now? Now I'm in love. I've been using Corel's Paint Shop Pro, which is somewhere in between regular Photoshop and Elements - it allows you to have a lot of control, but there are some key things I had to create workarounds for. So far, my favorite thing about Elements/PS is ACTIONS! I'm so excited about them. I've sort of been off my camera lately. I didn't even take new Christmas card pictures. I just used nice ones from the fall. But I think actions might inspire me. I need new photos to run these actions on. I should have broken down and ordered PSE years ago.

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