Right up until the moment on Christmas Day when I put them in the Wii and discovered that it would read neither disk. Apparently, our video game console was capable of doing most anything except playing a game. *sigh*
I checked and replacement drives are available on line for about sixty bucks plus shipping. And you need a special screwdriver that they'll sell you for a slight additional charge. And then you get to disassemble the monster, repair it, and put it back together. In my copious spare time. Yeah, right.
Now it happened that I had bought a new roasting pan for daisy_knotwise for Christmas. It turned out, due a communication failure, that it was emphatically the wrong roasting pan. And I'd gotten it up at Gurnee Mills. Well, we could all go up there after lunch, swap the pan for the correct one, and then let the girls ride the carousel. That should be a piece of cake, right?
On the day after Christmas. I think I had too much cake.
Gretchen decided to drop me off at the door of Bed, Bath, and Beyond with the girls and go find a place to park somewhere. The problem was that I couldn't simultaneously wrangle Katie, Julie, and the roasting pan to be returned, so I had to wait just inside the door for Gretchen with two girls who wanted to poke into every nearby bin of merchandise, because I had the receipt. Oops. Gretchen made it in about ten minutes later and we returned the pan.
Before too long, we found the correct pan. Then, as long as we were there, we went looking for the purple bedsheets that were the current object of Katie's desire. I found some in a suitably virulent shade to satisfy her. And then I saw the telescope.
Now this was a $20 telescope marked down to $15 after Christmas. I was willing to bet it was not much of a telescope. But a telescope was the thing that she'd asked for that absolutely couldn't be found in a reasonable way for Christmas.
So I bought it. Katie was delighted. More on that later.
I took the purchases back to the van while Gretchen waited with Katie and Julie. Katie and Julie then headed off down the mall. I followed and left Gretchen to assemble the baggage. And I finally found a map. And determined that the carousel was in the opposite direction, back through the midpoint of the mall where we'd started. So we turned around. And walked to the far end of the mall.
And found that the carousel was in the direction that we'd originally headed out in.
I don't know how I read that map quite so badly as I did. I left Gretchen and the girls and headed back in the direction that we'd come from. I stopped briefly at FYE to buy the older Wii model that had a $50 rebate, then proceeded back to the midpoint of the mall, got the van, and came to the far end of the mall to pick them up. Then I drove to the opposite end of the mall where I took Katie and Julie in to ride on the carousel, leaving Gretchen -- who had had quite enough of Gurnee Mills by then -- to wait in the van. Two carousel rides later, the girls were bundled back into the van and we headed home with the new Wii. And the pan. And the sheets. And the telescope.
Katie insisted that I assemble the telescope immediately when we got home. As it happened, the clouds parted enough to reveal Jupiter.
I don't think this telescope will actually focus on Jupiter. It will, however, focus on the Christmas lights down the street, and that's what I showed Katie as we stood on our front porch.
Later, after dinner, I set up the new Wii and let Katie and Julie play with the video games.
They like them quite a bit.