I spent most of yesterday and today with Peter and Karine, and ended up staying over that their place last night. Joechang, Rachel, Wendy, Jason Heller, and the three of us tried to have dinner at Patsy's (a meal there is quickly becoming a tradition during my visits), but various late parties made that prospect impossible; instead, we ordered to-go and went back to Peter and Karine's place to eat, which turned out to be more comfortable, anyway. It's always good to see old friends. And I was totally surrounded by married and engaged couples. I'm going to rename myself, "Eric, the 7th wheel." Yee-haw.
Oh yeah, it's clear that Tony's gi-normous cat/blob Professor Plum misses me. I've missed him, too.
A quick note about computing: if I were totally ignorant about computers and was a "typical" computer user, I'd probably get a Mac -- not because OS X is any easier to use than Windoze XP is, but because OS X is much less of a security risk, and you're likely to have a working machine for longer, especially if you're gullible or dumb in a digital sort of way. Peter and I fixed someone's computer today, and it was trashed beyond belief by various viruses and spyware.
If you're a neophyte PC user, do yourself a favor: make sure you're running Windows XP SP2 with the firewall turned on, switch to FireFox as your sole browser, download and install Norton or McAfee Antivirus, and definitely use AdAware, which is free.
Do NOT do a generic search for "Spyware" and run whatever free downloads are advertised as spyware removal tools. The vast majority of these programs are actually spyware in disguise. And don't click on things that confuse you. And don't click on things sent over e-mail if you aren't expecting attachments. And don't give anyone your credit card number. And stop trashing random system files (that goes for you Mac people as well).
And maybe you should just avoid computers altogether, or at least only solicit your closest buddies to come help you fix them, and then give them, like... ice cream or something they love after they help you. Or a massage. Or lots of cash.
Computer people never seem to fall victim to this stuff. If only we could share our tremendous fortune with the fuzzies of the world. Honestly -- how the hell does a typical user use a computer? I think I'd go insane.