Whoops, been too long since i wrote one of these... Work got really busy right before i left for winter break, and the dialup connections from eastern Tennessee aren't exactly the fastest and most reliable ones in the universe.
The week before i left, the cable in my apartment went out and never came back on. Prognosis: TCI finally figured out that we never paid for cable. But still, that seems kind of rude. There ought to some kind of statue of limitations on free cable -- if TCI couldn't figure out in 3 years that they never charged us for cable, they should've long since forfeit their right to complain about it.
Oh well, i think i'm going to try to get DirecTV instead now. The old TCI was only worth "free", since it had crap-all for channels, and less than 50 at that. In my parents' town, those little tiny dishes are everywhere! My parents even got it, in addition to still having cable. [???] I played around with it, and it's definitely a lot better than TCI ever provided, so i'll probably buy a starter kit when i get back to Mountain View, and see if i can get it set up before the end of the year.
Greg and i flew into Atlanta on the 19th, and in retrospect the whole thing was hilarious. First, it was snowing when we got there so the whole city was in a shambles. (Yes, it may have been only 1-2cm of snow, but this is the deep south, so that's enough to cause massive chaos.) Second, we went shopping the next day and traffic was just completely out of control. It was way worse than any bay area traffic i've seen, and i'm not sure they were consciously trying to immitate it. It was just that nobody knew how to deal with traffic, so they would do the stupidest things to cause it to foul up even more -- wasn't too fun to be in but sure is hilarious to think about in retrospect.