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My former roommate Jamie felt so sorry for me that I hadn't seen the last Lord of the Rings movie yet that she went to see it with me today. :)

We were in screen 10, one of Regal Henrietta's large screens, and there were only two other people in their with us, another guy and girl sitting a few rows behind us. They made a whole $23 from that 3½-hour showing. :)

The movie was great, as I expected it to be. As with the other two, there were times when the dialog was just way over my head, with fictional names being thrown around that meant nothing to me. But it's not like I didn't understand the main plot, so that's fine. The special effects blew me away. The Star Wars Episode II battle scene can take a back seat to the work done on this movie. There used to be a time when I could look at a spectacular scene full of effects and see how they did it. Not this time. Everything is so seamless that it looks like it all really happened in front of the camera... and like the camera was really flying around like that. The ending took a long time, but that's excusable since it was really the ending to all three movies.

Afterwards we went to a late dinner at Outback Steak House. I got the coconut-battered fried shrimp appetizer I love so much, and also tried pork chops with garlic mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples. Everything was yummy! And we got to catch up with each other and talk about geek stuff like PHP and SQL. lol

By the time we left it must've been almost 11pm. It wasn't snowing out there at all, but I was sure it would be back home, since it was when I left. There's a lake-effect band that was dipping down into Webster, but not making it south of 490.

Sure enough, on my way back, when I passed 490 heading north on 590, the snow started picking up and the traffic slowing down. Before long I joined the end of a line of cars behind some snow plows going about 35. They took the exit before mine, and then as I was getting off at my exit, the jeep in front of me spun out but stayed in the middle of the road and came to a rest sideways. But we were all going slow enough that I was able to stop with the help of my anti-lock brakes and I saw the headlights behind me slow down without losing control too, thankfully. I went around the jeep and then it finished a K-turn to right itself and keep going onto 104.

For a while I was the only one on the road, and visibility was getting really bad, so I was going maybe 30 tops. Eventually ahead of me I saw another plow. I slowed down and stayed behind it but then someone else came up and passed it easily so I did too. When the highway's streetlights stopped, visibility got even worse.

Then I joined the end of another line of cars behind two plows that were going about 15mph. It looked like one of the plows was having a hard time seeing where the road was. Gradually I noticed an ambient light growing in the sky, and then I realized it was the new Lowes with its super-bright parking lot lights. That helped with visibility quite a bit.

Those two plows took me all the way to my exit, and they got off there in front of me too. The road home from there wasn't plowed and had about 6 inches of snow on it judging from the depth of a few old tire tracks, but nothing the Jimmy couldn't handle. I got a little scared when I saw that there was a plot pile at the end of our drive way, in addition to the fresh 6 inches I had estimated, so I gunned it to get through that and kept going right up the driveway with no problem. When I pulled into the garage, my tires knocked enough snow inside that I was afraid it would block the door's obstruction sensor so I cleared that with my feet.

Looks like we'll have fun shoveling tomorrow! I love the snow. Can we do Christmas again now?

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I'd be all for another Christmas... especially if it means I could go home again. :-P

And maybe then a certain person wouldn't complain about the Christmas decorations still being up.

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