Best Shopping Experience Evar

Today I managed to ignore my “never go to the Country Club Plaza” rule, because I really wanted to go to the Apple store. I dreaded the trip, mainly because I hate driving on the Plaza. So much. Pedestrians are quite insane there – I know they have the right of way, but that doesn’t mean that a couple of tons of SUV won’t cause some bruising if they walk blithely in front of one.

So I drove by the Apple store and was surprised to see an open parking spot right across the street. Nabbing it, I was amazed by all the gawkers inside the store – even though it was really rainy and generally “blah” today, there were still tons of people ogling the Apple goodness. I was there for a couple of specific things – a copy of Parallels Desktop and a wireless keyboard. I snagged both and also got a USB hub, since changing from the wired Mac keyboard to the wireless meant the net loss of a USB connection.

As Jen and I stood there wondering what to do next – there were TONS of people milling around the Genius Bar – an Apple employee walked up and said, “are you ready to check out?” Sure, we replied, and she then proceeded to whip a portable scanner/PDA off of her belt and scan our items, swipe my credit card and even send me an emailed receipt. She then grabbed us a super-cool Apple store bag and we were done – and never even had to stand in line!

So I’m now typing using a wireless keyboard, which is cool but SMALL – this thing has no numeric keypad and is missing a bunch of keys that I would otherwise consider important, like HOME and END and DEL. It’s going to take some getting used to, but I love being wireless. It was also so much easier to discover the keyboard on the iMac then in Windows XP, where I routinely seem to lose connectivity with the keyboard/mouse. Parallels seems pretty cool, I’m going to try to do some performance tweaking but I managed to get a Vista installation done in under an hour (before Windows Update, of course). Unfortunately it’s not a gaming solution – I’ll wait for Leopard and Boot Camp to do that – but it should be fine for running Vista, Office 2007 and even some Visual Studio goodness.

Tomorrow I’m smoking up a brisket and pork shoulder for a potluck at work, and then this week is United Way week – we’re doing all sorts of cool things, culminating in the annual chili cook-off on Friday. Can I keep the streak alive and go for the three-peat? YES.

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