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It was my birthday yesterday. Aside from one surprise (which is due to raise my electric bill by another $100), the day was pretty crappy. I went to work, had two people cancel on going out to dinner, gave up on having dinner, went home, made dinner and went to bed. That was my special day.

However, since I don’t want people to buy me really expensive things I decided to take today and go shopping for that expensive present. I had thought about ordering it on Amazon and having it gift wrapped just so I could pretend somebody sent me something but I decided that doing that would be a sure sign of insanity. Not doing that, though, meant taking a trip to The Domain.

Now, last week I went early. Around 9am early. The store was open and went I went inside to ask if they had the Mac Mini nobody said anything other, “No, not yet.” So I journeyed there today at the same time. A little early, actually. Early enough to go to Starbucks, have a coffee, and sit in the fog. Sit in fog not sitting because, in true fascist tradition, The Domain doesn’t allow smoking in areas that are not marked for smoking. There are no places marked for smoking, despite being outside in the open air. Now, this doesn’t bother me too much because most smokers are dicks when it comes to getting rid of their cigarette butts. I’ve seen smokers sit right next to an ashtray and just flick their butts off into the grass, onto the sidewalk, and wherever else looks handy. I completely understand that it gets to be a nuisance to clean up after people who don’t have the sense to use an ashtray. That’s why I found it odd that people are allowed to let their dogs run around on a leash and pee all over the place.

Anyway, 9am came along and I went to the Apple store and asked for the iMac Mini. I was told they had them in stock, but that they were only open for help, training, and gawking at the products.

“So….” I said, “my choices are doing nothing for an hour or not buying it at all?”

“Yes,” said the grinning droid.

This annoyed me greatly, but it appears that The Domain is pretentious and snooty that no places had hours of operations posted. I looked at several different stores and not one that I saw said they were open from xx to xx on any given day. I guess if you’re uber-rich or a wannabe-uber-rich person you inherently know this information.

After another, longer, trip to Starbucks I went back to the store, waited a while for someone to help me, went and found someone to help me, found out he was a “genius”  and, as such, wasn’t qualified to help me, and then waited while he went to find someone of lesser genius-ness that could help me.

Eventually, after refusing the Apple iCare thing and not actually wanting to talk about what I was trying to buy, I was able to purchase a brand new base model iMac Mini.

I feel at this point I need to state this again because when people find out I’m buying an Apple product they all think I’m “switching sides.” I’m not. I still don’t like Apple as a company. I still don’t think Steve Jobs was the second coming of Jesus. I bought the laptop because I needed to get a handle on OS X (turns out, it’s not that much different from anything else) and I wanted the Mini because it’s small, draws little power, and can be used (theoretically) to be a VPN server. In a sentence full of irony I’ll say that I want a VPN server so I can connect my Apple MacBook Pro to Starbucks Wi-Fi and use it without worrying about security issues that come with using an open Wi-Fi connection.

So, after I finally got it all (and realized that Apple prices could be a bit lower if they skimped a little on the bag they give you) and got it home. I turned it on after finding the power button and proceeded to set it up. As is usual for me, I had problems doing a Time Machine backup and eventually had to reboot to get it to work. After that I set up the VPN and found out that it doesn’t like to go through my firewall. My other computers don’t have a problem, but the Mini does. However, I’m willing to concede that it has something to do with my excessively complicated home network.

Oddly enough, I’m using my desktop with a VNC viewer to control the Mini (I didn’t bother spending another ludicrous amount of money for a Magic Mouse, baby keyboard, and a platinum gilded monitor with precious gems for buttons). I’m using the desktop (a Windows 8 desktop) because the Mini won’t let the MacBook access it remotely. Awesome.

So, now it’s time to re-configure all things networky in here. Taking a good look at everything I’ve come to the realization that, with the hardware I have in my bedroom, I should be able to support an organization consisting of about 100-150 employees.

It’s also become evident that the Universe (or God, or Buddha, or Karma — take your pick) has decided that while all women in the world hate me I’m totally allowed to spend a bunch of money on electronic crap. Seriously ladies, you’re missing out on a great guy who would be spending this money on you, but you just don’t think I’m good enough.

And that, with the ever-present laundry, is how I’m spending my post-birthday day. Now, if I could only think of something else to talk about so I can get up to 1,000 words.

Nope, I sure can’t. So I hope you enjoyed the previous almost 1,000 words.

Dominion Addendum:

Oops, I forgot about the trip to the Microsoft Store. Turns out, I was having difficulty finding the iSCSI initiator in Windows 8. I dropped into the store (Apple bag slung over my shoulder, as is the hip way to carry your Apple products) to see if anyone there knew anything about it.

Turns out, they didn’t. The help I got consisted of a guy using Bing to search for the same thing I searched for on Google. Then, like a dummy, I remembered that I never bothered using Windows 8 built-in help. This is mostly because Windows’ help is usually useless. So I commandeered a Dell, searched for it in the help, and found my answer. All of a sudden the guy “helping” insisted that it was, indeed, possible to use iSCSI with Windows 8. Yeah… no kidding…