So, turns out that the web based VPN software we're moving to at work doesn't work with Windows ME (which I've sadly been running at home for my desktop for quite a while because it has usually worked with whatever VPN I've been trying to use for wherever I've been working at the moment).
So on top of SBC DSL being crap where we are now, I'm upgrading to XP. It's actually gone OK, except for having problems removing some VPN software that's incompatible with XP, but the uninstall doesn't remove everything, so you have to go searching. But that's another story.
Seems like tech issues are getting slowly resolved, though. Between lousy reception from the linksys WAP/router and SBC's nonsense and non-responsiveness, it's going a little better.
Going to put up a christmas tree this year, since the Bay Area bits of the family-in-law are coming here instead of us all trooping down to Santa Cruz. That should be an adventure.
Otherwise, work is work (which is somewhat interesting, as we're piloting a semi-xp method for developing some stuff this push... turning out ok, but there's negative time savings because of learning curve -- mine on java). Family is ok, except for my paternal grandmother passing away on Monday. 98 years old and she was worried on Sunday about making sure her great-grandson would get the cake she was supposed to baking for his birthday. She is missed, and one of my few regrets is not being able to have visited more often.