Monday, July 5, 2010

Life in Suburbia

I set my laptop up in the geek room at work last week but couldn't get the screen to come to life. I could hear the hard-drive booting up but that's as far as it would go. I pulled out my Droid and searched for similar problems with HP laptops and found a few forum threads related to the issue I was having. I tried some of their suggestions and after a few minutes of fiddling with it it came to life. I decided it was a good time to make sure I'd backed up anything remotely important onto my external hard-drive.

My HP has served me well for 3.5 years but I wasn't all that surprised when it began to show its age. There's a problem with the wiring in the hinge causing a short-circuit of sorts the best I can figure. It continued to operate sporadically over the next few days before I decided it was time to look for a replacement. Was it finally time to consider a Mac?

We'd just been to the Apple store at the Mall of America the week before but buying a new laptop wasn't on my radar at all. We were too busy goofing with the iPads.

The Apple salesman welcomed me to the Mac family at approximately 2:07 Thursday afternoon with my purchase of a MacBook Pro with a 17" high resolution anti-glare screen which includes a whopping 500 GB hard-drive with 4 GB of RAM and a 2.66 GHz processor. Simply put, it's a very sweet machine.

Transitioning to the Mac way of computing doesn't seem to be nearly as difficult as I'd imagined it would be. I was off and running in no time. The only real reluctance I had about abandoning my PC ways was with the Windows based programs that I use regularly but won't work with the Mac OS. As it turns out I'll be able to partition the hard-drive and easily have more than enough room to operate Windows XP and the programs I was concerned about. That cinched the deal for me.

Switching gears.

I've had a couple good weeks of riding and Saturday night I actually rode pain free (knees) for the first time in probably more than a year. I almost forgot what it felt like. I was careful to not mash my pedals too hard and just enjoy the beauty of being out there doing what I love to do. There are a few things I've changed that could be helping but I'm not sure which one(s) may be helping new saddle and position on the bike; the stretching I'm doing before the ride and periodically throughout the day or the fact that I'm riding more regularly...something I haven't been doing enough of. I hope I'm able to make 'not riding regularly' a non-factor for the next several months. You would think that less riding would lead to less pain in my knees but that's not been my experience; just the opposite (within reason).

We have an annual neighborhood party/house-hop around Christmas and it's always a good time. My next-door neighbor Karen mentioned to me a couple weeks ago that we should put one together for the summer too. And so she did. We were secondary hosts for it but Tammy became too ill to make the party with a head-cold and headache so I pretended to do the work for both of us while I schmoozed.

When I'd last seen Tammy in the morning before she left for work she said she was feeling better and that she thought she'd make the party but I got a text from her just as the party was beginning: "the garage door just lost a wheel...i have a really bad going to lay down...i love u". Hmmm...I saw the part about her not feeling well and having a headache and all but honestly, my mind sort of latched onto the 'garage door losing a wheel' part of the message. I had to go have a look. I told Karen I'd be back as soon as I could.

Sure enough, the garage door was cockeyed and no amount of budging it this way or that way was going to close it. It would have to remain open all night. I searched the stickers on the door for the last guy who serviced it as I was pleased with both his promptness and price. I left a message for Chris from Superior Garage Door and he promptly returned my call saying that he could be there by 8:00 the next morning. I didn't even ask him to give me an estimate as it was 4th of July weekend and he said he'd be there in the morning. That much worked for me and that's really all that mattered. I went in to see how Tammy was doing (not well) then headed back to the party. I'd make periodic trips to check on her before finally packing it in at 1:00 AM. It had been a full day and the party was a rousing success and will no doubt be repeated next year.

I set my alarm for 3:30 AM to check on the garage but I really wasn't too worried. I had all the lights on and our vehicles out of the garage and parked both in the driveway and the street so nobody with evil intentions could hide behind them in the garage. The flat screen TV would have to fend for itself as I wasn't concerned enough to bring it into the safety of our home. Not that our neighborhood has been immune from garage break-ins. My next-door neighbor, Bob, is a part-time Dakota County Sheriff who was actually a victim of a break-in a few years ago.  He told me the trouble is coming mostly from teenage kids looking for fridges with beer and steaks. Not flat screen TVs...just beer and steaks.

This is suburbia after all.


Steve Saeedi said...

Welcome to the utopia known as the fountain of Apple Kool-Aid!

First Obama, then Apple. Next thing you'll be wanting to move out west to California!

Oh and your goofing around with iPads picture reminded me of this:

Kevin said...

Yeah, we had fun goofing like we were talking and taking photos with the things but no, I don't see one in our future. But like you said...whoever would've thought I'd be voting for Obama two years ago?

I've done the California thing down San Diego way too many years ago. I'd love to go back if only for the riding on the roads out by Otay Lakes and east toward Campo and Dulzura. Bicycle heaven for this guy.

I'm really liking the Mac.