Tag Archives: laptop

A day of me, for me, by me


Today is a bonus day. I find myself in the position where, if I don’t take a vacation day, I will lose it forever. Which brings me here. I have nothing planned today, no appointments, no obligations, no deadlines, no nothing, so I actually get to decide how to spend my time. What a luxury…

So I decided to begin my day visiting my long neglected blog. I want to use it to look back on the last three months since I posted our holiday letter thingie to remind myself what’s been happening so when I forget what happened, it won’t be lost forever.

Let’s start with last night. Greg Hartle came for dinner. He’s a guy with a very interesting backstory who is now touring the US with ten dollars and a laptop to see how people and communities are changing as a result of the Great Recession. After a serious health crisis, which was resolved by a kidney donation from his mom, he cast off his former crazy-ass-go-for-broke-get-rich-quick-everything-is-competition lifestyle, rid himself of his possessions, save for $10 and a laptop. He started in Washington in January, Oregon is his second state. He connected with me through a combination of people and the web, so I invited him to sample Ric’s delicious cooking and come over for a chat. You really should follow his updates and watch for him when he comes your way.

We really enjoyed conversing with him and learned a lot from him. Here’s just one gem to ponder: being fit is not the same as being healthy.

I’ve been on a major quilting jag lately. I would say more but then you would expect to see photos and I haven’t taken any yet. Quilts are really really hard to photograph. For one thing, they’re so big! When I figure out how to do it better, I will show them to you.

Along those lines, a very happy piece of work-related news is that Meyer Memorial Trust now offers sabbaticals to staff members who have been there more than seven years. And I believe I just reached the end of my 15th year there! Longest place I’ve ever worked by far! So I will have four weeks off in August. Do I hear a wOOt?!  I’m so excited!

We had to submit a plan for how we would use our sabbaticals – in both professional and personal realms – and get them approved. One of my personal promises is to plan a show of my quilts! And of course you are all invited. More on that in future months.

My dear friend Joyce and I took in the nation’s largest sewing show in Puyallup a few weeks ago. So much fabric. Not enough time. In a bizarre side note, I found myself being drawn to Japanese quilting fabric at the expo, buying some for the first time. A few days later, the horrible earthquake/tsunami happened. I’m so sorry.

Have you done what you can to help them? I need to do more.

I’ve been crazy busy at work, hatching a HUGE project, this after I promised myself I would never have any big ideas ever again, and if I did, I would keep my mouth shut. So of course I violated all those rules, but rest assured, I am being suitably punished. But I just know it will result in a really COOL thing that will really HELP people get shit done, as they say in the vernacular. As Joyce would say, it’s populist and involves technology. What else is there?!? When all is fit to print you will be among the first to get the scoop.

Ric made some seriously major improvements to our long suffering kitchen, triggered by a nasty ant infestation. The kitchen is better now. We hope the ants are not.

Would you believe that our hens have all been laying some days? Three eggs a day sometimes! Before spring began even! They are such productive little hens, as if they existed to create chicken embryos. Oh wait. They do.

Our yard is threatening to burst forth, the daphne and michelia fragrance is intoxicating and the white camellia flowers are opening. I dread discovering all that we lost in the harsh winter freeze though. We could all use a little sun and warm temperatures, that’s for sure.

I’m quite worried about my wayward adopted son, Rev Phil. He’s taking his bike porn tour across country lines and was detained at the border. Fortunately, he is channeling Hunter Thompson and has lived to tell. I know this makes no sense to many of you, and it is far better that way. A mother worries though. And seriously hopes he drops his plans to include Turkey in his European tour.

On that enigmatic note, I shall close this chapter and strive to remember anything else that has happened in the past three months. The well has run dry for now. I must go do something else unplanned.

Keep the faith. Sometimes that works.







Why I think many are missing the point of the iPad: it was invented for people like me!


I was among those waiting with bated breath to see what Steve Jobs would be unveiling last Wednesday morning at the latest Apple event.

I was among those really impressed and excited by what I saw when the iPad was unveiled. I’m not really surprised about the many who are jumping on the critical bandwagon, but I think they are missing something big.

First, about the name. As someone tweeted a few days ago, there are lots of people who still giggle about male and female plugs. Kinda silly, I think. Picking a name is really hard, especially one that’s not already mostly taken. I don’t think the name is all that important.

What I think many of the critics miss is that I believe the iPad is aimed at people like me.

I’m a baby boomer. But I love technology. And I especially love it when it loves me back.

Here’s an example:  For years, I had a cell phone. I could barely use it…I could never remember, for example, exactly what combination of buttons I needed to hit to retrieve a voice mail. I could never remember how to text. And texting was just way too much trouble. And so on. While I wanted to love my cell phone, I felt it hated me and wanted to make my life as difficult as possible.

The Mac Plus (from wikipedia)

Granted, I’ve been a Mac person since 1986. I remember using a DOS PC at work in the mid-80s, struggling to make flyers with Harvard Graphics. OMG, it almost killed me. I could tell it hated me intensely. What took me 6 hours at work, I did in 15 minutes on my Mac Plus when I got home. I felt like my Mac wanted my life and work to be easy. It wanted me to spend my energy being creative rather than wrestling with remembering command lines, trying to change and move text with command lines, etc. I did better work, learned more faster, tapped into more creativity, etc. as a result of my Mac.

My beloved University of Chicago

It’s not that my brain wasn’t capable of doing geeky stuff. I took a computer programming course in 1971 in my last quarter in college at the University of Chicago and got an A. That was in the day when you turned your punch cards in to be run through the mainframe overnight. In that class, we learned several languages and had to invent our own programming language. It was hard, but I loved the hell out of it. (I even remember the error message I invented… I thought it was so cool I figured out to tell exactly what card the error was on, so in celebration, I wrote this error message:  “Roses are red, violets are blue, Card #6 is fucked up, and so are you.” We found way to make everything fun in the late 60s/early 70s, didn’t we??? :))

I loved understanding how computers worked, the whole flow chart binary logic decision tree thing, and so forth. Having that very basic knowledge made me not afraid of technology when it came to every home and workplace several years later. I was a fairly early adopter, especially when the Mac came along because it exactly matched my brain.

But I digress.

When the iPhone came along, I was one of those in line at 6 p.m. on launch day at the Pioneer Place Apple Store in downtown Portland. From what I had heard, I would finally have a cell phone that loved me back. And I was so right! Bascially, in less than 5 minutes, I had figured out how to do the whole thing and do it with joy. It really was that good!

Where I bought my first iPhone

Now many of my more geeky friends have looked down on the iPhone because the “phone” part is not geeky enough for them. But I don’t think Apple was trying to make the geekiest possible phone. They were making something incredibly useful for people like me: people who want their devices to be joyful to use.

My iPhone has made my life more joyful and efficient and less stressful and painful. Mostly because I grokked it immediately and it is just effortless and fun.

About the iPad, I’ve been hearing comments like this: “It won’t replace my laptop.” Well, hello, it’s not designed to do that. I’ll still need my laptop for the geekier stuff I do. I wouldn’t dream of doing without it, I’m not looking to get rid of it.

Also: “It doesn’t have a camera.” So what? I’ll still have my iPhone, and use its camera. Or my Flip video cam. Do I really want to hold up a flat thing that is a little less than the size of an 8×10 piece of paper and use it as a camera. Hell no. I want something I can whip around with one hand with essentially no effort (and allows me to be a little discreet sometimes).

Also: “It’s just a bigger iPod touch.” Uh, no, not really. Having the iWork suite of programs on it puts it light years ahead of the iPod in my book. Do you know what a joy those programs are to use. Let’s just put it this way: once I did one presentation in Keynote, I could not go back to Powerpoint if you sat on me.

Also, it is big enough for practical book and other print media reading. I don’t enjoy that so much on my iPhone because either the font size stays too small or there’s not enough real estate for enough words.  Yes, I have a Kindle (first generation). I’ve loved it, especially the part that makes it possible to download a book and read it immediately. But woe to those of us who buy a Kindle book that has charts, maps or any kind of images. Just an utter fail. Can’t even make them out, and you can’t enlarge them like you can the font text size.

From what I see, the iPad totally overcomes that issue. For magazines and newspapers as well. Have you seen the quality of the photos and images on the iPad. And what you can do to go further??? Looks like it will be another joyful experience! As joyful as reading a dead tree magazine or newspaper, if not more so…

It seems to me that Apple has, once again, found a way to make experiences I like to have more enjoyable. It makes things I love that love me back!

And that’s really Apple’s point, is it not?

Scored a laptop!


So I went to the Macforce garage sale.  Was second in line.  That’s cuz I thought it opened at 9 a.m., but guess what.  It opened at 10 a.m.  So an extra hour of waiting in line time.

Early enough to get a laptop.  Hope it was a good deal.  I saw the 17 inch that used to be Ben’s but the $2499 price tag sent me to the 15 inch model with the $1299 price.  Hope I made a good decision.  Still about three months left on the warranty, during which I can go for Apple Care if I want to.

The next post I write will come from that machine, I’m guessing.  Got a bag for it for $9. Sweet.  If you didn’t go to the sale yet, you’re too late.  Most stuff gone by the time I left.

Oh, and one more thing.  I learned you do not even want to try to act like you’re going to cut in line when I’ve been waiting at the front for an extra hour.  Seriously. Do not even try. I will break your balls and shame you into moving back.  And everyone around me will secretly cheer.

Note to self: the phrase is bust your balls, Marie, not break your balls. Try to remember that!