Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold and Computers

Oh, I am sooooo ready for spring. I'm normally a cold-weather person, but that's "cold" in Texas terms. My idea of a perfect winter is daytime highs in the 40s-60s -- some up and down for variety, a mix of sunny and gray/rainy -- and nighttime lows in the 30s but above freezing. A few below-freezing nights to kill off insects. I like it to be cool enough so that warm stuff is a nice contrast and I can enjoy blankets, cocoa, hot tea, even a fire. Maybe one snow event, the kind where it starts snowing overnight so you wake up to a blanket of fluffy white, and it snows throughout the day (because I like watching snow fall), but the next day it's warm and the snow is gone instantly. I'm okay with one or two of the gray and rainy days having some snow flurries that don't stick because the ground is too warm. When I say I like winter, that's what I'm talking about, and that's what we usually have. I'm not really up for these days on end of freezing temperatures and ice on the ground. I would be going stir-crazy with cabin fever if I felt better. Then again, I might feel better if it were warmer. We are supposed to have a sudden warm-up this weekend, and I may have to frolic outdoors even if I'm still stuffy and sniffly.

I'm hitting this thing with everything I've got. I think I've tried just about everything under the sun -- antihistamines and several kinds of decongestants, home remedies like horseradish in V8 juice, ginger root with lemon and honey in hot water, hot-and-sour style soup, hot lemonade, lots of vitamin C, Vicks, steam, peppermint herbal tea, lots of liquids, lots of rest. I want to start on the new project full-force next week, and to do that, I need to be able to think. Then Con DFW is next weekend, and I'd like to be able to talk.

Things may be looking up, though. I had a moment this morning when I could briefly breathe freely through my nose. It was awesome. And I found myself really wanting to clean the kitchen. If a mess is bothering me, that's a sign that I'm getting better. For the past week, I haven't been up to caring.

Meanwhile, I've been researching my upcoming computer purchase. One of the reasons I've procrastinated this was that I thought I'd need to go to the Apple store, which is in one of those inconvenient "you can't there there from here" locations that's out of the way for me. When I bought the current computer, it was a bit of a crisis, as the old computer's display quit working, and when I brought the old computer to the Apple store for diagnosis, I ended up deciding it would be easier to just buy a new one, since I had a deadline and couldn't wait while sending it off for repairs. They offered to transfer everything from the old computer to the new one for me -- all the settings, accounts, etc. I know how to move files around, but I wasn't sure about all that background stuff, so I thought I'd need to go to the Apple store for that instead of just buying a computer at the neighborhood electronics store. But some surfing showed that Apple is apparently now charging a fee for that service, and there's a utility on the computer that does it automatically as part of the set-up process. I can do that. So instead of making the trek across the metropolitan area, I can go down the street.

Now I just have to decide which one I want. My usual instinct is to go for the lowest end possible, since I've generally barely scratched the surface of any computer's capacity. But I'm trying to plan for future needs, and there's a chance I might want to do stuff like make videos for book promotion or use the computer as a media server, so I might want to go a little higher-end. The MacBook no longer has a Firewire connector. I've never used the one on my iBook, but I understand that might be needed for connecting to a video camera. I guess I need to do a little more research to make the decision about what I really need, if I need a Pro or if just a MacBook will meet my needs. And, yes, it must be Mac. I have no interest in changing even though it's more expensive. It's what I've always used other than at work, and I really loathed the Windows machines at work. There's something about the way the Mac does stuff that aligns with the way my brain works, so it really is intuitive for me, and I spend much less time arguing with the computer (which never goes anywhere).

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