Having spent the winter months with a dismal, gray sky, occasionally punctuated by bouts of sunshine – which probably got lost and wanted to borrow a map to get home – and an episode of power outage caused by a storm that involved ice, snow, sleet, rain and the loss of my internet connection, as well, I am happy for whatever warm days are coming up.
If you pay attention to the world around you, then you’ve already seen grass starting to sprout. My little lawn looks like someone woke it out of a long nap – all rumpled up and full of leftover dried grasses, plus whatever peanut shells the squirrel decided to leave behind. More important, the buds on all woody plants, from bushes to trees, are thick, plentiful and starting to break. I’m waiting for Part Two of the “cyclone bomb” predicted by some weather sites, which may have dumped a load of snow up north of me but barely left a thin dusting on my hibernating pot full of chives. The 9’6″ pile of snow in my yard, a product of shoveling snow off the sidewalk, is gone.
Nevertheless, Spring is not just around the corner. Spring is here. This is relatively normal weather where I am. People north of me are still shoveling and grumbling, and wondering when warm weather will deign to arrive. It’s coming. I promise, it is coming, right around the bend.
My adventures over the winter included the power outage mentioned, which shut off my sole source of heat – the furnace – and that was closely followed by the demise of my ancient, venerable 15-year-old computer, which shut itself off 10 seconds after I turned it on, and required the attention of a local computer geek to get it straightened out. (I think it just wanted dinner and a movie.)
Meantime, I went and bought a new computer with the most recent upgraded software. The geek recovered all my stuff – all those things you think you’ll use some day but haven’t opened since 2008 – and put it all on a 1TB back up drive for me, and then showed me how to use the new system. I have resisted upgrading for 15 years because nothing impressed me and online discussions didn’t seem to produce anything except babblespeak. I pulled my other backup drive off its spot on the top shelf and plugged it in yesterday to upload the remaining photos I had moved to it long ago. It is strange to go from (cough!) a 200GB drive to 500GB and 1TB in the blink of an eye, but one must move ahead.
While I was fiddling with all of this, I did a lot of digging into how we’ve gone from the tape storage memory systems to 8.5″ floppies (yes, they were that big) to 3.5″ floppies (I still have them), to what amounts to a small square of metal embedded with microscopic switches that act as memory storage – flash/jump drives that hold up to 128 GB of memory. I can remmeber when having 16K of RAM was a goal devoutly to be wished. And then that became nothing. And all of this applies to what I’ve been working on over the winter, so the loss of an old computer (a familiar friend) to age and senescence emphasized what I was already approaching: how much we take for granted and how rapidly things have changed.
Well, I still have an IBM Selectric III typewriter, and I still use fountain pens and (real) ink when I can. And when my old computer died, a friend of mine sent me a laptop he said no one was using, and the computer geek brought me a replacement from my old desktop, to add to my logistical supply of working space.
And whereas before, I had a tired, sometimes resentful, creaking old WINXP Compaq, I am now awash in computing tech and trying to decide whether to copy all my stuff to the laptop so that I can go goof off in the restaurant on the highway, and look like I’m actually doing something. (That’s a gigglesnorrtt!) I have, in fact, the full rendering of systems from WIN7 to WIN8.1 to WIN10. I have no excuses left for not getting things done.
I haven’t felt this silly in a long time.
I hope winter treated you well, and that Spring is welcome at your doorstep.